Twelve from MIT Receive 2021 Fulbright Scholarships | MIT News
Twelve MIT affiliate students have won scholarships for the 2021-22 Fulbright grant year. Their host countries include Brazil, Iceland, India, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Spain and Taiwan, where they will conduct research, get a graduate degree or will teach English.
Sponsored by the US Department of State, the US Fulbright Student Program provides opportunities for US students in more than 160 countries. Last fall, Fulbright received a record number of applications, making it the most competitive cycle in the program’s 75-year history.
Jenny chan is a senior mechanical engineering student. Growing up in Philadelphia as the child of Vietnamese and Cambodian immigrants gave him an understanding of how education can be used to uplift others. This led her to join many activities that would continue to ignite her passion for education, including CodeIt, Global Teaching Labs, Full STEAM Ahead, and DynaMIT. At MIT, Chan also enjoys hosting Friday night events with SaveTFP, cruising the Charles River, and dancing as a member of DanceTroupe. Her Fulbright scholarship will take her to Taiwan, where she will serve as an English teaching assistant.
Gretchen Eggers ’20 graduate with a double specialization in brain science and cognitive science and computer science. As a Fulbright student in Brazil, Eggers will head to the Arts and Artificial Intelligence group at the University of São Paulo to research graffiti, street art, and creative artificial intelligence design. A lifelong passionate about painting and the arts, Eggers is excited to spend time with and learn more about mural painting from local artists in São Paulo. After completing his Fulbright, Eggers plans to pursue a doctorate in human-machine interaction.
Miki hansen is a major in mechanical engineering. As the winner of the Industrial Design Engineering Award from Delft University of Technology, she will pursue a Masters in Integrated Product Design at TU Delft in the Netherlands. Along with her studies, she hopes to conduct research on designing sustainable products for a circular economy. At MIT, Hansen has been involved with Design for America, Pi Tau Sigma (MechE Honor Society), DanceTroupe, the MissBehavior dance team, and Alpha Chi Omega. After completing Fulbright, Hansen plans to work as a product designer with a focus on sustainable materials and packaging.
Olivia wynne houck is a doctoral student in the History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture program. She focuses on 20th century town planning, with an interest in the intersections of transportation, economic and diplomatic policies in Iceland, the United States and Sweden. She also conducts research on Arctic infrastructure. As the recipient of the Fulbright National Science Foundation’s Arctic Research Award, Houck will be hosted by the Department of Political Science at the University of Iceland, where she will continue her archival research on Route 1, the ring road that encircles the Iceland. Houck also received a scholarship from the American-Scandinavian Foundation.
Laura Huang is a major in mechanical engineering. At National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Huang will combine engineering and art to develop an assistive calligraphy robot to better understand human-machine interaction. At MIT, she carried out research with the Human-Machine Interaction Engineering group of the Computing and Artificial Intelligence Lab, and helped organize workshops on assistive technology in India and Saudi Arabia. . Outside of research, Huang creates art, plays with the women’s volleyball club, and leads STEM awareness activities through MIT CodeIt and Global Teaching Labs. While in Taiwan, she hopes to continue her STEM awareness activities, explore the culinary scene, and learn calligraphy.
Teis jorgensen graduated in June with an MS from the Integrated Design and Management program. He is a designer, researcher and behavior specialist with seven years of experience designing products and services with a social mission. His passion is making games that inspire and challenge players to be the best version of themselves. For her Fulbright Fellowship in Kerala, India, Teis will interview women about their challenges in balancing family and work responsibilities. Her goal is to use these interviews as inspiration for the design of a board game that shares their stories and ultimately helps remove barriers to employment for women.
Meghana Kamineni will graduate this spring with a major in computer science and engineering and a minor in biology. At the University of Oslo in Norway, Kamineni will implement statistical models to understand and predict the impact of vaccinations and other interventions on the spread of Covid-19. At MIT, she became interested in computer science research for healthcare through work on bacterial infection. It’s hard in the laboratory of Professor John Guttag. Apart from research, she has been involved in STEM educational outreach for middle school students through dynaMIT and MIT CodeIt, and hopes to continue her outreach activities in Norway. After Fulbright, Kamineni plans to attend medical school.
Andrea Shinyoung Kim will graduate in June with a Masters in Comparative Media Studies. Her master’s thesis focuses on the relationship between digital avatars and personality in social virtual reality, advised by D. Fox Harrell. His Fulbright research in South Korea will examine how virtual reality can facilitate cross-cultural learning and the art of live performance. Kim will observe Korean mask dances and crafts to better inform the design of virtual worlds online. She will collaborate with her hosts at the Seoul Arts Institute and CultureHub. After Fulbright, she plans to pursue a PhD to further explore her interdisciplinary interests and artistic practice.
Kevin Lujan Lee is a doctoral student in the Department of Studies and Town Planning. In Aotearoa / New Zealand, he will study the transnational processes that shape the way low-wage workers in the Pacific Islands navigate labor market regulatory institutions. This will include half of his larger dissertation project – a comparative study of indigenous Pacific Islanders and low-wage work in 21st century empires. His research is only made possible by activists from the US immigrant worker movement and the global LANDBACK movement, who envision a world beyond precarious work and Indigenous dispossession. Lee hopes to pursue an academic career to support the work of these movements.
Anjali Nambrath is a double specialization in physics and mathematics. She has worked on projects related to nuclear structure, neutrino physics and dark matter detection at MIT and two national laboratories. At MIT, she was president of the Society for Physics Students, a member of the MIT Shakespeare Ensemble, an organizer of HackMIT, and a teacher for the MIT Educational Studies program. For her Fulbright Fellowship in India, Nambrath will be based at the Tata Institute for Fundamental Research in Mumbai, where she will work on models of neutrino production and interaction in supernovae. After Fulbright, Nambrath will begin his graduate studies in physics at the University of California at Berkeley.
Abby stein will graduate in June with a double specialization in physics and electrical engineering. At MIT, she studied communication theory at the Electronics Research Laboratory and optical networking hardware at the Lincoln Laboratory. Stein discovered an interest in international research and education through her MISTI experience in Chile, where she studied optics for astronomy, and by teaching engineering workshops in Israel with the Global Teaching Labs at MIT. . For his Fulbright, Stein will conduct research on quantum optical satellite arrays at the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona, Spain. After completing Fulbright, Stein will travel to Stanford University to pursue a doctorate in applied physics.
Tony Terrasa is a specialization in mechanical engineering and music. As a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Spain, he will teach in Galicia. Previously, Terrasa taught English, math and physics to high school students in Lübeck, Germany, as part of the MIT Global Teaching Labs program. He also taught for three years in the ESL program for employees of the MIT Facilities Department. A fellow of MIT Emerson in jazz saxophone, he looks forward to listening to and learning Galician musical traditions while sharing some of his own.
MIT students and alumni interested in applying to the US Fulbright Student Program should contact Julia Mongo at the Distinguished Scholarship Office at MIT Career Advising and Professional Development. Students are also supported in the process by the Presidential Committee on Merit Scholarships.