From Accra to Ulaanbataar, From Hungary to the Himalayas

Issue Date: 
April 29, 2007

Pitt students conduct research and immerse themselves in foreign cultures, thanks to Nationality Rooms scholarships

University of Pittsburgh students will jet to far-off places this summer to conduct research in clinics and laboratories, participate in archaeological digs, and immerse themselves in the cultures and languages of Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America—all thanks to summer study-abroad scholarships provided by the Pitt Nationality Rooms and Intercultural Exchange Programs.

Among the students’ research interests are Freudian epistemology, tomb reliefs from the Eastern Han Dynasty, medieval illuminated manuscripts, and the influence of environmental factors on health care.

Since 1948, Nationality Rooms committee members and their friends have raised nearly $1.7 million to award 933 scholarships, enabling Pitt students to experience other countries through five weeks of cultural immersion and study.

Following is a list of the 37 Pitt undergraduate and graduate students who have been awarded Nationality Rooms study-abroad scholarships for summer 2007.

Undergraduate Awards

Suzanne D. Adjogah, a sophomore communication science major, has received the African Heritage Classroom/Walter C. Worthington Foundation Scholarship to study the Arabic language and Moroccan culture at the School for International Training in Rabat, Morocco.

The Savina S. Skewis Award will support Jenna L. Arment, a junior neuroscience major, as she takes advanced courses in Spanish language, researches healthcare issues, and participates in a community health practicum at the Pontifica Universidad Catholica Madre y Maestra in Santiago, Dominican Republic.

Sophomore English writing major Rachel E. Belloma will study the Hebrew language and Jewish culture at the Rothberg International School of Hebrew University in Jerusalem under the Israel Heritage Room Committee Scholarship.

Lauren J. Bruce, a junior majoring in philosophy, will use her Helen Pool Rush Grant to study human trafficking and prostitution through the Denmark International Studies Program in Copenhagen.

The Women’s International Club Award will enable Abigail F. Buffington, a sophomore anthropology and religious studies major, to study Arabic and participate in an archeological dig in Madaba, Jordan.

The Italian Room Committee Scholarship will support junior accounting and Italian major Matthew D. Carulli as he studies Italian language and culture through the Pitt-in-Italy Program in Syracuse, Sicily.

Sophomore Timothy M. Dempsey, a history and philosophy of science major, has received the William and Bernice Mc-Keever Memorial Award to participate in an HIV/AIDS field school sponsored by Ohio University in Gaborone, Botswana.

English writing, psychology, and anthropology major Martin C. Doppelt, a junior, will use the Mary Campbell Cross Memorial/Irish Room Committee Scholarship to participate in a dig at the Deserted Village through the Achill Archaeological Field School on Achill Island, Ireland.

The Ruth Crawford Mitchell Merit Award will fund Caitlin E. Henry, a sophomore majoring in French and history, as she studies French language and culture through the Pitt-in-France Program in Nantes, France.

Junior political science and philosophy major Sheila E. Isong has received the Pauline Hickman Memorial Grant to study African aesthetics and civilization and research the 1945 Pan African Congress in Accra, Ghana.

The Italian Room Committee Grant will enable Edward R. Kastenhuber, a junior bioengineering major, to study Italian language and history and participate in a writing course at the Mediterranean Center for Arts and Sciences in Syracuse, Sicily.

The Women’s International Club Grant will support junior Tanya E. Keenan, a neuroscience and political science major, as she studies HIV/AIDS and health care, as well as clinical interventions and community development, during the Children’s Family Health International in Durban, South Africa.

Priscilla Liu, a sophomore majoring in Chinese, will use the John H. Tsui Memorial Award to attend the International Chinese Language Program in Taiwan.

The David L. Lawrence Memorial Award will enable Zachary A. Morris, a junior majoring in urban studies, political science, and philosophy, to conduct ethnographic surveys in the ger districts surrounding Ulaanbataar, Mongolia.

Anthropology and history and philosophy of science major Teresa A. Nichols has received the Rachel McMasters Miller Hunt Award to conduct research on the transmission of culture through museums and to participate in a museum internship in Ulaanbataar, Mongolia.

Junior Dana-Leigh Puzio, majoring in psychology and administrative justice, will use the Women’s International Club Grant to study Spanish language and art history at the Universidad de Alcala de Heneres in Alcala, Spain.

Ross Y. Rader, a junior majoring in English writing and literature, has received the Savina S. Skewis Grant and will participate in an internship with a publishing company in London.

Majoring in theater arts and studio arts, junior Lori Anne Sharpless will use the Caryl Kline Award for Mid-Career Women to study painting and drawing at the Paris American Academy and to study French in Paris.

The Japanese Room Committee Scholarship will enable Athanasios G. Sikolas, a junior majoring in Japanese, to study Japanese language and culture at Waseda University in Tokyo.

Sophomore philosophy and political science major Max B. Walko’s Hungarian Room Committee Scholarship, the Dr. S. Gomory/J. Arvay Memorial Award, will give him the opportunity to study the Hungarian language and culture through the Lexia International program in Budapest.

The Helen Pool Rush Award will enable Bethany A. Wenger, a junior majoring in French and communication science and disorders, to study French language and culture through the Pitt-in-France Program in Nantes, France, and attend the international Congress for the Deaf in Spain.

Stephanie Wieland, a junior majoring in German and psychology, has received the German Room Committee Scholarship to study German literature and culture at the Freie Universität Berlin.

Graduate Awards

The Indian Room Committee Scholarship will enable Tarini Anand, a student in Pitt’s School of Medicine, to participate in healthcare activities with the Himalayan Health Exchange in rural areas in India near the Tibetan border.

Julia A. Finch, a graduate medieval art and architecture major, has received the Austrian Room Committee Scholarship to research medieval illuminated manuscripts and participate in an internship with Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften in Vienna.

The Herbert E. Lieberkind/Danish Room Committee Scholarship will fund research by Jessica R. Fischoff, a creative nonfiction graduate student, at Christiania, a 36-year-old commune in Copenhagen that is undergoing dramatic change and possibly facing destruction.

Michelle Gibbons, a communication science and history and philosophy of science graduate student, has received the James Affleck/Scottish Room Committee Scholarship and will do research in Edinburgh on the popularization of scientific ideas.

Eugene Manasterski Memorial Awardwinner James A. Johnson, a graduate student in anthropology, will conduct research in Kyiv and participate in an Iron Age archaeological dig in Bel’sk, Ukraine.

Graduate French literature major Zachary A. Moir’s Marjorie Ransick Thomas Memorial Award will enable him to study the German language and will fund his research of Freudian epistemology at the Sigmund Freud Museum and Library in Vienna.

Penelope Nelson-Bissett, a human security major in Pitt’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, was awarded the African Heritage Room Committee Scholarship; in Accra, Ghana, she will research security systems within Buduburam refugee camps and collect data for Pitt’s Ford Institute for Human Security.

Supported by the Frances and Sully Nesta Award, Italian literature graduate student James R. Pesek will research the “Men on Men” series, including publication and marketing plans in Turin and Milan.

Katherine D. Philp, a student in Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health majoring in infectious diseases, has received the Stanley Prostrednik Grant to work with the Kakamega Environmental Education Program to develop infectious disease health-education programs for primary grade students in Kakamega, Kenya.

The Stanley Prostrednik Award will fund James E. Quinn IV, an international human rights law student in Pitt’s School of Law, in a United Nations internship in the Office on Drugs and Crime in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

With the James W. Knox Merit Award, Darmendra Ramcharran, an epidemiology major in Pitt’s School of Medicine, will conduct research in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on treatment methodologies for HIV/AIDS in combination with various hepatitis strains.

Danielle S. Shuttleworth, an occupational therapy major in Pitt’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, has received the Ruth Crawford Mitchell Memorial Award and will examine the effects of natural and man-made disasters on the indigenous population of Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala, and assess the need there for occupational-therapy-related services.

The John H. Tsui Memorial Award will support graduate student Leslie V. Wallace, an Early Chinese art history graduate student, as she examines tomb reliefs from the Eastern Han dynasty (20-225 C.E.) that depict hunting scenes and consults with Chinese scholars in Shaanxi.

Medical student Rebecca Waltner-Toews’ Stanley Prostrednik Grant will make it possible for her to do research on infectious diseases in both clinical and laboratory settings at the Hospital Nacional Cayetano Heredia in Lima, Peru.

James W. Knox Memorial Award recipient Zachary A. Zator, a student in Pitt’s School of Medicine, will conduct research on environmental factors that promote and impede access to health care in Hyderabad, India.