Fulbright Fellowships Awarded To Nine CUNY Students and Faculty For Research Pursuits Abroad

Seven City University of New York graduate and undergraduate students and two faculty members will use their newly awarded prestigious Fulbright Fellowships for 2002-03 to study subjects as diverse as HIV-AIDS in Africa, Jews from Croatia, tolerance in the Netherlands and 19th century exchange of medical knowledge between the U.S. and Germany.

The new Fulbright Fellows include:

Distinguished Professor Meena Alexander, Hunter College and The CUNY Graduate Center, a writer born in Allahabad, India, has received a Fulbright Award to lecture on contemporary American poetry throughout her native land. Her recently published book of poetry, Illiterate Heart, received the 2002 PEN Open Book Award. Her work has been translated into German, Italian, Swedish, Spanish, French, Arabic, Malayalam, Urdu and Hindi.

John Orth, who earned his B.A. summa cum laude from Lehman College in January, will apply his Fulbright Fellowship to teach English in Kassel, Germany and to complete the research project he began as an undergraduate. It explores the crosscultural exchange of medical knowledge in the 19th century between the United States and Germany. That project grew out of an earlier paper he presented at a conference at the University of Maryland, which examined German influence on American medical schools in the 19th century. His Lehman College mentor was Professor Evelyn Ackerman whose specialty is the social history of medicine. While an undergraduate, John was an intern for a year and a half in the Rare Book Room of the New York Academy of Medicine, which gave him direct access to the archives he needed for his research. Active in community service as well as athletics, he raised funds to repair the roof of the Church of the Mediator in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx, biking 1,000 miles by himself to Florida and, last fall, 700 miles to Maine and back. A member of the Lehman tennis team for three years, he was chosen as a Student Athlete of the Year. After a year in Germany, John will go on to Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where he has won a fully-funded scholarship for four years of study toward his Ph.D.

Imran Chowdhury, who will graduate from Hunter College on June 6, has received his Fulbright award for graduate study in Malawi, Africa. He will “Conduct a Review of Collaborative Efforts between the University of Malawi and Associated Non-governmental Organizations to Prevent the Spread of HIV-AIDS.” Imran will not have to wait until September to get to Malawi. He will be working with Save the Children there this summer through the final year of a three-year fellowship from the Jeannette K. Watson Summer Program. A member of the CUNY Honors College, Imran is a Hunter Athena Scholar majoring in Anthropology, Geography and Honors. He has contributed to the College as a Student Senator, a tutor and as a student speaker at hearings held by the New York State Board of Regents, the Department of Education and the New York City Council. He plans a career in public service.

Dara Kiese, CUNY Graduate Center, will use her grant in Art History to study “Public Reception of the Dessau Bauhaus: 1925-1932” in Germany. Claire Zimmerman, CUNY Graduate Center, who was a research consultant for the major 2001 Museum of Modern Art exhibition “Mies in Berlin,” has an Art History grant to study “Photography’s Architecture: Framing Mies van der Rohe” in Germany.

Esther Gitman, CUNY Graduate Center, will use her History grant to conduct research in newly accessible archives in Croatia. Her topic is “In the Footsteps of Yugoslav Jews Who Escaped Genocide During WWII.” As a little girl, she was among those who escaped. Erin Martineau, CUNY Graduate Center, has a grant in Anthropology to study “The Limits of ‘Tolerance’: Young People and Public Space in the Netherlands.”

Kevin Ozgercin, CUNY Graduate Center, will apply his grant in Political Science in Switzerland to study “The Political Economy of the Bank for International Settlements: Mapping the History of the Central Bankers’ Central Bank.”

Howard Pflanzer, an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Theatre and Speech at the Center for Worker Education at City College, will use his Fulbright Fellowship to teach theatre in India.

The Fulbright Program is administered by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The Institute of International Education assists the Department of State in the conduct of the program offering highly competitive and coveted fellowships.