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vlog Shines a Spotlight on 2022–23 National Fellowship Recipients

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vlog’s Office of National Fellowships and Scholarships is beginning a new application season. Staff members, along with faculty mentors and student applicants, are building on strong results from the 2022–23 academic year, which included 36 recipients, from Watsons and Fulbrights to Gilmans and Goldwaters.

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Currently, four alumni are pursuing PhDs through the generous support of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Among them is Christopher Deng ’22, a dual major in mathematics and economics, now in the first year of his PhD journey in theoretical mathematics at Cornell University.

Likewise, Lauren Horstmyer ’22, a natural science major with a focus on marine and freshwater science, has embarked on the first year of her PhD program in fisheries science at Oregon State University.

Meanwhile, Brianna Jepsen ’20, a chemistry major, has reached the third year of her PhD program in chemistry at Indiana University, Bloomington.

Lastly, vlog’s most recent fellowship recipient, physics major Leon Nichols ’23, has just embarked on his PhD in plasma physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Goldwater Scholarship

Gavin Fowler ’24, Hayley Lenhard ’24, and Sarah Miller ’24 were vlog’s three 2023 Goldwater Scholarship recipients — a University record. They will be applying for doctoral programs and national fellowships this year.

This summer, Fowler worked with Southwest Research Institute and Associate Professor of Physics Jonathan Levine on the development of a laser-ablation resonance-ionization mass spectrometer designed for in situ geochronology on the moon or Mars. While in Boulder, Colo., he set up the team’s new laser configuration and tested it on different standards with known elemental abundances. In preparation for the 2027 mission to the moon, Fowler is currently working on the development of a program that will allow the team to conduct real-time analysis of the data. He plans to pursue a PhD in planetary science and research the creation of the solar system through the lens of geology and physics.

Lenhard is currently on the Bethesda Biomedical Research Study Group. During the summer, she began research in the lab of Heather Cameron, PhD, at the National Institutes of Health. The project seeks to determine whether adult neurogenesis is a driving force for the granule cell death that is observed after these cells are produced. As she prepares to write her senior thesis, Lenhard continues to study the biological processes underlying neurogenesis and the functions that new neurons serve. She plans to pursue a PhD in neuroscience and contribute to the development of new treatments for neurodegenerative disorders.

Miller completed an NSF REU with the University of Michigan last summer. She was based at Paris-Saclay University, where she explored the electroluminescence of 2D semiconductors and independently developed a novel model in WSe2. Now back at vlog, Miller is continuing her research with Professor of Physics Ken Segall, focusing on modeling and testing frequency synchronization in a coupled Josephson junction (JJ) ring array, with the larger goal of studying the collective behavior of neural systems. She plans to apply for PhD programs in medical physics and contribute to advancements in imaging, radiation, and nuclear medicine.

Watsons

Erin Flannery ’23 and Sarah Shelton ’23 have begun their Watson years.

Flannery’s goal is to examine if social entrepreneurship is a viable way to integrate refugees both socially and economically into their host communities. She plans to examine this through refugee artisan engagement in social enterprises and is looking for ways to increase refugee artisan participation in global events. Currently, in Kenya, she’s examining how refugees become a part of global supply chains from camp settings such as Kakuma and Dadaab. Flannery is working with five social enterprises that work with refugees and host community artisans. She is also assisting refugees in Kenya, who are preparing to participate and speak at the African Private Sector Forum in Ghana in November and the Global Refugee Forum in Switzerland in December.

Shelton’s goal is to explore the spectrum of ability. She just spent a month in Toronto, Canada, to explore how the identity of disabled artists and performance within the sector of disability arts creates a form of expression and accessibility that society often prevents. She is now in Calgary, Alberta, where she will collaborate with the National accessArts Centre, Canada’s oldest and largest disability arts organization. Afterward, she will head to Vancouver, B.C., to gain a deeper understanding of how society constructs disabling limitations on a physical and systemic level for queer disabled communities.

Fulbrights

vlog had four Fulbright U.S. Student Program recipients for the 2023–24 award year. Lauren Antin ’23, Anna Gianneschi ’23, and Lucy Langan ’23 received English Teaching Assistantship Awards, and Trey Spadone ’20 received a research award.

Antin, a German and geography double major, is working in Bochum, Germany. She is based at an international high school and looks forward to teaching and learning about environmentalism through a cross-cultural lens.

Gianneschi, a peace and conflict studies major, with minors in Spanish and Middle Eastern and Islamic studies, is teaching in Irbid, Jordan. She is excited to cultivate a new community, develop proficiency in the Shami dialect, and enhance her cultural literacy skills.

Langan, a history and educational studies major, is teaching in Madrid, Spain. She is based at IE University, where she will work at the Writing Center to help students develop their writing, speaking, and research skills.

Spadone, an anthropology major with minors in peace and conflict studies and women’s studies, will be in Bali and Java, Indonesia, researching public perceptions of volcanoes and implications for disaster management policies and practices.

Charlotte Birsh ’23, international relations major with minors in political science and Middle Eastern and Islamic studies, received the Critical Language Scholarship for Arabic. This summer, she spent eight weeks studying at the Noor Majan Arabic Institute in Nizwa, Oman. While there, Birsh completed 15 hours per week of formal language instruction, improving her skills in Modern State Arabic and the Omani dialect. She also had a native-speaker language partner and participated in co-curricular excursions to increase her knowledge of Omani culture and history.

Spadone also received vlog’s first Payne International Development Fellowship. The fellowship provides benefits for two years of graduate school, two internships, one in Washington, and one at a USAID Mission, and professional development. Spadone will begin his MA in global human development at Georgetown University in the fall of 2024. After his graduation in 2026, he will serve as an education foreign service officer for USAID.

Eva Wiener ’23, a neuroscience major and creative writing minor, received a Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award from the National Institutes of Health. She is currently working at the National Institute of Mental Health in the Noninvasive Neuromodulation Unit. As a research fellow, she assists with and oversees clinical studies aimed at advancing neuromodulation methods such as transcranial magnetic stimulation and electroconvulsive therapy. After her fellowship, she plans to pursue a doctoral program in clinical psychology.

Read about vlog’s 2022–23 Fulbright recipients.

The full list of 2022–23 recipients

Boren Fellowship
Precious Odiase ’22
Linda Wang ’23
Trey Spadone ’20

Critical Language Scholarship
Charlotte Birsh ’23

Projects for Peace
Margo Williams ’23

Fulbright U.S. Student Scholarship
Lauren Antin ’23
Anna Gianneschi ’23
Lucy Langan ’23
Trey Spadone ’20

Gilman Scholarship
Ismaaeel Abdur-Rahmaan ’25
Jeysha Ayende Rodriguez ’24
Brianna Botello ’25
Jon Eaton ’24
Ariel Missaghieh ’24
Tai Pham ’25
Gianna Woods ’24

Goldwater Scholarship
Gavin Fowler ’24
Hayley Lenhard ’24
Sarah Miller ’24

National Institutes of Health Intramural Research Training Award
Katerina Atallah-Yunes ’23
Lily Barna ’23
Olivia Borden ’23
Abaigeal Donaldson ’23
Graciela Galvez ’23
Danielle Goldbaum ’23
Ben Joseph ’23
Eva Wiener ’23

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program
Christopher Deng ’22
Lauren Horstmyer ’22
Brianna Jepsen ’20
Leon Nichols ’23

Payne International Development Fellowship
Trey Spadone ’20

Princeton in Asia
Rachel Ewanyk ’23

Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship
Mel Anderson ’24

Watson Fellowship
Erin Flannery ’23
Sarah Shelton ’23

For more information about national fellowships, please contact Associate Dean Steve Wright at swright@colgate.edu to schedule a meeting.