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Six from MIT receive Fulbright scholarships

Four recent MIT graduates and two current PhD students have been awarded Fulbright scholarships for the 2008-2009 academic year.

Fulbright scholarships have given students a role in U.S. foreign relations since their inception in 1946. More than 7,000 students are selected for the program each year based on their achievement and potential, and are individuals who represent the full diversity of their respective societies. Each grant covers the costs of travel abroad and living expenses for one academic year.

The Fulbright scholarship winners from MIT are:

Michael Hanowsky, who completed his graduate studies at MIT in engineering systems this past June. He will travel to Mexico to research the future demand for aviation in Mexico and identify the limitations that will be placed on aviation and the threats that it may pose to Mexico and the U.S.

Tao Liu, who graduated this year with a degree in brain and cognitive sciences. She plans to travel to Spain to continue her research on Parkinson's disease at the Cajal Institute. More specifically, she will investigate a protein inhibitor's ability to reduce dyskinesia resulting from the treatment of Parkinson's disease with levodpa. On her return to the U.S., she plans to begin medical school and dedicate her life to examining geriatric diseases.

Mara MacDonald, a current PhD student in the MIT-Harvard Division of Health Sciences and Technology. MacDonald has dedicated herself to a career in bioengineering and will use the scholarship to travel to Singapore to continue her research on growth factor release coatings. She will be working in a laboratory in Nanyang Technical University, which has a strong research relationship with MIT.

Catherine McCurry '07, a music major who was extremely active at MIT within the performing arts community, playing violin and viola, composing much, and acting. She will travel to Germany this fall to examine mixed-media performance, enrolling as a visiting student at the Sound Studies Department at the Universitat der Kunste in Berlin, as well as apprenticing at the Volksbunhe theater.

Gustavo Setrini, the son of South American immigrants, a former Udall Scholar and now a PhD student in political science at MIT. He focuses on economic growth in poor countries with an emphasis on the labor consequences, social cost and political implications of development, using as case studies Brazil's soy ethanol boom, the Argentine labor movement, and the garment industry in Honduras and the Dominican Republic. Gustavo's Fulbright project will add a study of entrepreneurial activity in the booming organic sugar industry in Paraguay and the role cooperation between local producers can play in their access to global markets.

Tess Veuthey, who graduated this past June with dual degrees in mechanical engineering and brain and cognitive sciences. She plans to dedicate her life to examining the physical and mental effects on the physically disabled through hands-on work, creating prosthetics, and counseling through psychiatry. This fall she will travel to Cambodia to continue the work she began with her winning IDEAS competition scheme, building low-cost and appropriate prosthetics for poor rural communities.

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