For seven decades, the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program has recognized Barnard students and alumnae with their prestigious scholarship. This year, out of the approximately 2,000 grants given to U.S. scholars annually, 11 were awarded to Barnard alumnae to support their work abroad as English Teaching Assistants (ETAs), researchers, and graduate students. In addition, three alumnae were chosen as Fulbright alternates.
Beyond Barnard, whose staff advises on fellowship opportunities, has been crucial to the College’s long-standing Fulbright success. “What’s especially exciting to me about the record number of recipients is that it will almost certainly encourage even more students and graduates to apply,” said A-J Aronstein, Dean of Beyond Barnard and Senior Advisor to the Provost. “The process of application to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program — and the support they get from faculty and Beyond Barnard — is tremendously beneficial to candidates as they reflect on their future intellectual and personal goals."
This year’s honorees bring a diverse set of academic backgrounds and expertise to the table. Meet the 2022 Fulbright recipients below.
Isabel “Iz” Amos-Landgraf ’22 | Costa Rica
Iz Amos-Landgraf graduated this spring with a major in anthropology and a minor in environmental science. They credit the political ecology track in the anthropology department and their thesis studies on community farming for preparing them for their Fulbright research.
From their new home base in San José, Amos-Landgraf will work for Bean Voyage — an NGO that trains women coffee farmers and connects them to the global coffee market — conducting anthropological research and helping with climate change adaptation workshops. The title of their proposed project is “Beyond the Label: How Women Coffee Farmers are Adapting to Climate Change.” “Sustainable and resilient agriculture has become a passion for me, and I can’t wait to see how it is put into practice in Costa Rica,” they said.
Cassandra Cordie ’22 | Israel
Cassandra Cordie, an anthropology and human rights double major, knew she wanted to apply for a Fulbright after conducting research on counterinsurgency on the anti-colonial history of Algeria and Tunisia and the United States' military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq.
For her Fulbright assignment, she will be based in Tel Aviv-Yafo, where she will pursue an M.A. in security and diplomacy at Tel Aviv University (TAU). “I am looking forward to improving my Arabic and to begin developing Hebrew skills by engaging with the diverse local communities and cultures in and around Tel Aviv,” she said.
Alyssa “Aly” Furber ’20 | Germany
Aly Furber, who majored in political science at Barnard, was offered an ETA award in Germany. She declined it in favor of another prestigious opportunity, to teach in Austria through the US Teaching Assistantships program.
Daniela “Dani” Goodman-Rabner ’22 | Argentina
Dani Goodman-Rabner majored in history and Jewish studies. For her Fulbright, she will conduct an independent research project in Buenos Aires entitled “Diaspora and Migration: Religious Performance in the Zwi Migdal, 1890-1930.” Her Yiddish and history studies, along with her prior work in immigration advocacy and her parent’s own immigration story, informed her research project.
“I am most looking forward to collaborating with and learning from my advisor, Professor Susana Skura at the University of Buenos Aires, and to continuing my studying of Talmud at the Rabbinic Seminary of Latin America with Rabbi Ariel Stofenmacher,” said Goodman-Rabner.
Mariah Harvey ’17 | France
Harvey, a recipient of the Fulbright-CY Initiative Award, will study at CY Cergy Paris Université in Cergy. A French major at Barnard, Harvey knew she wanted to return to France after studying abroad in Paris. Since graduation, she has worked at an international literary agency that represents French authors and at NYU’s Institute of French Studies. She credits the flexibility of Barnard’s core curriculum for allowing her to explore French from multiple disciplines. She hopes to deepen the passion she’s cultivated for French literature while in graduate school.
“I’m excited to come away from the program with a new academic network in France and a fully defended master’s thesis, which I can perhaps use to apply for a doctorate in French or comparative literature in the future,” she said.
Jodi Lessner ’20 | Germany
Lessner, a political science and history double major, was awarded a Fulbright scholarship for a master’s program in international security studies at Bundeswehr University Munich. Her plan was to study how governments effectively prevent domestic terrorism when security services are infiltrated by extremist organizations and ideologies. She declined the offer and will instead attend New York University School of Law in the fall.
“Barnard gave me the tools to think critically about complex topics and introduced me to amazing professors who supported my professional and academic interests while I was a student and in the years since graduation,” said Lessner.
Abigail “Abby” Melbourne ’22 | Serbia
Melbourne, who majored in political science, will serve as an ETA in Serbia. Melbourne says that her experience as a Writing Fellow and “Big Problems” teaching assistant, as well as support from the Athena Center for Leadership and SIPA’s Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, prepared her for her Fulbright. “As a lifelong Iowan making the leap to NYC and now to Serbia, being a Barnard student has certainly built my courage and confidence in my adaptability to unfamiliar contexts.”
Courses at Barnard, such as Constructing States, Nations, and Democracies, taught by Professor Sheri Berman, allowed Melbourne to delve deeper into the study of the Balkan conflict, sparking her interest in the region and inspiring her to apply for Fulbright. She looks forward to further exploring the rich historical landscape of Serbia as an ETA.
Lucia O’Brien ’22 | Spain
O’Brien will be serving as an ETA in La Rioja. O’Brien, who majored in political science and minored in Spanish and education studies, said her education studies were crucial in providing her with bilingual classroom experience and helping her understand additive language learning. “In general, I credit my time at Barnard and in NYC with teaching me how to be open to and navigate new environments,” she said.
After being in New York for the past few years, she looks forward to exploring a different place “and all of the new food, art, music, and sights that will come with it.”
Audrey Pettit ’22 | France
Pettit, an English major with a minor in political science, will be working as an ETA in Lyon. Barnard’s flexible curriculum, Pettit said, gave her the opportunity to pursue her interest in French in addition to other fields of study. She sees her Fulbright as an excellent opportunity to build on her experience as a leader and a peer mentor and ultimately prepare her for a career in education.
As an ETA, Pettit will work with high schoolers at Lycée Robert Doisneau. “My French professors emphasized the importance of personal expression when learning a language, and I hope to do the same for my students,” she said.
Sophie Poole ’22 | Spain
The recent graduate was an English major and a philosophy minor. Professor Jennie Kassanoff, for whom Poole worked as a research assistant, encouraged her to apply for a Fulbright and helped her brainstorm research ideas. Columbia’s professor Francisca Augiló Mora’s course Language Crossing in Latinx Caribbean Cultural Production was also influential. “[It] demonstrated to me that I could think, speak, and write about the world in both languages,” Poole said.
Poole’s proposal is to produce an oral history project with Sephardic Jews who received Spanish citizenship following the 2015 repatriation law. “The project aims to trace themes of memory, storytelling, and identity in this pivotal moment of Jewish history in contemporary Spain,” she said.
Barbara Whitehurst ’22 | South Korea
Whitehurst graduated this year as a sociology major and education minor. She applied to Fulbright because she wanted to learn from non-Western educational systems. She will serve as an ETA at an elementary school in South Korea, a country that stood out to her because of its cultural emphasis on collectivism.
While at Barnard, Whitehurst worked with local NYC public school teachers on curriculum development and served as a STEP teacher with Barnard’s Opportunity Programs. “Both of these experiences allowed me to gain more insight into what being an educator committed to critical pedagogy looks like,” she said.
Barnard’s Fulbright alternates:
Rowan Carlaci ’22 — Alternate to Italy
Khadija Hussain ’21 — Alternate to the U.K.
Alison Kahn ’21 — Alternate to Mexico