International Institute awards $150,000 in fellowships to 52 recipients


The University of Michigan International Institute has awarded a total of $150,000 to 52 U-M students through its Individual Fellowships program. Students will travel abroad between May 2015 and May 2016 to conduct research or intern in 39 countries.

This year’s recipients represent diverse disciplines: the humanities, medicine, law, business, social and natural sciences, and architecture.

The projects range from organizing and cataloguing the archives of the Jinja District in eastern Uganda to improving the health and human rights of gay and bisexual men in Kenya, to internships with the U.S. Embassy, the World Health Organization, and NGOs.

Melissa Rice is a master’s student in the School of Natural Resources and Environment. She will travel to India to assess the impact of the Forest Rights Act, a law allowing local indigenous people to claim rights to the land they have subsisted on for centuries.

“I’ve wanted to study forest land rights in India for years, and the II Individual Fellowship has made it possible to conduct my summer fieldwork,” she says.

Her goal is to formulate an impact evaluation of the Forest Rights Act, something that has been lacking in India and other developing countries. “I hope my findings can guide policymakers and community activists in India and other countries.”

The highly competitive, merit-based program is open to U-M undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students enrolled in a degree program. There is no preference for particular fields of study.The aim is to fund a diverse array of students and projects.

The 2015 fellowship grantees, degrees, areas of study, and their internships or research projects are:

• Tessa Adzemovic, M.D., medicine, Bosnia and Herzegovina: “Child Health in High Risk Settings in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina”

• Olubisi Ajetunmobi, B.A., international studies, Ghana: “Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training”

• Jeremy Balch, M.D., medicine, China: “Stigma and Knowledge Base in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis B in Beijing”

• Secil Binboga, Ph.D., architecture, Turkey: “The Cold War Transformation of the Eastern Mediterranean Towns in Turkey”

• Nicole Buccalo, B.A., women’s studies, Peru: Internship at a shelter for abused girls

• Michael Burbidge, M.S., natural resources and environment, Kenya: “Q Fever Risk across a Dynamic, Heterogeneous Landscape in Laikipia County”

• Megan Cansfield, B.A., international studies, China: Internship with the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China

• Jim Carter, Ph.D., Italian, Italy: “Stile Industria: Italian Industrial Design in the Post-War Reconstruction”

• Alina Chau, B.A., Asian studies, Hong Kong and Singapore: Ross Global Initiatives Study and Internships in Hong Kong and Singapore

• Ainash Childebayeva, Ph.D., anthropology, Peru: “Timescale of High-Altitude Adaptation in the Peruvians”

• Erin Collins, M.A., modern Middle Eastern and North African studies, and J.D., law, Tunisia: Legal internship to promote transparency through legislative oversight

• Emily Cortright, B.S.E., biomedical engineering, Ireland: “Characterization of the PGF Release Kinetics and Bioactivity Assessment”

• Nicole Dear, M.P.H., epidemiology international health, Malawi: “Heterogeneous Malaria Risk along an Urban-Rural Gradient in Blantyre, Malawi”

• Kevin Donovan, Ph.D., anthropology and history, Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya: “The Politics of Infrastructural Regionalism in East Africa”

• Farah Erzouki, M.P.H., epidemiology, Lebanon: “Social Inequalities in Maternal and Child Health in Palestinian Refugees”

• Andrew Fiasco, B.A., anthropology, South Africa and Lesotho: “Institute for Field Research: Lesotho — Sehonghong”

• Amelia Frank-Vitale, Ph.D., anthropology, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Mexico: “Missing Migrants: Disappearance in Clandestine Migration”

• Mikaela Gillman, B.A., Latin American and Caribbean studies, Peru: “Circulatory Migration for Education of Quechua-Speaking Youth in Peru”

• Joshua Greenberg, Ph.D., economics, and M.D., medicine, Uganda: “Health, Human Rights, and Development in Uganda”

• Sarah Gutin, Ph.D., health behavior and health education, Botswana: “Understanding Preconception Counseling Gaps for People with HIV in Botswana”

• Lilliana Haddad, B.S., microbiology, Zambia: “Medicine: Micro 450 Global Impact of Microbes Fieldwork in Lusaka, Zambia”

• Pauline Harrington, B.A., women’s studies, South Africa: Internship in public health

• Nabiha Hashmi, B.S., anthropology, Bangladesh: “Cultural and Structural Factors of Maternal Health in Saidpur, Bangladesh”

• Zehra Hashmi, Ph.D., anthropology and history, Pakistan: “Negotiating Security: Everyday Life and News Media in Urban Pakistan”

• Michelle Hindman, M.P.P., public policy, and Graduate Certificate in science, technology and public policy, France: “Reducing Upstream Emissions from Unconventional Oil and Gas (UCOG) with CCS”

• Jiaxin Huang, M.D., medicine, China: “Stigma and Knowledge Base in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis B in China”

• Vishal Khandelwal, Ph.D., history of art, India: “The Prehistory of Building Tall in the Indian Subcontinent”

• Gabrielle Kirsch, B.A., French, France: “Assessing the Visibility of LGBTQ Jews in Paris in 2015”

• Ana Patricia Kutschat, B.S., biochemistry, Brazil: “Calcium Regulation in Mitochondria Regarding Tropical Diseases in Brazil”

• William Lamping, M.P.P., public policy, Brazil: Security and defense internship at Centro Brasileiro de Relações Internacionais

• Ava Landgraf, B.A., environment, Brazil: “Biodigester Project: Energy from Organic Waste in the Pantanal”

• Kristin Maurer, M.P.H., health management and policy, China: “China Rural Health Initiative, Clinical Pathway for Acute Coronary Syndrome”

• Arielle Maxner, B.S., physics, China: Internship at CRCC Asia

• Lucia Michelazzo Ceroni, B.S., nursing, Argentina: “Empowering Local Individuals and Communities through Health Education”

• Aaron Michka, Ph.D., anthropology, Egypt: “To Whom Do We Belong? The Coptic Pursuit of Divorce in Egypt”

• Saisha Nanduri, B.A., international studies, Morocco: Internship in advancing women’s rights

• Sandhya Narayanan, Ph.D., social work and anthropology, Peru: “Spoken Differences: Quechua-Aymara Language Contact and Variation”

• Mary O’Brien, M.S.W., social policy and evaluation and community and social systems, India: “Program Evaluation of VIDYA–Bangalore”

• Eberechi Ogbuaku, B.A., international studies, Uganda: Project to organize and catalogue the archives of Jinja District

• Jordan Osborn, Ph.D., anthropology, Peru: Chincha Valley Archaeological Project

• Kenneth Pass, M.P.H., health behavior and health education, Kenya: “Improving the Health and Human Rights of Gay and Bisexual Men in Kenya”

• Chanon Praepipatmongkol, Ph.D., history of art, Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia: “Modernity in Ink: Calligraphy and Modern Southeast Asian Art”

• Lauren Reiser, M.S.W., community organization, children and youth in families and society, Chile: “Positive Development for At-Risk Youth in Santiago, Chile”

• Melissa Rice, M.S., natural resources and environment, India: “Rights and Well-Being in India’s Forests”

• Daniel Sack, B.A., international studies, Ethiopia: “Development Aid and Media on Family Planning Policy in Ethiopia”

• Leena Shah, LSA, India: Internship at Al Kareem Hospital and Heart Center

• Kate Sherwood, Ph.D., linguistics, Burkina Faso: “Prosody of Southern Bobo Madaré”

• Charli Spier, B.A., history, Germany: “The Transformation the Arminius Motif in German Culture”

• Ian Ting, B.S., architecture; B.A., Asian Studies, China and Taiwan: “Modes of Spatial Representation in Chinese Architectural Drawing”

• Lian Wardrop, B.F.A., art and design, Brazil: Internship with the Juara Foundation

• Hanna Wetters, B.A., philosophy, politics and economics, France: Internship in the economics section of the U.S. Embassy in Paris

• Jifang Zhou, M.P.H., health management and policy, Denmark and France: Internship with the World Health Organization.


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