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Illinois graduate students offered Fulbright grants

A picture of Illinois graduate student Hamed Kadiani standing in front of a city skyline and water.

Eight University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign graduate students and young alumni were offered Fulbright grants to pursue international research, education, and teaching across the globe this coming year. The Fulbright U.S. student program builds international relationships to solve global challenges by awarding grants to students based on their academic and professional achievement, leadership potential, and ambassadorial skills. This year's recipients will study and teach in Brazil, India, Spain, and other locations around the world.

“The disciplinary range of those awardees is also notable, with students from the fine arts, social sciences, humanities and the sciences all being selected,” said Ken Vickery, the director of fellowships in the Graduate College. “Fulbright welcomes students of all stripes, and it’s great to see so many of our students, from so many departments, taking advantage of this extraordinary opportunity.”

The Graduate College celebrates our graduate students' wide variety of teaching, research, and leadership skills. This year's Fulbright recipients are an excellent example of how Illinois graduate students are changing the world. 

Fulbright Recipients: 

Carolina Bieri (Atmospheric Sciences) will be traveling to the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain to collaborate with scientists on improving a computer model used for climate predicitions.

Janani Comar (Religion) will be traveling to India to study how non-elite writers and communities participated in the shaping of Hindu ethics in colonial times.

Travis Dore (Physics) will be traveling to Goethe University, Germany to study the behavior of the exotic nuclear matter created through heavy ion collisions.

Hamed Kadiani (Accountancy) will be traveling to Germany to teach English. 

Lauren Lynch (Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences) will be traveling to Cotonou, Benin to study the impacts of urbanization on bees and the pollination services they provide.

Owen MacDonald (History) will be traveling to Brazil to study an early 20th-century effort to construct a railroad that would have transported rubber from the Brazilian interior to foreign markets and that effort's impact on local communities.

Sarah Marks Mininsohn (Dance) will be traveling to Italy to conduct a choreographic project that explores how acts of departure and return interact with the environmental landscape.

Damir Vucicevic (History) will be traveling to Belgrade, Serbia to study Yugoslav-Egyptian relations during the Cold War. 

The Fulbright program is jointly administered at Illinois by the National and International Scholarships Program, which works with undergraduates and recent alumni, and the Graduate College Office of External Fellowships, which supports graduate students. Additionally, Illinois faculty members, returned Fulbrighters and staff with geographic and programmatic expertise review student application materials and conduct candidate interviews.

Applications are open for students interested in pursuing studies, fine arts, research or English teaching assistantships under the Fulbright for the 2023-24 academic year.

For more information about these awardees, and for the full list of Fulbright recipients, visit: