Five Connecticut College seniors and one recent alumnus have been selected to receive Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants to teach English and conduct research abroad for an academic year.
Fulbright fellows receive round-trip travel to their host countries, a living stipend, project allowances and medical insurance. Connecticut College has had 27 winners in the last five years, and is regularly recognized as a top producer of Fulbright recipients.
“We are extremely proud of our Fulbright fellows,” said Dean of the College Jefferson Singer. “Connecticut College’s success with the Fulbright program is a testament to our commitment to educate students to put the liberal arts into action as citizens in an increasingly complex global society. These Fulbright fellows are prepared to examine global issues from a community perspective and are poised to make significant contributions as they represent Connecticut College and the United States in their host communities.”
Students were supported throughout the Fulbright application process by an advising team composed of Associate Dean of Global Initiatives Amy Dooling, Assistant Director of Walter Commons for Global Study and Engagement Melissa Ryan and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Slavic Studies and Learning Specialist Christopher Colbath.
The 2019 Fulbright fellowship winners are:
Lauren Baretta ’18, English Teaching Assistantship to Malaysia
Baretta says the Fulbright fellowship combines her passions for education and travel.
“I have always wanted to see as much of the world as possible,” she said. “I chose Malaysia because of its biodiversity and opportunity for outdoor exploration. I recently became SCUBA certified and plan to spend as much time as I can in the water. I cannot wait to learn more about local customs, traditions, food, music and language.”
Baretta will teach English at a secondary school, and also hopes to incorporate journalism and environmental studies into her lessons.
At Conn, Baretta majored in international relations and minored in English and earned a certificate from the Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment. Since graduating magna cum laude, Baretta has been working as a literacy tutor at the Academy of Science and Innovation in New Britain, Connecticut, and as a technical specialist for Apple.
“Connecticut College gave me not only the skills to travel across the world for 10 months, but the confidence to apply to do so,” she said.
Following her Fulbright fellowship, Baretta is considering applying to law school.
Alison Corey ’19, English Teaching Assistantship to Vietnam
A government major and anthropology minor from Falmouth, Maine, Corey is looking forward to returning to Vietnam, where she studied abroad as a sophomore.
“Studying Vietnamese opened the door to not only a new dialect, but also a new way of seeing the world,” Corey said.
Corey participated in Study Away Teach Away, Connecticut College’s semester-long faculty directed program that provides students the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and appreciation of political, economic and social systems different from their own. While in Vietnam, she had the opportunity to work with Vietnamese university students to conduct interviews for her economics course, “Gender and Development.”
In addition to teaching English, Corey hopes to engage secondary school and university-aged students in photography initiatives.
“I view photography as a powerful medium for bridging cultural gaps. The use of various techniques, light and color schemes can create new ways of seeing the same image, shedding light on different perspectives,” she said.
Following her Fulbright year, Corey hopes to study human rights and immigration law, and ultimately pursue a career dedicated to the promotion of equality and justice.
Olivia Domowitz ’19, English Teaching Assistantship to Côte d’Ivoire
Domowitz, who has been studying French since she was 5 years old, is particularly interested in Francophone countries outside of France. An international relations and French double major and anthropology minor from Bethesda, Maryland, she joined the College’s Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts, studied abroad in Morocco and then completed an internship there with the Fondation Orient-Occident in Rabat.
“Being part of CISLA has been an integral part of my learning experience, as it gave me the opportunity to travel and learn about other cultures in a meaningful way,” she said.
“While I was in Morocco, I learned about the large West African community living there and had so many positive experiences with men, women and families from Côte d’Ivoire, so I’m looking forward to getting to know the country firsthand.”
At Conn, Domowitz is a member of the Student Refugee Alliance club, Eclipse and Womxn’s Empowerment Initiative, and serves as a senior admission fellow and works at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy’s Child Development Center. She also competed on the women’s track and field team for three years.
Following her Fulbright fellowship, Domowitz hopes to work for a year in the field of diplomacy before pursuing a master’s degree from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University beginning in the fall of 2021.
Samantha Feldman ’19, English Teaching Assistantship to Germany
Feldman was originally drawn to the German language by a desire to study the primary texts of 19th century German musician Clara Schumann.
“She composed emotive and romantic works and was one of the first women during the Romantic era to break into a largely male-dominated profession,” Feldman said.
Feldman is a German studies and international relations double major and scholar in the College’s Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts from Tucson, Arizona. She will spend her Fulbright year in Germany teaching English and serving as a cultural ambassador. She also hopes to teach students about art and current affairs.
“I want to create a powerful experience through which students can combine their artistic and academic abilities to connect with their peers, their communities and the outside world,” she said.
At Conn, Feldman has served as a language fellow and as Housefellow in the international language dormitory, and has served on the CISLA Student Advisory Board and the German Studies Student Advisory Board and taught English language learners at the New London Adult Education Center. She also designed an art awareness afterschool program for New London middle school students.
Following her Fulbright fellowship, Feldman hopes to pursue a career as an art educator.
Giselle Olaguez ’19, English Teaching Assistantship to Spain
Olaguez is a gender, sexuality and intersectionality studies major and scholar in the College’s Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts from Chicago, Illinois. She will spend her Fulbright year teaching English in Madrid, Spain.
At Conn, Olaguez has served as a senior admission fellow, a Spanish tutor and an advancement services assistant, and has been an active member of the women’s rugby club and Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (M.E.Ch.A), a student organization founded on the principles of self-determination for the liberation of Chicano/a people that promotes higher education, culture and history. She has also worked as an assistant and translator at New London’s Immigration Advocacy and Support Center and as an extended learning time teaching assistant at New London’s Jennings Middle School.
Last summer, Olaguez completed an internship with Casa Gaviota in Mexico City, aiding families who have experienced domestic violence.
“The team was extremely supportive and allowed me to partake in all aspects of the organization, including helping with and learning about social media, family law practices and fundraising—from outreach to donors to physically selling clothes to raise money for the organization—as well as answering the crisis hotline and providing initial intake for clients,” she said.
Maddy Quirke-Shattuck ’19, English Teaching Assistantship to Spain
A biological sciences major and dance and Hispanic studies double minor from Marin County, California, Quirke-Shattuck was inspired to apply for the Fulbright fellowship from the Institute of International Education in the Canary Islands, Spain, after completing a summer internship with the Cape Eleuthera Institute in The Bahamas.
“We worked long, full days conducting lessons in marine ecology and sustainable living and researching both inside and outside of the classroom. We snorkeled, boated, hiked, biked and drove almost every day, introducing the students to the unique and valuable ecosystems on and around the island,” she said. “This experience is what inspired me to pursue further education in marine science and education, and especially in the face of the current threats to our planet and marine environments, to inspire future generations to do the same.”
During her Fulbright year, Quirke-Shattuck will assist in teaching early childhood and elementary school English language classes, as well as in other subjects taught in English. She will also be launching her own projects pertaining to her background in biological sciences and dance.
At Conn, Quirke-Shattuck is the president of the Oceana Club and a member of Women in STEM, Womxn’s Empowerment Initiative, CC Divest, the Dance Club and Eclipse. She also works as an assistant in Professor Maria Rosa’s invertebrate lab, and as a guest services docent at The Mystic Aquarium.
Following her Fulbright fellowship, Quirke-Shattuck hopes to work for an outdoor education program, possible at the Cape Eleuthera Institute, before eventually applying to a graduate program in marine conservation and education.