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Fulbright U.S. Student Program Grants

Please join me in congratulating several current Liberal Arts students and one recent alumnus who have been offered Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants.


Jonathan Freeman, a PhD student in American Studies, has been offered a 2016 Fulbright Study/Research Grant to South Africa. Inspired by his first trip to Cape Town, South Africa, as a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow in 2011, Jonathan’s research examines the role of African-American musical recording artists in the anti-apartheid movement. Jonathan, who serves as the vice chair of development for the Mellon Mays Professional Network, has also received several other awards and grants, including the Howard Zinn Memorial Research Award and a Social Science Research Council Graduate Studies Enhancement Grant. He plans to enter the professoriate after completing his PhD, sharing his unique perspective to educating others about African American history and transnational social movements while contributing to transnational scholarship and policy.


Jackson Havens, who is completing a bachelor’s degree in linguistics and Spanish and minoring in sociology, was offered a 2016 Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program to Spain. He speaks Spanish and is now learning Mandarin Chinese, and is dedicated to helping others develop their confidence when learning to speak a new language. Jackson was awarded the Linda C. Shackman Memorial Scholarship in Foreign Languages this year, and worked at the Lafayette Adult Resource Academy as an English teaching assistant five days a week. In Spain, he’ll teach English and also volunteer with Coordinadora Infantil Y Juvenil de Tiempo Libre de Vallecas, an organization that provides support to disadvantaged teens. He plans to pursue a masters in computational linguistics at the University of Colorado when he returns to the U.S.


Megan O’Connell, who is completing a bachelor’s degree in Spanish, linguistics, and speech, language and hearing sciences, was offered a 2016 Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program to Peru. She previously traveled to Peru for internships with the schools Villa Caritas and San Pedro, whose speech pathologists also work in clinics in downtown Lima, and has also lived abroad in Denmark and Spain. Megan currently works as a translator in the Purdue Audiology Clinic and has worked as a research assistant for the Infant and Speech Lab. In addition, she has published her research in the Purdue Journal of Service-Learning and International Engagement. She also works as an ESL teaching assistant at the Lafayette Adult Resource Academy.


Grant Owen, who is completing a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, was offered a 2016 Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program to Indonesia. Last summer, Grant conducted research in ethnic minority communities in Southeast Asia, where he worked alongside NGOs teaching English and developing tourism projects as a means to help empower local minority communities and remedy their marginalization within the tourism industry. Grant works as a director for Purdue Student Government on the board of Diversity and Inclusion, and is a committee member for Purdue 360 in Diversity in Entertainment. Before attending Purdue to study anthropology, he studied philosophy and studio art.


Benjamin Rich has been offered a 2016 Fulbright Study/Research Grant to South Korea. After earning his BA in English in 2010, with minors in Spanish and military science and leadership, Ben commissioned into the Army through Purdue’s ROTC program and serves on active duty with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Cincinnati, Ohio. His interest in diplomacy and economics began when he attended the U.S. Army’s Civil Affairs school, which provided interactive training on cultural awareness, economic development, humanitarian assistance, and the efficacy of diplomacy. In addition, Ben was raised in the U.S. by his mother and maternal grandmother, both first generation Korean-American immigrants. These influences have led him to pursue a master's degree in international studies majoring in international commerce at Seoul National University. He will study the relationship between trade and Korean foreign policy and diplomacy and also work as a volunteer to teach North Korean refugees. After completing graduate studies, he plans to become a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State representing U.S. foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific Rim. 



Gideon Singer, a PhD student in anthropology, has been offered a 2016 Fulbright Study/Research grant to Australia. Currently a National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Fellow in sustainable electronics at Purdue, he’ll conduct research on e-waste in Adelaide. Partnering with the Appleton Institute at Central Queensland University, Gideon will integrate ethnography and GIS to investigate local responses to the rapid increase of e-waste. He’ll also design community-based resources to unmake that waste. He has served on numerous archeological digs around the U.S. and was a delegate at the Unmaking Waste conference last summer. In 2011, he was a member of the Tropical Archeology Research Lab at James Cook University in Australia, where he conducted laboratory research on Indigenous diets and helped teach archaeology to primary school children.


Congratulations Jonathan, Jackson, Megan, Grant, Benjamin, and Gideon. We are extremely proud of your accomplishments and look forward to hearing more about your work as a force for good in the world! 

David's Signature

David A. Reingold
Justin S. Morrill Dean
College of Liberal Arts