Three awarded Fulbright Fellowships

Olivia Britton ’18, Elizabeth Donlon ’18 and Sharifa Sahai ’18 will travel abroad to conduct research.
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Three awarded Fulbright Fellowships


  • Fulbright winners

Three seniors have been awarded Fulbright Fellowships to study abroad. The Fulbright Program, including the Fulbright–Hays Program, is an American scholarship program of competitive, merit-based grants for international educational exchange for students, scholars, teachers, professionals, scientists and artists, founded by United States Senator J. William Fulbright in 1946.

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs recently named Union a Fulbright Top Producer for its tradition of excellence with the program. Other recent Fulbright fellows include Aude Bechu ’16 and Theodor Di Pauli von Treuheim ’16. 

This year's winners are:

Olivia Britton ‘18

Majors: Anthropology and Political Science

Minor: Psychology

Hometown: New Hempstead, N.Y.

Activities: Co-Founder and Co-President of the Caribbean Student Association, Minerva mentor, Messa House, member of Omicron Delta Kappa and Pi Sigma Alpha, Klemm Fellow; also recipient of NSF Graduate Research Award.

Project title and summary: “The Lens Through Which the World is Viewed: Refugees and Host Societies in the EU” Compare the policies of integration and migration among EU governments in Germany, Italy and France, based on the Dublin III Regulation to assess how they have shaped the reality of refugees living within their borders. Also studying the complex reality of refugees' and host community members’ through photovoice, an activity-focused research method prompting individuals to identify, represent, and enhance their community by capturing visual representations of everyday life.

Note: Britton has declined the Fulbright offer. She will be entering a doctoral program at Boston University with the support of the NSF Graduate Research Award. 

Elizabeth Donlon ‘18

Major: Mechanical engineering

Minor: Chemistry

Hometown: Concord, N.H.

Activities: Sigma Delta Tau, women’s ice hockey, Sorum House Council, American Society of Mechanical Engineers

Project title and summary: “Multiple Unstable Transversal Mode Interactions in High-Frequency Thermoacoustic Systems” This project looks at how different interactions between temperature, density and pressure variations in acoustic waves, affect flame dynamics through modeling. Working at the Technical University of Munich in Germany.

Plans after Fulbright: I plan to attend graduate school to earn a Ph.D. in thermal fluids and heat transfer, specifically in the field of combustion. One of my many goals for my time during Fulbright is to learn and gain experience in this field. After obtaining a doctoral degree, I hope to enter an industry research position.

Sharifa Sahai ’18

Majors: Computer Science and Biology

Hometown: Queens, N.Y.

Activities: Association for Computing Machinery’s Council on Women; head tutor and lab manager for the Computer Science Department; Dinner and Discussion Around Diversity discussion leader

Project title and summary: “Characterizing Chaos in Drosophila Embryo Development” This project will focus on characterizing the chaos in the amnioserosa tissue using computational methods pioneered by the MOSAIC Group. As the Crumbs protein is evolutionarily conserved, the outcome of this research will generate further insight into the developmental processes of many species, including humans. Her research will be based at the Max Planck Institute in Dresden, Germany.

Note: Sahai has declined the Fulbright offer. She accepted a software engineering residency at Google in New York City, also deferring acceptance to the systems biology doctoral program at Harvard University. After the residency, she'll continue her studies at Harvard. 

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