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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University June 9, 2008 | Vol. 37 No. 37
17 Fulbright and DAAD Recipients Announced

Prestigious awards go to JH scholars from five divisions

By Amy Lunday

Seventeen master's and doctoral students, recent graduates and other alumni from Arts and Sciences, Medicine, Public Health, Peabody and SAIS will have the opportunity to study abroad during the 2008-2009 academic year, thanks to three prestigious awards.

Six students who earned their degrees last month, seven graduate students and two alumni will study abroad as Fulbright Scholars, one graduate student will travel to Germany on a DAAD scholarship, and another has accepted a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad award.

Created in 1946, the Fulbright Program aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of 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, communication, performing arts, physical sciences, engineering and education. The awards are administered by the Institute of International Education.

DAAD, which stands for Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (in translation, German Academic Exchange Service), is a publicly funded independent 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 the higher education realm. The award is administered by the German government.

The two programs typically attract many of the same applicants, so the administrators work closely together on a number of issues, most notably to avoid giving grants to the same people.

The DAAD scholar, Caroline Domenghino, will travel to Germany to research the philosophy of premonition in German Enlightenment thought and its transaction into Romanic literature. In particular, she will study the relationship between premonition and narrative form and how premonition affects literary and philosophical form. She anticipates earning her doctorate in German from the Krieger School in 2010.

The 15 Fulbright Scholars come from a wide range of disciplines and have destinations spanning the globe.

Charles Halka will travel to Lithuania to write an opera, based on folk music, that will be the product of ethnomusicological research, study with renowned composers and collaboration with members of the next generation of artists. Halka received his bachelor's degree in piano from Peabody in 2006 and last month earned master's degrees from Peabody in composition and music theory pedagogy.

Franz Knupfer will travel to Nepal to work with the deaf community in Kathmandu Valley, observing the challenges people who are deaf or hard of hearing face in their search for inclusion, employment and acceptance in mainstream society. He plans to compile his study into a collection of short stories and essays. Knupfer earned a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from the Krieger School in 2007.

Janet Lee will spend a year as a high school teacher in South Korea. She earned her bachelor's degree in public health studies from the Krieger School last month.

In Venezuela, Michael McCarthy will investigate the Chavez administration's treatment of the poor. McCarthy earned a master's degree in political science from the Krieger School in 2006 and anticipates earning his doctorate in 2009.

Rene Alexander Orquiza will travel to the Philippines to explore the transfer of cultures through food in the United States by examining the impact of different ethnic cuisines in America using Filipino cuisine, the cuisine of his family, as one of his examples. Orquiza anticipates earning his doctorate in history from the Krieger School in 2011.

Christopher Salguero will be a visiting junior scholar at the Institute of History and Philology at the Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan, where he will complete research for his dissertation on the history of Chinese Buddhist healing; he also will take courses at a Buddhist center to immerse himself in local culture as background for the project. Salguero anticipates earning a doctorate in the history of medicine from the School of Medicine in 2010.

Aaron Soto-Karlin will travel to Mexico to map the contemporary landscape of traditional health practices, practitioners and their clients in Juchitan, Oaxaca. He plans to focus on the relationship between healing and knowledge of local medicinal plants and ecology while working closely with and observing traditional healers and a Mexican ethnobotanist. He received his bachelor's degree in anthropology and Latin American studies from the Krieger School last month.

In Hong Kong, Stephanie Tow will teach English while reconnecting with her heritage by achieving fluency in Cantonese and becoming more familiar with Cantonese culture. Tow earned her bachelor's degree in neuroscience from the Krieger School last month.

Alexander Wald will use two Chinese villages as case studies in order to identify models of treatment and prevention for schistosomiasis, a degenerative and potentially fatal intestinal parasitic infection suffered by millions of people in endemic zones throughout China. Wald earned his bachelor's degree in public health studies from the Krieger School last month.

Eric Weynand, who received his master's degree in international affairs from SAIS last month, will travel to Uruguay to analyze the economic and social impact of the country's eight free trade zones from which companies can operate and receive national tax exemption.

Kathryn Berndtson, MHS candidate in the Bloomberg School's Department of International Health, will travel to Cameroon for her project, "Barriers to Illness Management for HIV+/AIDS- infected Foster Children in Cameroon."

Miguel Castillo, MPH/MBA candidate in the Bloomberg School, will participate in the Mexico Binational Business Grant Program.

Victoria Chou, a doctoral candidate in the Bloomberg School's Department of International Health, will travel to Nepal for her project, "Young Maternal Age and Maternal/Infant Health in Rural Nepal."

Kiesha McCurtis will travel to Argentina for her project, "HIV/AIDS and Sex Worker Stigma in Argentina." She received her master of public health degree from the Bloomberg School in 2006.

Deepali Patel, MPH candidate in the Bloomberg School, will travel to Mongolia for her project, "Mapping the Food Environment: Implication for Food Security."

Lindsey Reynolds, PhD candidate in Health, Behavior and Society at the Bloomberg School, was awarded a Fulbright Full Grant but declined the award to accept a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad award to travel to South Africa for her project, "Vulnerability, Eligibility and the 'OVC': The Local Lives of Policies and Categories."

Students and alumni interested in the U.S. Students Program of Fulbright or the DAAD should contact their school's Fulbright adviser: for SAIS, Sarah Jankowsky; Medicine, Nursing and Public Health, Cassie Klein; and all others, John Bader. More information on the Fulbright is available at


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