University announces 5 Fulbright Scholars
The University of South Carolina will be represented abroad by five Fulbright Scholars who will conduct research, study and serve as English teaching assistants.
This year’s scholars and the countries where they will work are Tasneem Akil Anjarwalla, Turkey; Karla Hoppmann Buru, Romania; Julia Anna Grasso, Germany; Juliana Elyse Jordan, Russia; and Matthew C. Risher, Germany.
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to heighten understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Participants, who are chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential, have the opportunity to study, teach or conduct research in more than 155 countries. Fulbright scholars at USC this past academic year represented Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Germany, Lesotho, Madagascar, Pakistan, Russia, Senegal, Spain, and Turkey.
Anjarwalla, a member of the South Carolina Honors College, graduated magna cum laude in May 2011 from the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies with a minor in Islamic world studies. She earned the award for Most Outstanding Print Journalism Student and Outstanding Senior. Anjarwalla was a Carolina Alumni Scholar, a SC Palmetto Fellow, a McClatchy Minority Scholar, and a 2009 Greenville News Scholar; in 2009 she received the Henry T. Price Copy Editing Award.
On campus she was managing editor of the Garnet & Black Student Magazine, where she worked for four years, and a writer for The Daily Gamecock. She interned for CNN and while studying abroad in Prague, interned at Vice Magazine and the National Library of the Czech Republic. She will work in Turkey.
Buru is earning a master’s degree in public health and a master’s in social work. She is a member of Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society and is a magna cum laude graduate of USC’s College of Mass Communications and Information Studies. Froms 2007-2009 she was a Peace Corps volunteer in Romania and currently works as a Quality Assurance Graduate Assistant at Student Health Services at USC.
She volunteers with the Catholic Diocese of Charleston Youth Ministry programs and is the director of the Young Ladies Retreat for high school girls. She is an active member of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Carolina and is serving as the Peace Corps 50th Anniversary chairperson. In Romania she will explore cross-cultural collaborations in the Jiu Valley to understand the relationships between foreign volunteers and Romanian non-governmental organizations.
Grasso, who graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences in May 2011 with a double major in anthropology and art history, was the recipient of the Life Scholarship and a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society.
She was committee chair and curator of the McMaster Student Gallery and Jo Holladay Funchess Memorial Gallery, in the USC Department of Art and the curator of the Clemson Extension Children's Garden Educational Kiosk. She was a member of the Anthropology Student Association and a conversation partner with the English Programs for Internationals.
Last summer, she taught English to German elementary students through the university’s Checkpoint Charlie program. After her year in Germany she plans to return to the United States to combine studies in cultural anthropology with museum training.
Jordan, a double major in Russian and dance performance and choreography, graduated Summa Cum Laude in May. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Lambda Delta, and Dobro Slovo National Slavic Honors Society and is the recipient of the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship. She also was a University Scholar. She was a performing member and choreographer of the USC Dance Company, an officer of its Student Advisory Board, and the USC Russian Club President.
In the community she was involved with Midtown Fellowship, and was a conversation partner with International Friendship Ministries and a volunteer ESL assistant for Richland One Adult Education and the Greenville Literacy Association. After the year in Russia teaching English, she plans to attend graduate school to study for a master’s to teach English as a second language.
Risher is a May graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences, having double majored in biology and German. He was a Palmetto Fellows Scholar during his entire undergraduate career and received the Walker Institute International Experience Award for study abroad in Germany his junior year. In the summer between his sophomore and junior years he participated in the Checkpoint Charlie Teaching Program in Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, where he assisted in English classes for elementary school children. His senior year he did research at the USC School of Medicine. When he completes his Fulbright, Risher plans to enroll in graduate school to prepare for a career in research.
These students and others seeking national fellowships were assisted by the Office of Fellowships & Scholar Programs.
Fulbright recipients are among over 40,000 individuals participating in U.S. Department of State exchange programs each year. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is administered by the Institute of International Education.