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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University August 8, 2005 | Vol. 34 No. 41
Johns Hopkins Scholars to Study Abroad on Fulbright, DAAD Grants

Eleven students will pursue their self-designed projects

By Amy Cowles

Eleven graduate students or recent alumni of Johns Hopkins have earned the opportunity to study abroad during the 2005-2006 academic year, thanks to two prestigious awards administered by the Institute of International Education.

Four newly minted undergraduate degree holders and five graduate students received Fulbright Scholar grants. Two additional affiliates each earned a scholarship known as the DAAD from the German Academic Exchange Service, funded by the German government.

The programs typically attract the same applicants so the two work closely together on many issues, most notably to avoid giving grants to the same people, according to John Bader, associate dean for academic programs and advising in the Krieger School.

Bader, a former Fulbright scholar who traveled to India and now helps Johns Hopkins students apply for such awards, said, "I cannot help the pride I feel for these students and for Hopkins faculty who have prepared such remarkable people for an extraordinary experience."

Created in 1946, the Fulbright Program aims to increase mutual understanding between the United States and other countries through the exchange of people, knowledge and skills. The program awards approximately 1,000 grants annually and currently operates in more than 140 countries. Successful U.S. applicants utilize their grants to undertake self-designed programs in a broad range of disciplines including the social sciences, business, communications, performing arts, physical sciences, engineering and education.

DAAD, which stands for Deutscher Akademischer Austausch-dienst, is a private, publicly funded, self-governing organization of higher education institutions in Germany. The association promotes international academic relations and cooperation by offering mobility programs primarily for students and faculty but also for administrators and others in higher education.

Nine students have been named Fulbright scholars.

Jeremy Caradonna, 25, a doctoral candidate in the History Department, will travel to France to study the academic essay competitions of 18th-century France and investigate how they provided a public venue for expression of Enlightenment ideas. Caradonna earned his bachelor's in comparative history of ideas and history at the University of Washington in 2003.

Rachel Hadler, 21, will travel to Berlin to explore how the relationship between Germans and Russians has evolved over the past 50 years. She will interview Berliners about their experiences of the Russian presence in Berlin, and will explore the Soviet role in shaping the city's identity. After her work abroad, she plans to pursue a career in medicine. Hadler received her bachelor's degree in international studies from Johns Hopkins in December 2004.

Emily Kaplan, 22, will travel to the Netherlands to participate in Utrecht University's 11-month master's degree program in conflict studies and human rights. She will study violent conflict and cases of human rights abuses and their prevention. Kaplan also plans to obtain a volunteer internship at the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia and aims to base her master's thesis on an aspect of her work there. A Writing Seminars major, Kaplan received her bachelor's degree from Hopkins in May.

Marissa Lowman, 21, received a teaching assistantship grant and will teach English as a second language at a German high school. She plans to foster a cross-cultural exchange between her German students and a class of American high schoolers by setting up video conferencing sessions and a contemporary literature book club for the two groups. Lowman's long-term goals include a career as an educator and a novelist. Lowman received her bachelor's degree, majoring in the Writing Seminars and German, from Johns Hopkins in May.

Mary Ashburn Miller, 24, a doctoral candidate in the History Department, will travel to France to research explanations and interpretations of violence during the French Revolution, primarily through an analysis of festivals that commemorated violent acts. She will also explore the ways in which these explanations reveal a revolutionary understanding of violence as both natural and necessary. Miller holds a master's degree in history from Johns Hopkins and earned her bachelor's degree in political and social thought and in French at the University of Virginia.

Meaghan Mulholland, 26, will travel to Italy to study the Sicilian puppet theater, the opera dei pupi. Her research will culminate in a novel that will chronicle a Sicilian family's efforts to preserve its heritage in a changing world. Mulholland has worked as a researcher and writer for the National Geographic Society since 2002. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in fiction from the writing program in the Krieger School's Advanced Academic Programs. She earned her bachelor's degree in English and creative writing from Boston College in 2001.

Ashish Patel, 22, will travel to India to identify children on the west coast who are carriers of the beta-thalassemia blood disorder and at risk for iron deficiency anemia. He will administer iron therapy, nutritional counseling and genetic counseling. Patel plans to enter medical school when he returns to the United States. He received his bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering and anthropology from Johns Hopkins in May.

David Schrag, 37, a doctoral candidate in anthropology, will travel to Germany to conduct an ethnographic study of secondary education reform and citizenship in East Berlin. Schrag contends that the public education system there is an entity through which the government simultaneously acknowledges the social and cultural differences between people who once lived on opposite sides of the Berlin Wall and tries to overcome the barriers standing in the way of a shared national identity and full participatory citizenship. Schrag plans to interview teachers trained in the former East Germany about changes they have undergone and ask students ages 18 to 20 what it means to be German, Eastern and European. Schrag earned his bachelor's degree in psychology and German at Bethel College in Kansas. He holds a master's in cognitive psychology from Kansas State and a master's in anthropology from the University of Kansas.

Molly Warsh, 27, a doctoral candidate in the History Department, will travel to Lisbon, Portugal, to study the Portuguese role in the pearl trade of the 16th and 17th centuries. She will analyze the trade's development in the context of the Portuguese empire. She earned her bachelor's degree in 1999 from Cornell University, where she was honored for excellence in historical scholarship.

The two DAAD recipients are Jennifer Kingsley and Thanh H. Nguyen.

Kingsley, 27, will study the patronage of Bishop Bernward of Hildesheim through the lens of his famous Gospels of 1015. Her research will deal with questions of memory and collecting in medieval Germany by examining the way that Bernward recorded his place in society through his art patronage. The project takes as its focus one of Bernward's more famous commissions, a richly decorated gospel book. Kingsley, a graduate of Williams College, is a doctoral candidate in the History of Art Department.

Nguyen, who earned her doctoral degree in environmental engineering from Johns Hopkins in May, declined her DAAD scholarship to accept the Gaylord Donnelley Environmental Fellowship from Yale Institute of Biospheric Studies at Yale University. She will study the transport and fate of DNA in soil that potentially affects horizontal gene transfer and therefore influences soil microbial diversity. Her work will examine the role of mineral types, DNA properties, solution chemistry (pH and ionic strength) and other soil macromolecules on DNA adsorption. Nguyen hopes her project will improve our understanding of environmental factors affecting horizontal gene transfer in soil environments, and subsequently soil microbial diversity.


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