Mount Holyoke students past and present are having another banner year for prestigious fellowships. Liana M. Simonds ’12 of Minneapolis has won a Boren Scholarship to study at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. The scholarship is funded by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), which focuses on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security and underrepresented in study abroad.
Simonds is an independent major in Middle Eastern studies. She plans to study conflict resolution and Middle Eastern history in addition to Arabic. “I’ve taken foreign policy classes here. I’m interested in seeing things from the other side, in a country that’s been on the receiving end of our foreign policy,” she said.
Three students have received Fulbright Fellowships for study abroad next year. Abby Goldman ’10 of Silver Spring, Maryland, will spend next year at the Technion, Israel’s premier institute of technology, in Haifa, working with a professor in materials engineering. Goldman, a physics major and math minor, will be researching the creation of novel hybrid organic-inorganic materials that can be used for improved solar panel technology. After the Fulbright, she plans to attend the University of California, Santa Barbara, to earn a Ph.D. in materials science. Goldman is thrilled to have won the Fulbright. “I love doing research, but wanted an opportunity to travel and get a little more life perspective before starting graduate school,” she said. “I'm looking forward to exploring a cutting edge field of research in a new and exciting place.”
Vidya Raghavan ’09 of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, has received a Fulbright to do research in Lausanne, Switzerland. A biology major with a minor in chemistry, she will work in the lab of Dr. Melody Swartz at Ecole Polytechnique Federale. Her research project will focus on the interactions between the lymphatic endothelium, tumor cells, and immune cells in order to understand the active role that lymphatic vessels and lymphangiogenesis may play in tumor escape from immune surveillance. While pursuing her studies at Mount Holyoke, Raghavan worked with several MHC alums in the sciences, including Nancy Ruddle ’62, professor of epidemiology and public health at Yale University, and Suzanne Bradley, M.D. ’77, associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan.
Raghavan looks forward to her Fulbright year. “I did not study abroad while I was at Mount Holyoke and I've never traveled to Europe before so I am beyond excited to finally get such an opportunity,” she said.
Nida Sanglimsuwan ’10 of Beverly Hills, California, has received a Fulbright to teach English next year in South Korea. “I feel very honored to have received a Fulbright grant and also a lot less anxious about what to do after graduation,” Sanglimsuwan said. “In the future, I hope to work as an interpreter and/or a teacher of English as a second language, so the Fulbright is especially welcome because it will give me both language training and work experience. I believe the Fulbright will play a large role in helping me decide if such careers would suit me or not.”
Hanna Pylväinen ’07 won a Zell Postgraduate Fellowship at the University of Michigan’s M.F.A. program. “It was a very exciting fellowship to win, and I owe my start in fiction writing to Mount Holyoke College and the English department in particular,” she said. “The memoir I wrote at MHC earned me summa cum laude and got me accepted into Michigan’s highly competitive program.”