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MIT students, alumni awarded 2013 Fulbright grants

Selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields

Several MIT undergraduate and graduate students and alumni — Noam Angrist, Marvin Arnold, Dorothy Brown, Hyunjii (Justina) Cho, Deborah Hanus and Marisa Lau — have been awarded Fulbright study/research grants for the upcoming academic year.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the United States government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the peoples of the U.S. and other countries. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The grant allows students to undertake projects or academic programs in 155 countries around the world.

The MIT students awarded Fulbright study/research grants for this year have proposed a range of projects or courses of study.

Angrist, from Brookline, Mass., will be graduating this spring from MIT with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics. He will travel to Botswana to work on educational reform, conducting research on how the structure of the school term affects educational outcomes and determining alternative models. This project builds on previous work Noam has done with the World Bank Education Sector.

Arnold, from Silver Spring, Md., graduated with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT in 2010. The Fulbright grant will allow Arnold to complete an MBA at the IE Business School in Madrid, Spain. Marvin plans to be involved with IE’s Venture Labs, where he can work closely with Spanish businesses and develop cross-cultural collaborations.

Brown '10, SM '10 — a first-generation American from New York City — graduated from MIT with a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering. Her project will take her to Brazil, where she will study the use of rice husk ash in concrete as a low-cost and environmentally friendly construction material. This project builds on research Brown conducted for her master’s thesis.

Cho, from Orland Park, Ill., will graduate this spring with a bachelor’s degree in biology. She will travel to Berlin, Germany to conduct microbiology and immunology research in Professor Arturo Zychlinsky's laboratory at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology. She will be studying how white blood cells respond to infection by investigating the mechanism of neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation. Her interest in blood cells stems from work she has done in Professor Harvey Lodish's lab at MIT.

Hanus, a resident of Cambridge, Mass., graduated this year with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science. With the Fulbright grant, Hanus plans to travel to Cambodia to research education and employment, focusing on the social factors that contribute to underemployment. She is particularly interested in the potential of experiential learning and plans to build on work she had already done in Cambodia in 2011 with the Harpswell Foundation and Small World.

Lau, from Plainfield, N.J., acquired a master’s degree in city planning from MIT in 2012, following a master’s in cultural heritage management from Koc University in Turkey, in 2010, and a bachelor’s degree in political science and art history from Williams College in 2006. She will create a heritage conservation plan for the water system of Nicosia, Cyprus. This work will involve mapping the city’s historic water system and creating recommendations for conservation.

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