2004 Boren Scholarship Recipients
Brandon Marc Higa, B.A./M.A., International Relations
Brandon Marc, graduating with a dual Bachelor’s/Master’s degree in International Relations and minor in East Asian Languages and Cultures, will use his NSEP scholarship for advanced language study at Stanford University’s Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Yokohama. Brandon Marc, who previously studied in Japan under the auspices of a Freeman Asia award, intends to continue his research on US-Japan security relations, particularly those involving the bases in Okinawa Prefecture. At USC, he has served as a resident advisor, orientation advisor, and officer for the USC Hawaii Club. He is also a member of the East-West Center and various Okinawan and orchestral music ensembles in Hawaii.
2004 Fulbright U.S. Student Program Grant Recipients
Debra Cheverino, B.A., Music & M.M., Instrumental Conducting
The first woman to ever win an Italian Conducting Competition when she took first prize at the Accademia Dell’Arte in Arezzo in 2001, Debra is a distinguished conductor who has garnered an impressive list of accolades and fellowships. After receiving her Bachelor’s in Music at USC, Debra completed her Master’s in Instrumental Conducting at the University of Hartford. She will spend next year in Italy, examining the contributions of women composers to the origins of conducting and their leadership roles during the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Debra is currently the conductor of the Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra, Asia America Symphony, Sinfonia di Firenze, and the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra.
Natalie Do, Pharm.D., Pharmacy
Upon completing her doctorate in Pharmacy, Natalie will conduct clinical research at Princess Marina Hospital in Botswana, the first African country to provide HIV/AIDS antiretroviral therapy to its citizens on a national scale. Natalie will examine cultural and social barriers that affect medication acceptance and adherence to treatment, as well as the existing health care delivery infrastructures, trained health care professionals, community awareness intervention programs, and the role of pharmacists in hindering or facilitating treatment of HIV/AIDS. Previously, Natalie conducted clinical AIDS research in Peru. She has also interned at a pharmacy and served as a mentor with the Big Sisters of Los Angeles.
Corrie Francis, M.F.A., Animation
Corrie, a Master’s student in Animation, will explore the relationship between wilderness and culture in New Zealand, where one-third of the land is dedicated to national parks. Collecting visual and audio material from both popular and remote areas, she intends to create an animated documentary, which will focus on the personal concept of wilderness through interviews, digital imagery, and hand drawn animations. She will also work with professors and filmmakers at the University of Auckland and the University of Otago. Previously, Corrie has worked as an illustrator and art teacher in Cameroon, and her films have been official selections at a number of film and animation festivals, winning several awards.
Jeffrey Friedman, M.D. & Ph.D., Medicine & Biochemistry/Molecular Biology
Currently pursuing degrees in Medicine and Biochemistry/Molecular Biology, Jeffrey will spend his Fulbright year in Brazil researching dengue virus infection, a mosquito-borne viral disease with tens of millions of reported cases each year. He will conduct experiments using molecular biological and biochemical techniques on cells of the mosquito digestive tract. Jeffrey intends to find pathways that facilitate dengue virus infection and survival in the mosquito and manipulate these pathways to discover new therapeutic targets to break the dengue cycle. A SCUBA Divemaster and Assistant Instructor, Jeffrey is founder and president of the USC SCUBA Club and president of Probe and Compass, an outdoor activities club.
Sulggi Lee, M.D. & Ph.D., Medicine & Epidemiology
Sulggi will spend her Fulbright year in Uganda – where malaria is the number one cause of morbidity and mortality – studying anti-malarial drug efficacy and resistance. A student in Medicine and Epidemiology, Sulggi will analyze data from the ongoing Uganda Malaria Surveillance Project, assist in setting up a laboratory at Makerere University to assess genetic samples, and help instruct Ugandan Master’s in Public Health students. Previously, she has been involved with studies of air pollution and pediatric respiratory illnesses in Chile, preterm low birth weight and pesticide exposure in migrant women, and cancer genetics. After medical school, she plans to work as a physician and scientist.
Ann Swanson, M.S.G. & M.H.A., Gerontology & Health Administration
After completing her Master’s degrees in Gerontology and Health Administration, Ann will travel to Spain to work with the Catalunya Alzheimer’s Association. She plans to implement a retreat program for people caring for dementia sufferers, while examining management of challenges, such as providing services to a bilingual, multi-cultural population and promoting caregiver self-identification. While at USC, Ann has worked extensively to improve care for the elderly and to provide resources for caregivers. Through her work with the Graduate and Professional Student Senate and the Teaching and Research Assistant Handbook Committee, she has also been an advocate for graduate students at USC.
Alexandra Webber, J.D., Law
Alexandra will spend her Fulbright year in Mexico researching efforts to combat “trafficking in persons” – the coerced relocation of humans for the purpose of labor or sexual exploitation. She will examine efforts to foster bilateral collaboration along the US-Mexican border and the legal mechanisms available to prosecutors and law enforcement to protect human rights. At USC, Alexandra has actively volunteered her legal skills to those in need of legal support. Her pro bono work includes services with the Public Counsel Homelessness Prevention Clinic, the Department of Public Social Services, and USC Street Law. She currently serves as Elections and Recruitment Chair for the Graduate and Professional Student Senate.
2004 Marshall Scholars
David Chacko and Nilay Vora will become USC’s fifth and sixth Marshall Scholars. This is the first time two USC students have won this prestigious award in the same year.
David Chacko, B.A. & B.S., Biological Sciences & Business Administration
Upon graduating from USC with a dual-bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Biological Sciences, David will pursue a degree in Comparative Social Policy at Oxford under the auspices of the Marshall Scholarship. After completing his studies at Oxford, David plans to attend medical school and eventually become a leader in health policy and a physician to the medically underserved. At USC, David has been actively involved on campus, winning him the title of “Mr. USC” and member of the Order of the Torch. He has served as a Senior Resident Advisor, co-founding member of and vice- president for Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honor society, and co-chair of the Associated Trustee and Presidential Scholars. He has played as a starting defender for the USC men’s soccer club since his freshman year. After volunteering in clinics in rural India and at the Los Angeles County-USC hospital, David co-founded the Collegiate Med Volunteers program to promote direct patient and physician contact and mentoring of students. As Program Manager, David now coordinates such experiences for 150 volunteers from 17 universities.
Nilay Vora, B.A., Mathematics & Interdisciplinary Studies
A graduating senior double-majoring in Mathematics and Interdisciplinary Studies (Human Rights and Religious Nonviolence) with a minor in natural science, Nilay plans to apply his Marshall Scholarship towards graduate studies in Human Rights at the London School of Economics. Nilay intends to pursue a career in human rights law and a position as prosecutor for the International Criminal Court. As part of an impressive record of involvement on campus, Nilay has served as an elected student senator, a senior resident advisor, editor-in-chief of the Trojan Horse newspaper, a tutor in multivariate calculus, and chair of his residence hall government. He also coordinated the Alternative Spring Break: Death Valley program, a student-run environmentally-oriented service trip. With a strong commitment to social justice, Nilay’swork with United Students Against Sweatshops on labor and human rights issues in Sri Lanka and India, helped lead to the unionization of local garment workers. Along with counterparts in Mexico and with the support of the AFL-CIO, he filed a complaint under the NAFTA agreement about garment factory conditions in Mexico.