Eight graduate students receive Fulbright fellowships for 2024

The scholars will travel to seven different countries to do research, study and teach

Colombia, Jordan and Germany are a few of the countries where University of Washington (UW) graduate students and alumni will be studying and working next year, with eight students awarded Fulbright Fellowships for 2024.

The U.S. scholarship program is the largest international exchange opportunity in the country for students to pursue graduate study, advanced research and teaching.

This year’s group of graduate students and alumni will be using their awards to study everything from disobedient robots to rural community health management of snakebite envenoming to women’s access to quality care during perimenopause.

UW Graduate and professional students and alumni can apply for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program with support from the Graduate School Office of Fellowships & Awards. If you are interested in applying, please contact Fulbright Program Adviser Michelle Sutton.

Meet this year’s awardees:

Photo of Nicolás Kisic Aguirre smiling at the camera

Nicolás Kisic Aguirre
PhD student, DXARTS

Nicolás is a PhD student in the Department of Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS). Nicolás’ project in Mexico builds on his PhD research at the DXARTS at the UW. The “Disobedient Robots” project focuses on reimagining our relationship with robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) through an artistic and technologically disobedient approach. By delving into Natural Language Processing (NLP), he seeks to give his robots linguistic agency, challenging the dominance of English-centric AI models. He plans to collaborate with local artists and institutions like Centro Multimedia at Centro Nacional de las Artes to engage with Mexico City’s vibrant art scene, fostering interdisciplinary dialogues and creating a collaborative exhibition to showcase his research and artistic exploration. Based at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM), his host institution, he will participate in workshops, talks and interviews to catalyze a dialogue aimed at reshaping the perception of robots as autonomous entities rather than mere tools.

Aaron Barker
PhD student, Philosophy

Aaron Barker is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Philosophy and will be studying in Mainz, Germany during the 2024-25 academic year. Aaron will be working with Dr. Matthias Koßler, the head of the Schopenhauer-Gessellschaft. With a focus on Arthur Schopenhauer’s views of character, deliberation and responsibility. Aaron’s dissertation project promises to show that Schopenhauer’s views can shed light on contemporary concerns, including the question of whether people are responsible for their implicit biases.

In addition to his research, Aaron is looking forward to the opportunity to establish connections with other researchers and scholars, practice his language skills and experience German culture. Upon returning to the US, Aaron plans to defend his dissertation and will pursue faculty research and teaching positions.

Aaron Barker smiling at the camera

Rachel Buchmeier smiling at the camera with her children

Rachel Andersen
PhD student, nursing

Rachel is a PhD student in the School of Nursing and will travel to Jordan to implement the Promoting First Relationships curriculum with the Barnard Center at the UW and University of Jordan’s nursing department.

Kaya Mallick
Master’s student, International Studies

Kaya is a Master’s student in the Henry M Jackson School of International Studies. She will conduct her research project in India.

Kaya Mallick smiling at the camera

Brian Park looking at the camera

Brian Park
PhD student, History

Brian Park is a PhD student in the Department of History. He will take his research to Japan, where he will work on his dissertation project, which investigates the role of Zainichi Korean (ethnic Koreans residing in Japan) businesses in South Korea’s economic development during the Park Chung Hee period (1963–1979).

Claudia Herrero Rapagna
Master’s student, Middle East Studies

Claudia Herrero Rapagna is a Master’s student in the Henry M Jackson School of International Studies. She was granted an English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) for Jordan. Although she hasn’t received her placement yet, but she expects to work as a teaching assistant with embassy language programs or Jordanian public institutions and/or universities.

Claudia is currently a teaching assistant at the UW and plans on expanding her language teaching skills, learning about Jordanian community, and strengthening her Arabic language skills.

Claudia Herrero Rapagna smiling at the camera

Claire Rater smiling at the camera

Claire Rater
Master’s student, Epidemiology and Social Work

Claire is a Master’s student in the School of Public Health and will travel to Colombia. While in Colombia, she will work with Juan Alvarez Cordovez and Carlos Bravo Vega, researchers at the Universidad de Los Andes. She will conduct research in a rural community in the Andean mountain range, Carmen de Apicala, examining rural community health management of snakebite envenoming. Snakebite envenoming was recently designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a neglected tropical disease (NTD) that requires prioritized attention. Colombia is home to the most diverse reptile population globally which includes the largest population of venomous snakes in the world. She will conduct interviews and surveys among healthcare professionals, community members and firefighters in rural areas around Colombia. She and her research team will also provide education on preventing and treating snakebite. They ultimately hope to shed light on the problem of snakebite envenoming and highlight the strengths of rural health systems in Colombia.

Frankie Leigh Shelton
Master’s student, Health Administration

Frankie is a Master’s student in the School of Public Health and will travel to the United Kingdom to complete her study grant. A clinical nutritionist by training and owner of a women’s digital health clinic, Frankie is passionate about creating sex-specific healthcare options that address the significance of women’s hormonal timeline. During her time at the UW, she partnered with the iSchool Capstone and cofounded HerHeartCo, a healthcare technology to reduce women’s risk of cardiovascular disease through perimenopausal intervention.

She has devoted her career to advancing the role of integrative health and close monitoring to develop better ways to care for women’s health throughout their lifetime. Her pursuit of the University College London Entrepreneurship Award is to further develop innovation in women’s healthcare and HerHeartCo. The platform aims to improve women’s quality of life during perimenopause by responding to their biometrics in real time with easy to follow advice on their mobile device and access to a team of women’s health specialists. This Fulbright grant will give Frankie the opportunity to learn from and engage in healthcare solutions on a global scale that not only improve women’s access to care but simultaneously contribute to the gap in data around women’s physiology.

Frankie Leigh Shelton