07. 19. 2019

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the 2019-2020 Fulbright Fellowship Winners

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Congratulations to the recipients of the 2019-2020 Fulbright Fellowship! The purpose of the Fulbright program is to increase mutual understanding between people of the United States and other countries through the exchange of persons, knowledge, and skills. Approximately 1,900 grants are available to over 140 countries.

Samantha Helle – Nepal

Samantha Helle stands in front of a mountain range

Samantha will be returning to the Chitwan region of Nepal to build on her MS thesis exploring how social constructs such as gender play a role in human-tiger conflict. Nepal is on track to be the first tiger-range country to double its wild tiger population by 2022, and human-tiger conflict in the form of livestock depredation and human injury and fatalities is a huge concern. Therefore, understanding local level knowledge about conflict prevention and mitigation strategies, as well as what barriers exist to implementing these strategies is pertinent to sustaining growing tiger populations and protecting local people who depend on tiger-shared jungle for subsistence. She will be working with Nepali partners The National Trust for Nature Conservation, Women Acting Together for Change, and local Buffer Zone Community Forest User Groups around Chitwan and Parsa National Parks. Samantha hopes to mainstream the use of Feminist Political Ecology approaches to wildlife conflict research, which holistically explores how ethnicity and social constructs such as gender, caste, and class shape knowledge and risk in wildlife conflicts.

Brooke Chambers – Rwanda

Brooke Chambers sits in front of a window with a city in the background

Brooke is a Ph.D student in the Department of Sociology and is completing a graduate minor in Human Rights. During her Fulbright research, Brooke will be based in Kigali and will travel throughout Rwanda conducting research on generational trauma and the 1994 genocide. She will interview Rwandan young adults about their participation in genocide commemoration to better understand the continuing social effects of genocide and mass violence. Brooke is the 2018-2019 Bernard and Fern Badzin Fellow in Holocaust and Genocide Studies and graduated from The Ohio State University in 2015 with a B.A. in Sociology and Psychology.


Rachel Dame – Albania

Rachel Dame

Rachel Dame, is a 2019 graduate of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Dame received her Master in Public Policy where she concentrated on Global Policy, specifically focusing on Public Diplomacy. Dame is a recipient of the 2019-2020 Fulbright Fellowship to Albania. Specifically, Dame's research will focus on Albania’s progress towards the EU-proposed reforms critical to EU membership. In conducting research, Dame hopes to contribute to a broader understanding of the impact regional organizations have on the growth of democracy in non-member states. The Fulbright grant will afford Dame the opportunity to undertake path breaking, policy relevant research that contributes to both thinking and practice in the area of externally-supported democracy promotion.

Rebekah Mohn – Australia

Rebekah Mohn stands in front of a tree

Rebekah will be based in Perth, Australia, at Curtin University with Adam Cross and will be studying chromosomal evolution in the insect-eating plant genus, Drosera.;

The carnivorous plant genus, Drosera, is composed of ca. 250 species, more than half of which occur in Australia. Because of the large amount of chromosome count variation within this genus, Drosera is ideal for studying genomic evolution. Rebekah will spend her 10 months in Australia sampling the RNA and chromosomes of the Australian species in 4 geographic regions to better understand the relationships between the species and evaluate how their genomes are evolving. 

Shan Kothari

Shan Kothari stands in front of a tree

Shan is a plant ecologist with a particular interest in the ways plants respond to their light environment. His research concerns the dual role of light as both an essential resource and a stressor for plants. He also uses remote sensing to help him understand how plants work at large scales. He received a B.S. in Anthropology and a B.S. in Zoology from Michigan State University.

Shan was also selected to receive the UMN Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (DDF) for 2019-20. He has elected to decline the Fulbright award in order to accept the DDF.