Four More Fulbrights for Ithaca College

By David Maley, May 16, 2017

Four More Fulbrights for Ithaca College

Three graduating seniors and one recent alumna of Ithaca College have been selected for the 2017 Fulbright Scholar Program, matching the most ever at the college for a single year. All four will be conducting research or studying abroad as part of the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program.

Kaela Bamberger
The 2014 graduate earned her B.S. in planned studies, a degree program she created pulling from the disciplines of politics, economics, business and theater. Bamberger was awarded a Fulbright grant to enroll in a master’s degree program in international relations at the University Aberystwyth in Wales, United Kingdom.

Bamberger’s studies will focus on the politics of knowledge and a sub-discipline of international relations called postcolonial studies. Academia in the United States offers a highly quantitative version of international relations, tellingly coined “American IR.” Aberystwyth is a hub for scholars whose expertise is at the forefront of a critical, interdisciplinary international politics unavailable in the U.S. She hopes her year in Wales will equip her with the tools to effectively challenge deep-set aspects of mainstream international relations.

Kaleb Cabisca
A senior majoring in history with a minor in politics, Cabisca was awarded his Fulbright to teach English and conduct research in Vienna, Austria. His research interest is in the Bosnian Crisis of 1908–9, which erupted after Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina. He will focus on how the media presented the decline of Austria-Hungary as a power, the growing tension in Austrian’s multicultural society and how media coverage revealed this. He seeks to compare how Austrian society dealt with difference in the multinational Habsburg Empire versus in the modern nation state.

In addition to utilizing newspaper databases and Foreign Ministry documents, Cabisca will attend faculty and guest lectures at the University of Vienna, participate in student organizations, set up an informal English language practice for Austrian students and engage with the cultural institutions of the university and the city. One of his goals is to use the experience of living in Vienna to help his German fluency.

Victor Lopez-Carmen
A senior health sciences major with a premedical concentration, Lopez-Carmen was awarded a Fulbright postgraduate scholarship to conduct research on aboriginal health issues at Western Sydney University in Australia. There has been an increased suicide risk in aboriginal students who are compelled to attend boarding schools when there is no secondary schooling in their remote communities. Lopez-Carmen will investigate the impact of mentoring interventions to increase levels of psychosocial resilience, improve current health initiatives and evaluate socioemotional health needs in this population.

Lopez-Carmen’s interest in issues involving indigenous peoples stems, in part, from his own background. He is an enrolled member of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe and is also Yaqui. He has previously been named a Udall Scholar and awarded a Boren Scholarship, with his ultimate goal to become a physician serving indigenous communities in need.

Samuel Rubin
A senior majoring in music with a minor in politics, Rubin was awarded a Fulbright grant to study the music and politics of Polish composer Henryk Górecki. He will conduct research at the Polish Academy of Sciences and Institute of Art in Warsaw, and travel to Katowice to meet with family members, contemporaries and former students of the composer. He intends to trace the historical remnants of totalitarianism in contemporary Poland through the lens of 20th-century avant-garde composition, with the hope of exposing American audiences to this under-appreciated music.

A violist, Rubin also plans to engage with the Warsaw and Katowice musical communities by auditioning for the symphonic ensembles at each university, and by seeking out others to perform chamber music with.

Professor of English Hugh Egan serves as the faculty liaison for students seeking external grants and awards. He says that while Ithaca College is typically awarded several student Fulbrights in each cycle, this ties the all-time high for a single year.

Four faculty members from the School of Humanities and Sciences were also recognized with Fulbright grants for 2017–18 under the Core U.S. Scholar Program: Jennifer Germann and Paul Wilson, associate professors of art history; Lindsay Gilmour, assistant professor of theatre arts; and Michael Smith, associate professor of history and of environmental studies and sciences.

The college was recently recognized by the “Chronicle of Higher Education” for being among the top schools in the nation for producing both student and faculty Fulbrights. In 2016–17, IC was ranked 3rd among master’s-level institutions for faculty awards and 17th for student awards.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides college seniors and recent graduates — chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential — with the opportunity to study, teach or conduct research internationally, exchanging ideas and contributing to finding solutions to shared concerns. The Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program offers to college faculty the opportunity to teach and/or conduct research in over 125 countries.