Five Connecticut College seniors and one recent alumna will receive Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants to teach English and conduct research abroad for an academic year.
Fulbright fellows receive round-trip travel to their host countries, a living stipend, project allowances and medical insurance. Connecticut College has had 28 winners in the last five years and is regularly recognized as a top producer of Fulbright recipients.
“I am incredibly proud of the five students and one recent alum who have been awarded Fulbrights,” said Dean of the College Erika J. Smith, who joined the Conn community in August. “Since arriving at Connecticut College, I have been impressed with how well prepared our students are for engagement with the world. This opportunity, and more importantly, the richly deserved recognition of this outstanding group of award recipients, underscores the foundation that our curricular experience lays for excellence in global engagement.”
The 2022 Fulbright fellowship winners are:
Emma Atlas ’22, English Teaching Assistantship to Taiwan
Atlas is an international relations major, East Asian studies minor and scholar in the Global Capitalism Pathway from Cambridge, Mass. She will be teaching English at a school in Taiwan where she also plans to create a cooking club for students to share favorite recipes.
Atlas says she is looking forward to spending time abroad and credits her “huge support system” of faculty and staff for preparing her for the Fulbright experience.
“All of my Chinese classes with Professor [Tek-wah] King got me invested in learning Chinese and pushed me to look for more opportunities abroad. All of my history classes with professor [Sarah] Queen helped me learn more about Chinese history, and China’s historical relationship with the rest of Asia and the international system,” Atlas said.
At Conn, Atlas has been active in numerous campus clubs and organizations, including Hillel, orchestra and Ultimate Frisbee. She currently serves as co-president of Hillel.
In the fall, Atlas completed an internship in Washington, D.C., with the Women’s Foreign Policy Group, an organization that promotes women’s voices in the male-dominated field of foreign policy.
After her Fulbright year, Atlas plans to move to D.C. to pursue a position with the U.S. Department of State or a similar organization.
Madison Comer ’22, English Teaching Assistantship to Greece
Cromer, a classics and philosophy double major and scholar in the Eye of the Mind Pathway from Shenandoah, Virginia, will teach English at a school in Athens, Greece.
“I am looking forward to developing interactive English lessons for students that are connected to Greek history. By combining my knowledge of classics and my experience at the New London
County Historical Society with the skills I gained as an intern at a children's museum summer program, I would like to engage students in creating their own exhibit, bringing to life the area around their classroom that is abundant in visual culture,” Comer said.
Comer, who twice studied in Greece while a student at Conn, said she decided to apply for the Fulbright to explore her interests in public history, classics, and modern Greek culture and language studies, and to share her intellectual passions with others through the field of education.
“Professor [Darryl] Phillips was especially influential in my pursuit of the Fulbright. His multidisciplinary approach to understanding the ancient world helped me realize how I could connect my passions for languages, history, visual culture, and education,” she said.
“I want to share my intellectual passions with others through the field of education. As an aspiring public historian, I believe that it is essential for me to understand as many dimensions of the educational field as possible as I prepare to give input and make decisions on how I think people should be educated about history.”
During all four years at Conn, Comer has interned and volunteered with the New London County Historical Society. She also interned for three summers for NDH Law, a boutique firm that handles civil rights cases, and, during the summer of 2020, she completed a virtual program at the Paideia Institute in Rome, Italy. On campus, she is a member of Hillel and the Ultimate Frisbee team, has served as a house floor representative and Jewish Learning Fellow, and has participated in the Walter Commons Language Challenge.
Following her Fulbright fellowship, Comer will pursue a Ph.D. in public history. Ultimately, she hopes to work for an organization like the U.S. Department of Education or UNESCO to develop educational resources that will make it easier for students to apply their history education to contemporary issues.
“I also aspire to serve as the U.S. representative on the International Council on Monuments and Sites so that I can advocate for the preservation of monuments and sites that are both educational and inclusive,” she said.
Julia Graham ’22, English Teaching Assistantship to Kazakhstan
Graham is a psychology and Slavic studies double major from Ann Arbor, Michigan. She will be teaching at a university in Kazakhstan, where she hopes to start a music club or otherwise infuse music in her work.
“I love learning and teaching languages, so Fulbright is the perfect opportunity to do just that while being immersed in a different culture,” Graham said. “I knew I wanted to go to a country where I would be able to practice my Russian skills to some extent, but I also wanted to broaden my horizons beyond just Russia.”
Graham has also been awarded a Critical Language Scholarship to study Russian in Kyrgyzstan this summer, before the start of the school year in Kazakhstan. While in the two countries, she plans to also study some Kyrgyz and Kazakh, both of which are Turkic languages.
On campus, Graham is a manager at one of Conn’s coffee shops, Coffee Closet; a tutor in Russian, writing and psychology; a sexual violence prevention and advocacy peer educator and a sustainability fellow. In April, she was named a Winthrop Scholar, the highest academic honor bestowed by the College.
After her Fulbright fellowship, Graham will work at Epic Systems, a Madison, Wisconsin-based healthcare software company.
Jacob Nozaki ’22, English Teaching Assistantship to Germany
Nozaki is a computer science major, psychology and German double minor and scholar in the College’s Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts (CISLA) from Barrington, Rhode Island. He will be teaching at a school in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
After the COVID-19 pandemic derailed Nozaki’s plans to study abroad in Germany, he began teaching English to refugees through the nonprofit Paper Airplanes.
“I became more engaged with international education, while still wishing for my own international experience. I knew that the Fulbright ETA would enable me to further my teaching experience while also letting me live abroad in Germany,” he said.
On campus, Nozaki serves as chair of academic affairs for the Student Government Association, co-president of CC Democrats, president of the Consulting Club and a member of Club Ultimate, the men’s ultimate frisbee team. He has also served as a language table host, a German language tutor, and a computer science teaching assistant, all of which have helped him hone his teaching skills.
Last summer, Nozaki completed a remote internship with SAP, a German-based multinational enterprise software company, where he researched Human Factor Security. “I was able to use both my computer science and psychology knowledge alongside my German language skills, and connect with colleagues from over a dozen countries,” he said.
In Germany, Nozaki plans to work with his students on enhancing their digital literacy. Additionally, as an Asian-American who has helped lead panels at Conn on the Asian-American experience, he hopes to continue discussions about issues affecting Asian communities in Germany.
“This would hopefully expand to larger discussions about positionality and intersectionality,” he said.
Following his Fulbright fellowship, Nozaki is considering pursuing a master’s degree in public policy, education or education policy, as well as a career in the tech industry as a project manager or software engineer.
Devon Rancourt ’21, English Teaching Assistantship to Bulgaria
Rancourt, a Slavic studies and history double major from Hopkinton, Massachusetts, earned a certificate from the College’s Holleran Center for Community Action and Policy. She will be teaching at a school in Pernik, Bulgaria, where she will also coach the school’s BEST (Bulgarian English Speech Tournament) team.
“This program is very popular in Bulgaria, and one of my goals is to help my students increase their confidence in speaking and expressing their opinions in English,” Rancourt said.
“Additionally, I would like to plan cooking events for the students to take part in, because some of the most memorable experiences I have had with the Slavic Studies department were the days when we made dishes from Russia, Bulgaria, and other Slavic countries. Food and culture are deeply connected, so this would be a great learning experience.”
Rancourt says she very much enjoys teaching language. Since graduation, she has been teaching English remotely to teenagers and adults at the American Home, a language school in Vladimir, Russia.
She credits Slavic studies faculty members Laura Little and Petko Ivanov with introducing her to the Bulgarian language and culture, and says they were instrumental in creating the opportunity for her to study away at New Bulgarian University in Sofia, Bulgarian, in the spring of 2020.
“Unfortunately, the pandemic cut my time short, but this brief experience sparked my interest in returning to Bulgaria to further study the language, which I used extensively during the research process for my honors thesis about the mandatory teaching of the Russian language in Bulgarian schools during the country’s socialist period (1945-1989). I am eager to return to Bulgaria and be immersed in the language and culture,” Rancourt said.
Following her Fulbright fellowship, Rancourt plans to pursue a career in teaching and is considering teaching ESL and Russian at the secondary level.
Cameron Tubb ’22, English Teaching Assistantship to Germany
Tubb, an English and German studies double major and CISLA scholar from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, will teach at a school in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein.
Tubb said the Fulbright is the perfect way to combine his interests in German language and culture and teaching.
“I have volunteered as an ESL teacher in the past, and it was something I really enjoyed. I’m excited to be able to do it again.”
Tubb, who hopes to attend a graduate program in either the U.S. or Germany following his Fulbright fellowship, said he feels his Conn education has prepared him well for the Fulbright experience.
“The folks from CISLA and the professors in the German department all helped me internationalize my education in a productive and personally fulfilling way,” he said. “Professor [Suzuko] Knott from the German department was a particularly big help in the Fulbright application process, as well as a terrific adviser and mentor during my time at Conn.”