Three University Scholars earned Fulbright U.S. Student Awards to conduct independent research, pursue graduate study, or teach English abroad. They are part of the record number of Northeastern students -- 1o in total -- who earned the award this year. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is America’s premier cultural exchange fellowship. Active in over 140 countries, the Fulbright provides grants for individually designed research, study and teaching opportunities. The recipients meet, work, live with, and learn from people of the host country, in an atmosphere of openness, academic integrity, and intellectual freedom, thereby promoting mutual understanding.
As the awardees’ range of disciplinary backgrounds and career aspirations attests, Northeastern’s unique emphasis on experience-driven learning with a global reach equips students from all fields of endeavor to propose compelling and competitive Fulbright projects.
We congratulate all of our Fulbright applicants, semi-finalists, and award recipients, and we offer a special thanks to the faculty members who served on Northeastern’s internal Fulbright committee, offering intensive mentorship and advice to our applicants. Committee members included Vincent Harris, University Distinguished Professor and William Lincoln Smith Chair in electrical and computer engineering; Tom Nakayama, professor of communication studies; Rebecca Riccio, Khaled & Olfat Juffali Director of the Social Impact Lab; Justin Silvestri, Assistant Director, University Honors Program; Thomas Vicino, professor of political science, public policy and urban affairs; and Liza Weinstein, associate professor of sociology.
This year’s University Scholars who earned Fulbrights are:
Zoe Bishop COS'19
Zoë Bishop COS’19
Biochemistry; minor in African American Studies
South Korea – English Teaching Assistantship
Zoë’s intellectual curiosity has fueled her passion for literacy, scientific exploration, and multiculturalism. A fearless extrovert, her love of learning and experiencing other countries took her to a study abroad at Yonsei University, Seoul, where she developed a passion for the culture of South Korea. In addition to excelling in a demanding biochemistry curriculum, Zoë gained extensive experience in teaching and mentoring roles, serving as a peer tutor for fellow undergraduates in chemistry and psychology and a peer mentor in Northeastern’s Civic Engagement Program. A member of the University Scholars and Honors Programs, Zoë also turned an analytical eye on intercultural competency, earning a Summer Scholars Independent Research Fellowship in 2016 to study the cultural agility strategies of US military families living abroad. As a Fulbright teaching assistant, she will use her strong academic background to help explain contemporary U.S. society and its racial disparities. Upon returning to the U.S., Zoë will apply to medical school.
Isaac Kresse COE/COS'10
Isaac Kresse COS/COE’19
Chemistry and Computer Engineering
Germany – Biology
A University Scholar, Honors student, and 2018 Goldwater Scholar, Isaac Kresse pursued a combined degree in chemistry and computer engineering in order to harness the power of algorithmic processing to discern otherwise invisible patterns in the vast amounts of data that biochemical experiments often generate. Isaac’s interest in chemistry, first sparked at Gatton Academy, a math-and-science-focused school in his home state of Kentucky, has led him to conduct research not only at the lab of Northeastern Professor John Engen, but also at SINTEF, an independent research organization in Trondheim, Norway, at the National University of Singapore, and at Harvard Medical School, where he developed microfluidics to enable single-cell genomic analysis of brain cells. In Germany, aging populations have contributed to the prevalence of age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, several of which are associated with the formation of misfolded proteins in the brain. With his Fulbright, Isaac will conduct research on these proteins at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Munich. The Fulbright will allow Isaac to pursue his passion for understanding the biochemical mechanisms underlying life. After the Fulbright, he’ll apply to PhD programs to study biochemistry with the goal of pursuing a career in academia.
Connor Messer COE'19
Connor Messer E’19
Bioengineering; minors in Computer Science and Vocal Performance
United Arab Emirates – Engineering
As a bioengineer, Conor understands the potential of new technologies to improve healthcare outcomes. But as a culturally agile learner whose Northeastern education has taken him from Boston to Germany, Spain, New Zealand, and Jordan, this University Scholar and Honors student also understands how cultural values surrounding illness, disability, and death can vary widely between societies, and how technologies and tools developed without an understanding of cultural values can be less than useful. With his Fulbright, Conor will both undertake bioengineering research and assess the unique values and needs of the Middle East region with respect to devices that enhance or alter the human body. Working at the Khalifa University Center for Autonomous Robotic Systems under Dr. Federico Renda, Conor will design and develop fabrication strategies for a soft robotic catheter for cardiac surgery, a device which would allow for closed chest surgery with much more precision and shorter recovery time.