You are here


A record 13 students and alumni of the University of Maryland, College Park have been awarded Fulbright grants for 2010-2011, of which nine are ARHU students. Maryland’s Fulbright recipients will be studying or teaching English in a wide array of countries, including Armenia, China, Chile, Peru, Finland, Norway, Italy, Germany, Hungary and Turkey. Nine of these recipients hold or are receiving bachelor’s degrees, one holds a master’s degree, and three are doctoral candidates. Maryland’s total of 13 recipients surpasses the previous record of 7 set last year. Three additional students are currently alternates for Fulbright grants.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program enables qualified undergraduates, graduate students and recent alumni to design their own study or research plans or to teach English in over 140 countries. It provides unique opportunities for international experience, personal enrichment and an open exchange of ideas with citizens of other nations. Over 8,000 applicants competed for these awards in 2010. For more information on the Fulbright program, visit

ARHU Recipients

Christian Benefiel, Finland
Benefiel received an M.F.A. in Sculpture from the College of Arts and Humanities in 2008. He will work with local artists and environmental engineers to learn what efforts are put in place to regulate creative industries and understand how such regulation affects artists’ work. Collaborating with instructors from the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki, Benefiel’s project will culminate in the design, building, and operation of a small-scale fine arts foundry that meets Finnish environmental standards as well as the needs of contemporary sculptors.
Sarah Cantor, Italy
Cantor is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Art History and Archaeology, College of Arts and Humanities. Cantor’s research project reconsiders the career of the 17th century landscape artist Gaspard Dughet in the context of Roman antiquarian culture and literary theory. She will examine paintings commissioned by noble families, conduct archival research on the works, and study original treatises and manuscripts available only in Rome. Upon her return to the U.S., Cantor will complete her dissertation and pursue a career as a curator of prints and drawings.
Susan Davidson, Germany
This spring Davison will receive a B.A. from the College of Arts and Humanities majoring in Germanic Studies, and an additional major from the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences in Psychology. She was also a member of the College Park Scholars Program. Davidson will be an English Teaching Assistant in Germany, helping children to learn curriculum material and about other countries and cultures. Davidson will build on her experience teaching pre-schoolers in the U.S. and college students in Germany. After her time in Germany, Davidson will pursue her passion for teaching by applying to Teach for America.
Imogen Davidson White, Armenia
This spring Davidson White received a B.A. from the College of Arts in Humanities with majors in Linguistics, French, and Russian, and a minor in Mathematics. She was also a member of the University’s Honors College and the French Cluster of the University’s Language House Immersion Program. Davidson White will be an English Teaching Assistant in Armenia. In addition to teaching, she will draw from her experience with the University’s rugby team to get involved in local sports (preferably youth soccer) and to more fully immerse herself in the community. Upon her return to the U.S., she will pursue graduate studies in linguistics or in a field relating to international relations or foreign policy.
Ian Gross, China
This spring Gross will receive a B.A. from the College of Arts and Humanities with majors in Philosophy and Chinese. He has also been a member of College Park Scholars. Gross will evaluate governmental and non-governmental legal aid clinics in Wuhan, China. He secured an affiliation with the Center for the Protection of the Rights of Disadvantaged citizens, which will complement his qualitative research and coursework on Chinese law at Wuhan University. Upon his return to the U.S., he will pursue an M.A. in international relations and a J.D. in law. After graduate school he plans to return to China to work for an organization focused on legal aid development.
Mary McMenamin, Germany
This spring McMenamin will receive a B.A. from the College of Arts and Humanities with a major in English Literature and Language and minors in Rhetoric/Communications and Germanic Studies. McMenamin is also a member of the University Honors College. McMenamin will be an English Teaching Assistant, drawing from her experiences as a substitute teacher and tutor, as well as her strong academic background. With an interdisciplinary focus, she will use novels, speeches, film, and music to fully engage her students in cross-cultural discussions and reflection. Upon her return to the U.S., she plans to earn a Ph.D. in English Literature and pursue a career as an English professor.
Daniel Sender, Hungary
Sender is pursuing a D.M.A. in Music Performance with the College of Art and Humanities’ School of Music. Sender plans to study traditional and modern Hungarian violin playing techniques for his dissertation, “Folk Elements in 20th Century Hungarian Music.” His proposed course of study will focus on the idiomatic execution of common folk elements in the violin music of Béla Bartók, Zoltán Kodály, Erno Dohnányi, and their contemporaries. Upon his return to the U.S., Sender will complete his degree program and intends to teach violin at the college level as well as continue performing professionally as a chamber musician and orchestral violinist.
Christopher Stevens, Norway
A Ph.D. candidate in the College of Arts and Humanities, Department of Philosophy, Stevens will investigate Norwegian methods of interdisciplinary environmental research created and used successfully at the Center for Development and the Environment at Oslo University. Stevens will actively engage the Center’s resources by doing an interdisciplinary project on human rights, sustainable development, and environmental ethics. Upon his return to the U.S., he will apply what he learned while based at an institute for public policy and the environment, and contribute to the global community’s coming to agreements on sustainability.
Christopher Tabisz, Germany
As a long-time language learner, Tabisz will receive a B.A. this spring from the College of Arts and Humanities with majors in Germanic Studies and Linguistics, and a minor in French. He is also a member of the University’s Language House and a Mentor for the German Cluster. Tabisz will bring his enthusiasm to his new role as an English Teach Assistant. He will also draw from his ten years of German language study and experience working with youth in foreign language settings. After his Fulbright year, Tabisz plans to teach foreign language at the grade school level, either in English or German in Germany, or Spanish and/or French in the U.S.

Additional UM Recipients

Natasha Basu, Turkey
Basu received a B.A. in 2009 from the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences with a Government and Politics major, and a minor in English Language and Literature. She was also a fellow of the Jimenez-Porter Writer's House. As an English Teaching Assistant, Basu will apply her years working as a tutor and instructor for government courses as well as mentoring recent immigrant students. She has also conducted independent research on Turkish issues, which will enable her to meet new challenges there. Upon her return to the U.S., Basu plans to pursue a master’s degree in international relations or international education.
Benjamin Block, Peru
In 2007 Block received two degrees from the University of Maryland: a B.A. in Journalism, from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, and a B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy. He was also a member of College Park Scholars. Block plans to study how Peru is interpreting an international climate change program that pays tropical communities to maintain forest cover on their land. With internships at two NGOs, Block will study if local communities know how to preserve forests in a way that stores carbon dioxide. This work will prepare Block for a career investigating climate change solutions.
Megha Rajagopalan, China
Rajagopalan received a B.A. in Journalism from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism in 2008, and also earned a minor in English. She was also a member of the University’s Honors Program. Rajagopalan received Fulbright’s Critical Language Enhancement Award to study advanced Mandarin at the Inter-University Program at Tsinghua University in Beijing this fall. She will then interview local journalists and conduct archival research to examine how Chinese enterprise journalists have worked in cooperation with central government guidelines to report on issues like unethical business practices, environmental programs, and crime. She will explore journalists’ impact on their community and their evolving role as watchdogs in Chinese society. After the completion of her study, she plans to pursue a career as a foreign correspondent in Asia.
Jane Hall-Williams, Chile
Hall-Williams received a B.A. from the College of Behavioral Sciences with a major in Anthropology and a Spanish minor in 2008. Hall-Williams will study national identity and memory in northern Chile. Her project will first take her to Santiago for coursework and archival research, then she will travel north to Iquique to conduct ethnographic fieldwork. After her research in Chile, Hall-Williams plans to pursue graduate work in anthropology with an emphasis on oral history, national identify, and collective memory in the Americas.


In addition to the 13 award recipients, three UM students are named as alternates: YunYun Chen, a 2010 Biochemistry major, for an English Teaching Assistantship in Taiwan; Joseph Paulson, a 2010 Mathematics and Jewish Studies major, for a Study/Research grant to examine biological mathematics in France; and Shelby Sender, a doctoral candidate in Piano Performance, for a Study/Research grant to study solo piano music by Béla Bartók in Hungary.

Relevant Links

Date of Publication: