The University announced on May 13 in a BrandeisNOW article that nine Brandeis undergraduates, graduates and recent alumni have been awarded grants from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. The article also acknowledged that a Brandeis student was named a Goldwater Scholar and yet another was selected as the University’s second-ever Gates Cambridge Scholar.

The honorees include Anwar Abdul-Wahab ’11, Dan Boyle ’14, Doreen El-Roiey ’12, Kara Faktor ’14, April French Ph.D. ’16, Anna Khandros ’11 and Johan Seligman ’10, according to the BrandeisNOW article. Although the article states that Abigail Simon ’14 and Dina Kapengut ’14 were also offered grants from the program, they declined the award for other pursuits. Simon will be working with Chicago’s Schuler Scholar Program where she will act as an AmeriCorps scholar coach to help hardworking, underserved students succeed in their competitive colleges, while Kapengut is enrolling in a Ph.D. program at Columbia University in school psychology.

According to Seligman in an email to the Justice, the application consisted of a lengthy process which involved “scores of revisions,” as well as an interview with a panel of Brandeis faculty.

Seligman wrote that he is planning to use the grant to go abroad to Malaysia to teach English to students in schools there. He has spent the past four years teaching in New Orleans and jumped at the opportunity to “teach in a wholly new setting and context.”

French wrote in an email to the Justice that she had already been planning to study in Russia, where she had already intended to complete her research when she applied for her Fulbright grant. She is planning to write her dissertation on “women’s religious activism among Evangelicals in late Soviet Siberia” and is excited to “[dig] into the historical archives,” as well as interview Evangelicals in order to gain firsthand knowledge.

Abdul-Wahab wrote that he is excited to “learn more about Thai culture and Thai history.” He wrote in an email to the Justice that he applied for the grant in order to “share [his] passion for teaching,” which started at a young age. After immigrating from Mali, he would help his younger siblings with their homework. 

Abdul-Wahab also participated in a five-week immersion program where he stayed with a host family in a village in Chiang Mai, a province in Thailand. It was then that he “fell in love” with the Southeast Asian country.

Faktor wrote in an email to the Justice that she plans to do public health research in Honduras. As the founder and current co-president of the Brandeis chapter of Global Medical Brigades, Faktor has led several medical brigade trips to Honduras in the past three years.

In the coming year, with the assistance of the Fulbright grant, Faktor will continue to work with Global Brigades and conduct research on a “qualitative study of local perceptions of the effectiveness of short-term medical volunteer work.”

In the coming year, Boyle will be found in Milan, Italy performing research at the Italian Institute of Technology, he wrote in an email to the Justice. He will be joining a project concerned with developing new dyes for bioimaging.

“This institution is still young,” Boyle wrote in the email. “[The] Italian government has populated it with the boldest and most innovative scientists it can find. ... [I]t’s going to be an interesting forum for cultural and scientific exchange.”

Brandeis also announced that Noam Saper ’15 was selected to be a Goldwater Scholar and Sophie Rosenberg ’10 was honored as a Gates Cambridge Scholar, according to the BrandeisNOW article. The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program is a scholarship designed to encourage studies in the mathematics and sciences, while the Gates Cambridge Scholarships are awards for students from outside of the United Kingdom to pursue a postgraduate degree in Cambridge.

Saper plans to pursue studies in organometallic chemistry. In an email to the Justice, he wrote that he is currently working in Prof. Christine Thomas’ (CHEM) organometallic research lab  where they study the “fundamental interactions between metals on the periodic table.” He wrote that he is thrilled to be honored by this national award and to continue studying the relationships between metals and other molecules. 

“I love research, and I am passionate about chemistry,” Saper wrote. “The fact that there was a scholarship involved is secondary in my mind.”