2019 Astronaut Scholarship Recipient
Zane Durante is a rising junior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Applied and Computational Mathematics. As a part of this honor, scholars receive up to a $10,000 award; expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the “Innovators Gala”; mentoring by an Astronaut Scholar alumni, C-suite executive, or astronaut; opportunity to participate in the Professional Development Program sponsored by RBC; the opportunity to participate in multiple Foundation events; and membership in the Astronaut Scholar Honor Society. Zane is also a recipient of the 2019 Goldwater Scholarship. See his bio below.
2019 Boren Scholarship Recipients
Boren Scholarships provide funding for rigorous language study in exchange for a commitment to work in the federal government for at least one year after graduation.
Catherine Atkinson will graduate May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Environmental Studies. Catherine was awarded a Boren Scholarship and will spend the next year studying French, Wolof, and environmental practices in Dakar, Senegal. She plans to pursue a career in environmental policy and social entrepreneurship, focusing on changing consumer habits.
Kendal Gee will graduate May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a minor in International Relations. Kendal was awarded a Boren Scholarship to study French and Wolof in Senegal. She plans to pursue a career in security studies, particularly regarding West Africa and its relations with the United States.
Eva Isakovic will graduate December 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. Eva was awarded a Boren Scholarship to study the Serbian language in Serbia. She plans to fulfill her service requirement through work as an analyst in the Department of State Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs in the Office of South Central European Affairs where she would analyze Serbian politico-economic trends to advise diplomatic policy to the Balkans.
Leah James is a rising junior pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations (Global Business) and a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Languages and Cultures. Beginning January 2020, Leah will spend seven months in China in accelerated language immersion and internship programs as a Boren Scholar.
Mia Poynor will graduate in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Health and Human Sciences with a focus in International Health and a double minor in Human Security and Geospatial Intelligence and Spatial Studies. She was awarded the Boren Scholarship to study Portuguese in Brazil. After, Mia plans on pursing a career in the federal government using her regional expertise and acquired language skills.
2019 Critical Language Scholarship Recipients
The Critical Language Scholarship is a competitive program for 8-10 weeks of intensive language study in one of fifteen critical need languages. This year, 36 USC students applied. 4 were selected to receive a scholarship.
Edith Conn graduated in December 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Languages and Cultures. She previously won a Boren Scholarship to study Japanese. She will be studying Japanese in Okayama, Japan in summer 2019 on the CLS.
Sarah Cueva is a pursuing a PhD in Political Science and International Relations. Sarah earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Middle East Studies from USC in 2014. She won the CLS to study Arabic in summer 2019.
Jenna Han is an undergraduate pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Languages and Cultures and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a minor in International Relations. Jenna won the CLS to study Japanese in Okayama, Japan in summer 2019.
Khoi Nguyen is a first-year student majoring in Business Administration and won the CLS to study Korean in South Korea in summer 2019.
2019 CSPC Presidential Fellows
One USC student is selected annually by the University for the CSPC Presidential Fellows program, year-long program to complete research relating to the study of the U.S. Presidency and Congress. Fellows also participate in three-day leadership conferences in Washington, D.C. during the Fall and Spring semesters.
Alexander Melnik graduated in August 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and a Masters of Public Administration. Alex was nominated as the University’s CSPC Presidential Fellow in August 2018.
2019 Fulbright U.S. Student Program Recipients
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs.
Kylie Burdsall is graduating May 2019 with a Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry and a Minor in Cultural Competence in Medicine. Kylie was awarded a Fulbright research grant to work with Dr. Malin Flodström-Tullberg’s group at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. She will be working with this group to better understand the etiology of Type 1 Diabetes with the ultimate goal of creating preventative measures against this disease. She plans to pursue an MD/PhD dual degree after her Fulbright grant period.
Hanna Fahsholtz will graduate in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Narrative Studies and minors in International Relations and Spanish. Hanna was awarded a Fulbright ETA grant to Spain, where she will be placed in a Madrid high school classroom to teach English and lead students in a yearlong Global Classrooms (Model United Nations) project. She plans to use her experience in the diverse Comunidad de Madrid school system to study how educational is addressed internationally, in hopes of applying this insight to educational policy in the US.
Rebecca Harbeck will graduate May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a minor in Law and Public Policy. Rebecca was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Taiwan. Afterwards, she plans to pursue doctoral research focusing on inequality in education.
Jonathan Horwitz will graduate in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy and minors in Spanish, Statistics, and Urban and Sustainable Planning. Jonathan will participate in the Fulbright Binational Business Internship Program in Mexico City where he will be placed with a cooperating business or NGO while taking graduate level coursework related to international business at Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), one of the most prestigious private universities in Mexico. He plans to pursue a career in law and public policy, focusing on issues related to water scarcity and the environment.
Rafael Maarek will graduate May 2019 with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the Viterbi School of Engineering. Rafael has been selected for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in the Czech Republic where he intends to expand his understanding of global engineering education. He looks forward to pursuing a career in biomedical innovation.
Dillon McKinley will graduate May 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering. Dillon was awarded a Fulbright research grant in the Czech Republic where he will explore epithelial-mesenchymal transition in colorectal cancer. He plans to attend medical school to pursue oncology and focus on working in an under-served community in the future.
Marta Olson graduated from USC in 2016 with a BA in Music and a BA in Narrative Studies. Marta was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grant in Argentina where she will serve as a teaching assistant at a teacher training college. In addition to teaching English, Marta hopes to study music and collaborate with Argentine musicians in order to learn more about the country’s unique musical style.
Sydney Park will graduate May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. She will serve as an English Teaching Assistant at the secondary-school level in Spain and hopes to pursue a career in the legal profession, working with international disputes.
Luann Raposo will graduate May 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering with a Mechanical Engineering Emphasis. Luann was awarded a Fulbright grant to teach English in Spain, where she will build upon her passion for education and developing students’ innate curiosity. She also aims to build a STEM outreach program to educate students and parents about science and technology in the healthcare field, cultivating personal health and wellness and a passion for STEM subjects. She plans to pursue a career in medical devices after completing her Master of Science in Product Development Engineering.
Emily Rauch will graduate in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Global Business. Emily was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Award to Taiwan where she will teach English for a year. She plans to pursue career in law and international policy.
Amri Rigby is graduating in May 2019 with a Bachelors of Science in Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation from the Iovine and Young Academy. Amri was awarded a Fulbright Creative & Performing Arts grant as an at-large applicant to write a feature film script based on a true story in Kampala, Uganda. After his Fulbright grant period, he plans to secure financing to direct his first feature film.
Marla Ross will graduate May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Cognitive Science and minors in Spanish and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Marla was awarded a Fulbright ETA grant to Colombia where she will be placed in a university classroom to teach English and promote cross-cultural awareness alongside a Colombian professor. She plans to pursue a career in higher education administration, focusing on the field of international exchange and foreign language programs.
Alanna Schenk will graduate May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and a minor in Human Security and Geospatial Intelligence. Alanna was awarded a Fulbright study grant to Denmark where she will be enrolled in Aalborg University’s Master of European Studies with an Arctic Specialization. She will take graduate classes to more comprehensively understand the dynamics between Danish society, its politics, and its relationship with the Arctic. She will also be conducting independent research on improving the relationship between private industry, policy makers, and indigenous communities in Greenland. In the future, she plans to work on U.S.-Arctic relations, focusing on the environmental problems being created from the melting sea ice.
Minerva Solís-Rubio graduated from USC in spring 2017 with two Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Spanish with a focus on human security and public policy in Latin America. Minerva was awarded the Fulbright Binational Business Internship in Mexico City, Mexico where she will be working at the intersections of social entrepreneurship, impact investing, and international development for a U.S. –Mexico company. She will also be taking international business courses at Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), one of the most prestigious private universities in Mexico. Minerva is a first generation college graduate and immigrant who plans to pursue a career in social entrepreneurship and international development.
2019 Fulbright UK Summer Institute Recipients
The Fulbright UK Summer Institutes are 3-4 week programs for U.S. undergraduate students. A small group of participants are selected to explore the culture, heritage and history of the U.K. through their chosen institute while experiencing higher education at a U.K. university.
Skylar Ward is a rising junior pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema and Media Studies with a minor in Music Industry. Skylar will be studying at the University of Birmingham, a three-week program focusing on film and media.
Theodore (Theo) Poling is a current undergraduate pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Writing for Screen and Television. Theo was accepted to the institute at University of Birmingham, a three-week program focusing on film and media.
2019 Gilman Scholarship Recipients
The Gilman Scholarship offers awards for U.S. undergraduates to study or intern abroad. The program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study abroad and the countries and regions where they go.
- Helen Bamgbala – Hong Kong
- Catherine Bedoya – Chile
- Amanda Douglas – Germany
- Tiare Kaopua – South Korea
- Paula Nguyen – South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan
- Ashley Stephens – Italy
- Betty Thai – China
- Naomi Walerys – New Zealand
Summer 2019 (Early Application)
- Peyton Brown – Czech Republic
- Tasfia Jahangir – Italy
- Anli Zhang – France
- Mary Fernandez-Perez – France
- Jennifer Gonzalez – Guatemala
- Gabrielle Green – Spain
- Brianna Ibarrola – China
- Jalen Layfield – Jordan
- Ashley Otah – Italy
Fall 2019 & Academic Year 2019-2020
- Anastasia Barbato – New Zealand
- Ayub Dahir – Netherlands
- Stacey Lau – Botswana
- Carlisle Maney – South Africa
2019 Goldwater Recipient
The Goldwater Scholarship provides support to undergraduate students majoring in the natural sciences, engineering and mathematics who intend to pursue research careers in these fields.
Zane Durante is a rising junior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Applied and Computational Mathematics. Eager to dive into artificial intelligence projects at USC, Zane joined the Center for AI in Society, Student Branch (CAIS++) in the fall of his freshman year. His first completed project used machine learning to detect skin cancer from medical images. He is currently collaborating with linguists to develop machine learning algorithms to document and preserve endangered languages. Additionally, Zane’s research at USC’s Signal Analysis and Interpretation Lab (SAIL) involves using machine learning and AI to understand communication and behavior patterns in children and detect deception in speech. He received a USC Provost’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship to develop this project throughout the spring semester. Zane plans to continue his research with SAIL for the duration of his undergraduate career and eventually pursue a PhD in Artificial Intelligence or machine learning, focusing on natural language processing or computer vision to solve problems facing human health and well-being.
2019 National Science Foundation GRFP Recipients
The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based Master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.
- Claudia Aguirre – Psychology (Behavioral Neuroscience)
- Sabrina Enriquez – Mathematical Sciences – Computational Mathematics
- Samantha McVety – Engineering – Environmental Engineering
- Brian Schwedock – Comp/IS/Eng – Computer Architecture
- Isis Wyche – Life Sciences – Neurosciences
- Kevin Ye – Materials Research – Electronic Materials
- Matthew Yeung – Engineering – Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Karla Abuyen – Life Sciences – Microbial Biology
- John Hochschild – Engineering – Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering
- Pooja Moolchandani – Engineering – Mechanical Engineering
- Sarah Ostresh – Chemistry – Chemical Structure, Dynamics, and Mechanism
- Jessica Perelman – Geosciences – Biological Oceanography
- Amanda Semler – Geosciences – Geobiology
- Alan Wang – Engineering – Civil Engineering
2019 Rotary Global Grant Recipient
Rotary Global Grants provide funds for a service project and graduate-level study or research in another country. Students must pursue studies in one of Rotary’s six Areas of Focus.
Shernae Hughes received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy and American Studies and Ethnicity (African American Studies) from USC in August 2018. As a Rotary Global Grant Scholar to South Africa, Shernae will address Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution through a sexual education campaign for youth. Her community service project endeavors to break the cycle of rape culture by increasing sexual literacy, encouraging mutual respect and promoting a culture of consent. Shernae will also pursue a Masters in Gender Studies at the University of Cape Town to inform her work. After completing the Rotary Global Grant, Shernae plans to become a professor and founder of a think-tank that connects academia, activism and social policy development to support intersectional peace-building across the globe.
2019 Truman Scholarship & Udall Scholarship Recipient
The Truman Scholarship awards merit-based scholarships to college students who plan to pursue careers in government or elsewhere in public service.
The Udall Scholarship is awarded to sophomore and junior level college students committed to careers related to the environment, tribal public policy, or Native American health care.
Kayla Soren is a Kentucky native committed to pushing for energy transitions that protect the environment, local economies, and communities. She is a Mork Scholar studying International Relations and Environmental Studies. Kayla founded and is the Executive Director of the International Student Environmental Coalition, a non-profit in over 30 countries, engaging over 18,000 students, that provides the resources and organizational power to help students anywhere in the world lead grassroots climate justice projects. She has also conducted research on bipartisan climate solutions and federal energy transitions with the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center and, with Barefoot College, created a coffee farming empowerment program for Guatemalan women. She was named a Global Champion for Change by UN Women, a Local Pathways Fellow by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and one of North America’s “30 Under 30” environmentalists. Upon graduation, she plans to pursue a dual degree Masters in Public Affairs and Environmental Science.
Kayla was one of three USC candidates endorsed by a faculty committee and Academic Honors and Fellowships for the Truman Scholarship. All three endorsed candidates were nominated by the Foundation to be interviewed for the scholarship.
- Full list of 2019 Truman Scholars from the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation
- USC Dornife junior earns prestigious Truman Scholarship
Additionally, Kayla was one of 55 students selected from 50 colleges and universities for the Udall Scholarship. This highly qualified class of Udall Scholars was selected from 443 candidates nominated by 227 colleges and universities. The 2019 Udall Scholars gathered on August 6-11 in Tucson, Arizona, to meet one another and program alumni; learn more about the Udall legacy of public service; and interact with community leaders in environmental fields, Tribal health care, and governance.