With Fulbright Grants, Seven Young Alumni Head Abroad to Research, Teach

Two Davidson alumni and five soon-to-be-alumni have been awarded Fulbright grants for research, study, and teaching abroad. This year's recipients will travel to Jordan, Cameroon, Ecuador, Israel, Mexico, Macau and Argentina, studying a wide array of topics and continuing Davidson's strong trend of recognition by the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Program of the United States Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Developed in 1945 by U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, who called for the use of surplus World War II property to fund the "promotion of international good will through the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture, and science," this year the Fulbright grant program will support young Davidson graduates as they:

  • Research HIV drug resistance while helping individual patients in Cameroon.
  • Explore the intersection of politics, religion and sexuality in Argentina.
  • Help urban refugees around the world, on-site and through policy development.
  • Translate poems and writings of an Iraqi-Jewish writer in Israel.
  • Teach, and learn from, classroom students in Mexico and Macau.
  • Study the effects of formal education on indigenous Amazon cultures.

Meet the Fulbright Recipients

Hayden Bates '17 will use her Fulbright Study/Research Grant to conduct independent public health research in collaboration with the United Nations' Refugee Agency, the humanitarian organization World Vision and various service providers for urban refugees.

A Cashiers, North Carolina native, at Davidson Bates double-majored in public health and Arab studies. She was a member of the cross country and track team, Reformed University Fellowship and the Honor Council. She spent two summers studying Arabic and conducting research with the U.N. Refugee Agency's Public Health Department in Amman, Jordan, and helped found the campus group, Davidson Refugee Support. She also wrote a public health honors thesis entitled, "A Qualitative Analysis of Refugee Resettlement in Charlotte, North Carolina: Socio-Economic Mobility and Segregation as Social Determinants of Health and Wellbeing."

"I look forward to returning to the warm people and beautiful places of Jordan," Bates said. "I am thrilled for the opportunity to combine my interests in working alongside refugees and studying Arabic."

James Stewart '16 will use his Fulbright Study/Research Grant to work in Yaoundé, Cameroon in the CREMER HIV/AIDS research center. There he will study the increasing rate of HIV drug resistance in the region while working directly with individuals in the clinical wing.

A double major in biology and French and Francophone studies, Stewart was born and raised in Western North Carolina. He is currently completing a year on the French island of La Réunion in the Indian Ocean as an English teaching assistant.

Stewart, a David Halbert Howard, Jr. Scholar, was a member of the campus international awareness group Global Corps, the Davidson African Students Association, and the Davidson College Symphony Orchestra.

"Becoming a member of a French-speaking research team in such a culturally fascinating place is a dream come true," Stewart said.

The assignment will also feed his hobby of adventurous, global eating: "I never miss an opportunity to try a local delicacy of whatever culture I'm living in," he said. "If the locals eat it, then so can I!"

Adrienne Mathis '15 will use her Fulbright Study/Research Grant to study indigenous education reform in the Loma del Tigre community of the Ecuadorian Amazon. She will assess how the recent shift from traditional community schools to centralized schools impacts local communities.

An anthropology major and environmental studies minor, Mathis studied abroad in Ecuador, where she first worked with Sumak Allpa, the same Amazon-based NGO that will assist her throughout her Fulbright research. With a Davidson College Abernethy Research Grant, Mathis analyzed the impacts of ecotourism on the Galapagos Islands.

After graduating in 2015, she interned at Amazon Watch, a nonprofit organization that supports the rights of indigenous peoples in the Amazon rainforest, and now works at the Washington D.C.-based NGO Environmental Investigation Agency.

"I feel privileged to have been invited by the Loma del Tigre community to share their perspectives with a broader audience," Mathis said.

Arielle Korman '17 will use her Fulbright Study/Research Grant to study with Dr. Miryam Sivan at the University of Haifa in Israel.

A New York City native, Korman, also a Belk Scholar, majored in languages and cultures of the Middle East. For her senior thesis she translated selected stories and poems by Iraqi-Jewish writer Ya'aqub Bilbul (Ya'acov Lev) from Arabic to English. With the Fulbright grant she will expand on this project by studying and translating other stories in Arabic from the Iraqi-Jewish community in Israel.

At Davidson, Korman was co-president of the Jewish student group Hillel, a member of SIAD (the Student Initiative for Academic Diversity), and a musician with the Davidson Jazz Ensemble and the Davidson Appalachian Music Ensemble. 

She looks forward to returning to Haifa, where she spent a full junior year abroad.

Varenya Hariharan '17 received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship award and will teach in Mexico.

A native of Houston, Texas, Hariharan double-majored in psychology and Hispanic studies. Her Spanish honors thesis examined gender fluidity and the reinterpretation of traditional gender roles in the medieval text Celestina.

While at Davidson, she served as a teaching assistant in Hispanic Studies, a student tutor, a volunteer elementary Spanish teacher, and was an active member of the Indian folk dance troupe Davidson Bhangra and the a capella group Androgyny. She also served as a research assistant for the Psychology Department, investigating literacy and numeracy development in children.

"I want to continue exploring my growing passion for teaching through a program that will allow me to learn from the students in my classroom," she said.

Alexandrea Moseley ‘17, who also received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship award, will teach in Argentina and research the intersection of politics and religion for the LGBTQ community.

Moseley came to Davidson from Fairhope, Alabama and majored in Hispanic Studies with a minor in mathematics and computer science. She served as an assistant teacher for four years with the LEARNWorks Program at the Ada Jenkins Community Center, and developed a Spanish course for the program teachers to help them communicate with their students' families.

She also studied abroad with the Davidson in Madrid program and volunteered in the Spanish in Davidson Elementary School program. 

Stephanie Momot '17 also received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship award to teach English at the Macau Polytechnic Institute.

Hailing from Wisconsin, at Davidson Momot double-majored in English and French and Francophone Studies. A six-month stay in Sweden during her childhood first sparked her passion for linguistics. That passion extended through her English honors thesis as she studied language in female digital communication.

In addition to her studies, Momot served as an assistant teacher for the French Department and also tutored individuals. She was a member of Gamut Dance Company and the kitchen manager for Rusk Eating House. 

Momot is excited to continue her global travels and looks forward to learning Cantonese while improving her Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) pedagogy. A "foodie," she also looks forward to learning to cook traditional Macanese cuisine.