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Nine Duke alumni, one Ph.D. student win Fulbright scholarship



Everyone knows Duke is full of bright students, but a little validation from the Fulbright Program doesn’t hurt.

Nine alumni and one current Ph.D. student were awarded Fulbright Scholarships for the 2019-20 academic year. The Fulbright Program—run by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs—offers grants for graduate students and recent college graduates to conduct research, study or teach English in another country. 

It also offers the chance for foreign graduate students to come study in the United States.

The University is one of the top producing institutions for Fulbright award winners in the country. Last year, 13 Duke students and alumni were named Fulbright scholars. This year’s addition of 10 winners brings Duke’s total count of awardees to 490.

Approximately 8,000 grants are awarded annually with around 1,900 of those going to U.S. students and 1,200 to U.S. scholars.

“We’re so proud and delighted for this year’s Fulbright awardees. They have accomplished so much at Duke even before they set to work on the Fulbright application,” said Bevin Tighe, Duke’s program coordinator for nationally competitive scholarships, in the press release. “Helping them craft these applications is a joy. They’re not just applying for a life-changing opportunity, they’re expressing their visions for their futures, and the ways they aim to contribute to our collective future.”

The following is a list of the ten Fulbright recipients along with their countries of study and project title.

  • Julia Donheiser, Trinity ‘19: Germany, Integrating Refugees into Public Education in Berlin
  • Louis Garza, Trinity ‘17: Taiwan, English Teaching Assistant
  • Melissa Gerdts, Trinity ’19: Spain, English Teaching Assistant
  • Michael Gulcicek, Trinity ’19: India, English Teaching Assistant
  • Madeline Halpert, Trinity ’19: France, English Teaching Assistant
  • Juliana Hoover, Trinity ’19: Malaysia, Impact of Language Education for Rohingya Refugees
  • Charles Huang, Trinity ‘19: Taiwan, English Teaching Assistant
  • Anna Jenkins, Trinity ’19: Germany, English Teaching Assistant
  • Patricia Johnson, Ph.D. student in chemistry: Switzerland, Molecular-scale perspectives on self-healing plastics
  • Ashish Vankara, Pratt ‘19: India, Assessing the Effect of Palliative Care on Aggressive End of Life Chemotherapy in India


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