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Fulbright Grants Awarded to 12 Members of the Pomona College Class of 2006, Breaking School's Record

Twelve graduates of the Pomona College Class of 2006 have received prestigious Fulbright Fellowships to pursue research or teach around the globe, breaking Pomona’s all-time record for Fulbrights received. Three additional recent graduates from other class years also have received Fulbrights, bringing this year's full total to 15.

The fellowships are awarded to college seniors based on their leadership potential and their proposed project for study or research. Designed to increase cultural understanding between U.S. students and citizens of foreign countries, the grants generally provide round-trip transportation, language or orientation courses, book and research allowances, and maintenance for the academic year, based on living costs in the host country.

Among the Pomona College recipients, Kameelah Rasheed, Joanna Schenke and Lyubov Tovbina were awarded Fellowship Research Grants.

Kameelah Rasheed, an Africa/African diaspora-public policy major from East Palo Alto, California, will travel to South Africa to study the official vision of World Class Johannesburg articulated through the Inner City Regeneration Strategy (ICRS) as well as its implication for squatters. She is particularly interested in how the post-apartheid city of Johannesburg confronts the challenge of providing decent housing for the urban poor and facilitating economic growth in the inner city. Her future plans include pursuing a masters degree in education and teaching credential in preparation for teaching high school history in the inner city. She later intends to pursue a masters degree in urban studies/planning.

Joanna Schenke, an international relations and German Studies double major from Houston, Texas, will study Turkish immigration in Berlin, Germany. Part of her work will include a case study based on her senior thesis on the political agency of the Turkish migrant population in Berlin after a recent naturalization reform law. In addition to the regular Fulbright grant, Schenke was approved for a rider program to the Fulbright that supports the study critical of languages as identified by the U.S. State Department. As a result, she will spend three months this summer in Turkey for intensive language instruction in introductory conversational Turkish. When she returns to the U.S., she plans to apply to graduate school programs in immigration policy, ethnic conflict or comparative politics.

Lyubov Tovbina, an economics major from Tucson, Arizona, will travel to the city of Kazan in Tatarstan Russia. In addition to enrolling in university courses on economic development and post-Communist transition, she will volunteer at the Kazan Innovation Fund, a Russian-run nonprofit organization that manages microfinance and sex trafficking prevention programs. As part of her work with The Fund, she will maintain direct contact with foreign organizations and help conduct sex trafficking investigations with foreign partners. When she returns to the U.S., Tovbina plans to obtain a masters degree in international development and work at UNESCO or an international non-governmental agency field office in Eurasia. Tovbina is the founder and director of HomeInAmerica, a program that facilitates the adaptation of recent immigrants to American life.

Eight of Pomona College’s Class of 2006 Fulbright Fellows were awarded grants to teach English in foreign countries.

  • Ashley Craft, a philosophy and sociology double major from Austin, Texas, teaching in South Korea;
  • Adam Demaray, a Spanish major from Albuquerque, New Mexico, teaching in Argentina;
  • Jonathan Hung, a philosophy major from Chelmsford, Massachusetts, teaching in South Korea;
  • Tanya Koch, a religious studies major from San Diego, California, will teach English in Thailand.
  • Mitchell Laufer, a history and Spanish double major from Beverly Hills, California, teaching in Spain;
  • Rachel Monroe, an English major from Richmond, Virginia, teaching in Morocco;
  • Jennifer Reinsel, an environmental analysis major from Bozeman, Montana, teaching in South Korea
  • Dominika (Nika) Strzelecka, an environmental analysis major from Atlanta, Georgia, teaching in South Korea;
  • Tamara Weiss, a theatre major from Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, teaching in Indonesia.

In addition to the above recipients, Pomona College also had two Fulbright alternates: Lauren Denny and Marisa Diaz.

Among other recent graduates, Fulbrights also went to:

  • Charles Cange '02, who will travel to Kuwait to interview young adults suffering from various illnesses related to the 1990 Iraqi invasion. His medical anthropological approach will analyze the health impacts of armed conflict, including cancers, asthmas, autisms and stress syndromes. Through his research he will document Kuwaitis’ expectations for treatment and compensation.
  • Raketa Ouedraogo '05, who will be teaching in Martinique
  • Brian Palmer-Rubin '04, who will be conducting research in Mexico

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program, founded in 1946 and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, offers opportunities for recent graduates, postgraduate candidates and developing professionals and artists to conduct career-launching study and research abroad. Over the decades, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 250,000 students, scholars and professionals worldwide with the opportunity to observe each others’ political, economic and cultural institutions, exchange ideas and embark on joint ventures or importance to the general welfare of the world’s inhabitants.

Pomona College is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts institutions, offering a comprehensive program in the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Its hallmarks include small classes, close relationships between students and faculty, and a range of opportunities for student research.