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Six Bard College Students Win Prestigious Fulbright Awards

Mark Primoff

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Six Bard College students have won prestigious Fulbright awards for 2018–2019. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study/research projects as well as for English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Programs in a participating country outside the United States. During their grants, Fulbrighters meet, work, live with, and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences.

Elena LeFevre ’18, a Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, native, has won a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant scholarship to Argentina. LeFevre, who is majoring in human rights and literature with a concentration in gender studies, will teach English and volunteer with a women’s rights NGO. “The women’s movement has a wide-reaching network across Argentina, and my experience at Fundación para Estudio e Investigación de la Mujer (FEIM) has prepared me for what that kind of work entails.”

Nicola Koepnick ’18, a St. Louis, Missouri, native, has won a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant scholarship to Malaysia. Koepnick, a human rights major, will teach English and study Malaysian textile traditions. “As an aspiring lawyer, it is important for me to understand how people of diverse backgrounds approach community, governance, and politics. I will incorporate artistic methods into teaching and hope to give them a high-impact practice and fuller understanding of the world and its tangible objects. I am interested in using crafts in my teaching and hope to understand Malaysian textile tradition by visiting museums or discussing practices with local teachers, especially those related to batik fabric dyeing.”

Adelina Colaku ’18, an Albanian-American student, has won a Fulbright scholarship to Kosovo. Colaku, an economics and political studies major, will research Islamic radicalization in Kosovo and volunteer with student newspapers in public high schools. “Kosovo is the largest contemporary source of European jihadists in Syria and Iraq, its recruitment rate eclipsing failed states like Libya. Considering Kosovo’s relationship with the West, why is it an outlier? This project will empirically deduce the determinants of Islamic radicalization in Kosovo, and support findings with ethnographic fieldwork. This research is poised to make significant contributions in the way in which Islamic radicalization is understood and can subsequently be stymied.”

Page Benoit ’18, an Arcata, California native, has won a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant scholarship to Georgia. Benoit, a human rights major with a concentration in gender and sexuality studies, will teach English and facilitate direct exchanges between American and Georgian school children. “While in Georgia, I will establish a pen pal club between American and Georgian classrooms. Through Skype, email, and letter writing we will share our respective experiences around predetermined themes such as growing up or holiday celebrations. We will exchange books, games, recipes, and art projects.” 

Madeleine Breshears ’18, a Portland, Oregon, native, has won a Fulbright scholarship to Ireland. Breshears, a chemistry major, will spend the year at Trinity College Dublin, where she will continue her Senior Project research on nano-materials and start a science outreach program where student and faculty volunteers teach and engage with middle school students. “My project will revolve around the research of Professor Jonathan Coleman at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. His work on nano-scale materials provides potential solutions for world problems involving energy storage, solar cell optimization, and materials production. I want to work in his lab so that I can offer my unique perspective based on a diverse background of scientific expertise.”

Bethany Zulick ’16, a native of Evanston, Illinois, has won a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant scholarship to Germany. In Germany, Zulick, a philosophy major, will also plan community events focused on American folk music and dance, as well as volunteer with local refugee organizations. “My desire to make a career in education led me to the Fulbright ETA program. This grant will allow me to further develop my skills by exposing me to new teaching styles and school systems.”

The Fulbright program facilitates cultural exchange through direct interaction on an individual basis in the classroom, field, home, and in routine tasks, allowing the grantee to gain an appreciation of others’ viewpoints and beliefs, the way they do things, and the way they think. Through engagement in the community, the individual will interact with their hosts on a one-to-one basis in an atmosphere of openness, academic integrity, and intellectual freedom, thereby promoting mutual understanding.
About Bard College
Founded in 1860, Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, is an independent, residential, coeducational college offering a four-year B.A. program in the liberal arts and sciences and a five-year B.A./B.S. degree in economics and finance. The Bard College Conservatory of Music offers a five-year program in which students pursue a dual degree—a B.Music and a B.A. in a field other than music. Bard offers M.Music degrees in conjunction with the Conservatory and The Orchestra Now, and at Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Bard and its affiliated institutions also grant the following degrees: A.A. at Bard High School Early College, a public school with campuses in New York City, Cleveland, Baltimore, and Newark, New Jersey; A.A. and B.A. at Bard College at Simon’s Rock: The Early College, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and through the Bard Prison Initiative at six correctional institutions in New York State; M.A. in curatorial studies, M.S. in economic theory and policy, and M.S. in environmental policy and in climate science and policy at the Annandale campus; M.F.A. and M.A.T. at multiple campuses; M.B.A. in sustainability in New York City; and M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in the decorative arts, design history, and material culture at the Bard Graduate Center in Manhattan. Internationally, Bard confers dual B.A. and M.A. degrees at the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, St. Petersburg State University, Russia (Smolny College); dual B.A. and M.A.T. degrees at Al-Quds University in East Jerusalem; and dual B.A. degrees at American University of Central Asia in Kyrgyzstan and Bard College Berlin: A Liberal Arts University.

Bard offers nearly 50 academic programs in four divisions. Total enrollment for Bard College and its affiliates is approximately 5,500 students. The undergraduate College has an enrollment of more than 1,900 and a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1. In 2016, Bard acquired the Montgomery Place estate, bringing the size of the campus to nearly 1,000 acres. For more information about Bard College, visit


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This event was last updated on 04-19-2018