26 from Johns Hopkins earn Fulbrights

A record-breaking number of JHU affiliates received awards this spring from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program in support of their continuing study, research, and teaching in foreign countries

Map of World in a trendy vintage style. Beautiful retro illustration with old te
Map of World in a trendy vintage style. Beautiful retro illustration with old textured paper and light rays in the background
Johns Hopkins has long been a top producer of Fulbright scholars, but this year’s cohort is exceptional: Twenty six students and alumni were offered grants this spring, the largest number from Johns Hopkins in a single application cycle since the program’s inception just after World War II.

Named for U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright, who sponsored legislation creating the prestigious scholarship, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the country’s largest educational exchange program, offering opportunities for students and young professionals to meet, work, live with, and learn from the people of the host country. The program awards approximately 2,000 grants annually and operates in more than 130 countries worldwide.

More information about the Fulbright application process can be found on the the university’s National Fellowship Program website.

Study/Research Grant Recipients

Winners of the Fulbright Study/Research Award design their own research or academic course of study in a specific country. The program aims to facilitate cultural exchange and promote mutual understanding by supporting study or research abroad.

This year’s winners are:

Rhiannon Clarke. A PhD candidate in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures/Spanish, Clarke has won a research grant to Spain to conduct research at the Centro Federico García Lorca in Granada for her dissertation, which investigates how Lorca represented bodies in his work, the role of materials in his artistic process, and the importance of the materiality of his manuscripts to interpreting his work.

Teresa Deskur , who earned a bachelor’s degree in horn and music education in 2022, has won a study grant to the Netherlands to earn a Master’s Degree in historical performance (recorder) at the Royal Conservatoire of the Hague. (She has declined the grant.)

Gabriella Fee , who earned an MFA in poetry from the Writing Seminars in 2022, has won a research grant to Italy, where she’ll spend the grant period in Naples completing a first-draft translation of Giovanna Cristina Vivinetto’s second collection of poetry, Dove non siamo stati, published by BUR Rizzoli in 2020. She will also study queer Italian poetics under the guidance of Professor Roberta Morosini at the University of Naples L’Orientale.

National Fellowships Program


Learn more about applying for awards and fellowships at the university’s National Fellowship Program website


Glen Gray , a PhD candidate in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures/German, has won a research grant to Germany, where he will study the politics and aesthetics of despotism in opera and German drama at the University of Hamburg in the Institut für Germanistik.

Bradley Harmon , a PhD candidate in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures/German, has won a research grant to Germany to spend the next year at the Freie Universität Berlin continuing work on his dissertation on the ecopoetics of "flesh" in 20th century German and Nordic poetry.

Mashoud Kaba , who earned a master’s degree in international health in May, has won a research grant to Guinea to work with community members and local researchers to better understand social barriers to reducing female genital mutilation/cutting rates.

Arisha Khan. A 2023 graduate with a master’s degree in international health, Khan has won a research grant to Iceland to study the impact of Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruptions on the respiratory health of the arctic community.

Diya Kulkarni , who earned a bachelor’s degree in public health studies in May, has won a research grant to Turkey to investigate chronic health barriers for Syrian refugees residing in Turkey post-earthquake.

Renee Liu , a 2022 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering, has won a research grant to the Netherlands to explore using tomography angiography (OCT-A) to measure the health of retinal blood vessels as a means to achieve earlier and less invasive detection of cardiovascular problems, a project based at the Cardiovascular Research Institute of Maastricht University. (She has declined the grant having also been named a Schwarzman Scholar.)

Yuncong (Toby) Mao , a 2023 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience, has won a research grant to Germany to utilize computational modeling and artificial intelligence to augment treatment strategies for cardiac diseases.

Ikshu Pandey. A 2024 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in materials science and engineering and neuroscience, Pandey has won a research grant to spend the next year at the University of Bern in Switzerland to study the role of the choroid plexus in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s.

Alex Pinsk , a 2023 graduate with a master’s degree in health, behavior, and society, has won a research grant to South Africa, where she will assess frequency, methods, and extent of current tuberculosis-multimorbidity screening practices and service provisions offered to tuberculosis patients in townships in Klerksdorp, North West Province.

Sondra Rahmeh , a medical student, has won a study grant to pursue a master’s in global health at National Taiwan University.

Wesley Sampias. A PhD candidate in the Department of History, Sampias has won a research grant to Japan to spend a year in Tokyo working on his dissertation on animals and economies of death in early 20th-century Japanese cities.

Emily Sperring , a 2024 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering, has won a research grant to Germany to work with Gunnar Luderer at the Potsdam Institute Climate Impact Research, where she’ll use life cycle assessment and integrated assessment models to characterize impacts of decarbonization.

Eleni Theodoropoulos, a PhD candidate in the Department of Comparative Thought and Literature, has won a Fulbright/IKY PhD Research Award to Greece, where she’ll work with scholars at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and Panteion University in Athens on a project combining research into the Greek author Melpo Axioti’s role in global modernism with translation of Axioti’s Cadmo (1972) for the first time into English.

Samhita Vasu. A 2024 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering, Vasu has won a research grant to India to develop an at-home creatinine sensor for increasing access to early screening for chronic kidney disease, working with mentors at Mehta’s Children’s Hospital in Chennai.

Maxwell White , an MD/PhD candidate in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, has won a research grant to Spain to work at the Institute of Molecular Biology of Barcelona to characterize novel coagulases produced by two common and frequently multidrug resistant hospital-acquired bloodstream infections.

Carson Yu , who earned a bachelor’s degree in behavioral biology in 2023, has won a research grant to South Korea to work with Hun Lee at ASAN Medical Center in Seoul on the study of hydrogels, a versatile class of biomaterial which can be customized to mimic the properties of natural body tissue.

Fulbright-Fogarty Fellowships in Public Health

The Fulbright-Fogarty Fellowships in Public Health are offered through a partnership between the Fulbright Program and the Fogarty International Center of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Recipients of the award conduct research in public health and clinical research in resource-limited settings.

This year’s winners are:

Shea Littlepage , a PhD candidate in the Department of International Health, will spend a year in Ethiopia researching the country’s relatively successful COVID-19 response via two public health agencies to understand how they achieved many COVID-19 goals with limited resources and within the complex global health governance structure.

Ashwin Reddy. A medical student, aspiring otolaryngologist, and global health researcher, Reddy will study hearing loss in a marginalized brick kiln worker population in Bhaktapur, Nepal next year.

English Teaching Assistantship Recipients

The English Teaching Assistantship Awards program places Fulbright winners in classrooms around the world to provide assistance to the local English teachers and to serve as cultural ambassadors for the United States.

This year’s winners are:

Sophia Berkey , who earned a bachelor’s degree in English, French, and Writing Seminars in May, has won a Fulbright/Athens College-HAEF English Teaching Assistant Award to spend next year teaching English, leading activities, and advising students at Athens College in the Greek capital.

Sarah Kondo , who earned a master’s degree in education studies in May and is a full-time teacher of high school ESOL, was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Spain to work with Spanish speakers in a university setting. (She has declined the grant.)

Suzy Schlosberg , who earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies in May, has been selected to be a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Bulgaria, where she will work with secondary school students to complement their English learning with leadership training activities and extracurriculars, such as Bulgarian-English speech and debate tournaments.

Zarina Tavares , who earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry with a minor in East Asian studies in May, has been selected to be a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Taiwan. Beyond formal teaching duties, she proposed to encourage her students to sharpen their English through afterschool photography and writing activities. (She has declined the grant.)

Claire Zou. A 2020 graduate in international studies and sociology, Zou has been selected to be a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Taiwan. Outside of the classroom, she hopes to get involved in urban gardening and other activities that promote cultural exchange through food cultivation.