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Pomona College Class of 2011 & Recent Alumni Awarded 23 Prestigious Fulbright Fellowships

Eighteen graduates of the Pomona College Class of 2011 and five recent alumni were awarded prestigious Fulbright Fellowships to pursue independent research or teach English around the globe. In additions, seven members of the Class of 2011 were selected as Fulbright alternates. This is the first year that Pomona alumni were able to participate in the full Pomona advising and application process.

Over the last five years, graduating Pomona College seniors have been awarded 89 Fulbright Fellowships. Over the last 10 years, Pomona graduates have been awarded 128 Fulbrights.

Thirteen Pomona alumni received Fulbright Fellowship research grants.

  • Katharine Brieger '11, an environmental analysis major with a minor in chemistry, from Sacramento, Calif., will travel to the University of Geneva's hospitals and laboratories to study how a particular family of oxidase enzymes affects the development of schizophrenia. In 2012, she plans to enter a combined M.D.-Ph.D. program to prepare for a medical career in treatment, research and teaching.
  • Charles Cange '02, a biology and public policy analysis major, from Seattle, WA, will return to Kuwait on his second Fulbright (first one in 2006) to finish his PhD fieldwork in medical anthropology and post-conflict studies. Cange is attending University of Washington.
  • Charlotte Chang '10, a biology major from Santa Barbara, Calif., will travel to Chongming Island, in Shanghai, China, which is part of the East Asian-Australasian flyway, one of the most threatened avian migratory routes worldwide. Habitat at this critical stopover for migratory birds has been compromised by invasive cord grass. She will assess different management strategies to benefit waders and salt-marsh birds reliant on this site. Her career plans include earning a Ph.D. in ecology and continuing research on avian ecology and conservation.
  • Jessica Deas '11, a molecular biology major, with a minor in Spanish, from Walnut Creek, Calif., will go to Cuernavaca, Mexico, to research the use of RNA interference as a potential gene therapy strategy against cervical cancer, the second most common cause of cancer incidence in Mexico and the rest of Latin America. She will work with Dr. Oscar Peralta Zaragoza at the Center of Infectious Disease Research in the National Institute of Public Health. Her future plans include attending medical school and specializing in maternal or child health.
  • Jonathan Gelber '10, a biology major from Los Gatos, Calif., will conduct research at the Sydney Institute for Marine Science as well as the University of New South Wales (both in Sydney, Australia) on the species of bacteria that causes cholera. The bacteria has been known to form a "biofilm," an extremely pathogenic colony-like entity, and he will examine what factors cause biofilm formation and increase cholera virulence. On his return, he plans to attend medical school and train as a surgeon.
  • Andrea Gottstein '11, a double major in German and linguistics and cognitive science from Chicago, Ill., declined a Fulbright research grant for a project in Germany to accept a position in a Los Angeles area management development program.
  • Isaac Jenkins '10, an international relations major from Manhattan Beach, Calif., will pursue a master's degree at Oxford University in refugee and forced migration studies. He plans to focus his studies on the rapid changes in the political and economic systems of developing countries due to climate- and disaster-based migration, and how international law addresses issues concerning environmental refugees.
  • Michael O'Shea '11, a public policy major from Chicago, Ill., will travel to Canada, to examine access to public parks and open space as a determinant of community health in neighborhoods across Montréal. After completing the Fulbright, he plans to return to Chicago and work with non-profit organizations and public agencies on community development issues. He also plans to continue his studies and earn a master's degree in Public Policy.
  • Amalia Roth '11, a neuroscience major from Chicago, Ill., will travel to Madrid, Spain, to work in the lab of Dr. Torres-Alemán at the Cajal Institute researching insulin-like growth factor 1 and its role in neuroprotection and neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease. Following the Fellowship, she plans to attend medical school.
  • Alexander Rudy '11, a physics major from Bagshot, England, will work on the development of an astronomical adaptive optics instrument at the Institute of Astronomy at National Central University, in Zhongli, Taiwan. The project will focus on the design, simulation and laboratory testing of the instrument. Adaptive Optics technology removes the effects of atmospheric turbulence from astronomical images. After the Fulbright, he will attend the University of California, Santa Cruz to pursue a Ph.D. in Astrophysics.
  • Jacob Scruggs '11, an English major from Santa Cruz, Calif., will spend nine months in Cairo, Egypt, to study the influence of Arab poetry on the political views of Egyptians.
  • Bruke Telda '11, a biology major from Riverside, Calif., will travel to Addis Ababa, where he will work with an NGO committed to fighting HIV/AIDS, and simultaneously conduct research mapping out the particular role NGOs play in the Ethiopian war against the HIV/AIDS pandemic. He plans to attend medical school following the Fulbright.
  • Nik Tyack '11, a biology major, with minors in history and environmental analysis, from Hanover, Mass., will travel to Rome, Italy, to work with the Global Crop Diversity Trust to develop a methodology to determine which wild relatives of the world's major food crops to focus on collecting. The project is part of a new 10-year, $50 million initiative, to help protect global food supplies against the imminent threat of climate change. His future plans include a career working on plants, agriculture and sustainability.

Ten Pomona graduates received Fulbright Fellowships to teach English.

  • Stephanie Almeida '11, a double major in politics and English from Hillsdale, N.J., will teach university-level students in Portugal and study the country's transition to democracy through oral histories, recording firsthand accounts of life before and after the 1974 revolution, to examine how the current political perspectives of Portuguese citizens are informed by their experiences under an authoritarian government.
  • Vincent Chan '11, a molecular biology major with a minor in music, from Rowland Heights, Calif., has declined the Fulbright to teach English in South Korea and will instead conduct research with the director of Cancer Biology at City of Hope.
  • Liza Gallant '11, a German and linguistics major from Manchester, Maine, will travel to Sindelfingen, Germany to teach Gymnasium (high school) level students. On her return, she will teach in the Teach for America program for two years, and then hopes to teach English in Europe.
  • Ariel Gandolfo '11, an international relations and politics major from Kirkland, Wash., will go to Pekanbaru, Sumatra, Indonesia, to teach in junior high or high school. Following the Fulbright, he is considering the Peace Corps in West Africa followed by graduate school to study international development.
  • Renee Johnston '11, a mathematics major from Gardnerville, Nev., has declined the Fulbright to teach in Guatemala and instead will teach through a different organization in Honduras.
  • Elizabeth Perez '11, a sociology major with an art minor, from New York City, will teach in Panama. She also hopes to host monthly poetry/spoken word mics as well as creative writing workshops. When she returns, she is considering enrolling in a Masters Program in communications, marketing or public relations or a Ph.D. in cultural or American studies.
  • Blake Phillips '08, an economics major from Del Mar, Calif., will teach English in Terengganu province, in Northeastern Malaysia. He also hopes to enroll in Bahasa Malaysia language classes and research the relative efficacy of rural and urban microfinance projects in the Terengganu province. Following the fellowship, he is considering a Ph.D. program in economics or public policy, or a joint-masters degree in economics, business, law and/or public policy.
  • Rachel Ramirez '11, a Chicana/o Latina/o Studies major from Chicago, Ill., will work with adult language students in Columbia, and hopes to also work in the legal department of a women's non-profit organization. Her future plans include a return to Chicago and continued involvement with community organizing and entering a J.D./Ph.D. program.
  • Kathryn Strong '11, an English literature major with a Japanese language minor from Richardson, Texas, has declined a Fulbright to teach in South Korea and will instead teach English in The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme. Her future plans include either an M.F.A. in creative writing or continued teaching.
  • Katherine Wise '11, a Chicano/a Latino/a Studies major from Memphis, Tenn., will travel to Kathmandu, Nepal, to teach.

In addition to the recipients, eight members of Pomona's Class of 2011 were selected as alternates:

  • Kimberly Aldinger '11, a theatre major from Whitefish, Mont., for a research project in India;
  • Eleanor Caves '11, a biology major from Albuquerque, N.M., for a research project in Peru but has withdrawn to accept a Downing Scholarship;
  • Jahmil Eady '11, a media studies major from New York City, for a research project in South Africa;
  • Nydia Ekasumara '11, a molecular biology major from Huntington Beach, Calif., for a research project in Germany;
  • John Holler '11, international relations major from Chicago, Ill., to teach English in Mexico;
  • Gabriel Peña '11, a theatre major from Davidson, Ill., to teach English in Spain;
  • Brendan Rowan '11, an English major from Mount Ella, N.C., to teach English in Andorra;
  • Sarah Thompson '11, a politics major from Gastonia, N.C., to teach English in Kenya.

Pomona College, one of the nation's premier liberal arts institutions, offers 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. Pomona college is the founding member of the Claremont Colleges.