During her senior year at Mount Holyoke College, Sarah Paust ’20 won a Fulbright Study grant to pursue a master’s in anthropology at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. Her original focus was on public health surveillance of the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic among Indigenous communities in Canada. But the sudden emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic caused Sarah to pivot. Although unable physically to be in Canada, Sarah remains committed to doing meaningful work. She is building on her academic pursuits at Mount Holyoke as she researches issues that span borders and touch the lives of many affected by COVID-19.
An intangible but key component to many distinguished national fellowships, including the U.S. Student Fulbright Program, is strength of character. In this video, Sarah discusses the moral imperative behind studying current issues, and the conversations being had in academic circles about a researcher’s ethical responsibilities.