Rice University

Rice University Center for Civic Leadership

Previous Winners

2015-2016 Fellowship Winners and Honorable Mentions

Wagoner Scholars

The Wagoner Foreign Study Scholarship provides graduating seniors, graduate students, and recent alumni the opportunity to conduct research abroad for a minimum of eight weeks to one year. 8 Rice University students were awarded the Wagoner Scholarship this year.

Tony Zhuang (Will Rice ’16) will work with King’s College London in London, UK for ten weeks this summer. The first half of his study will focus on mapping the functionality and problems associated with electronic health record systems in England. He will then evaluate how utilization of these systems has redefined patient-centered care.

Catherine Chantre (Duncan ‘2016) will conduct research with the University of Cape Town in South Africa for one year. Catherine will spend her year researching the link between racial identity and HIV and gender-based violence risk. The study will provide a greater look into how categorizations affect the health profiles of individuals belonging to a racially stratified society.

Kinsey Dittmar (Duncan, ’16) will work with Project Mercy in Yetebon, Ethiopia for 8 months. Her project has two components. She will be testing the efficacy of the Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics (ALSO®) course and analyzing collected survey data to better understand the relationship between utilization of and proximity to healthcare services as well as the perceived health problems associated with pregnancy.

Daniel Lee (Lovett ’17)will conduct research at ETH Zurich’s Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering this summer 2016 in Basel, Switzerland for 11 weeks as a ThinkSwiss and Rice Wagoner Scholar.  He will be exploring stem cell biology in terms of the specific actions of transcription factors (proteins that control gene expression) that determine stem cell fate.  He will be working with fluorescent fusion proteins along with live long term single-cell imaging techniques developed by Dr. Timm Schroeder’s lab to study these proteins. A deeper understanding of the mechanisms behind stem cells could lead to medical breakthroughs to treat diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

Nicki Chamberlain-Simon (Lovett ’16) will work with the Applied Ergonomics Laboratory. at the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica in Cartago, Costa Rica for 9 months. She will be investigating a 3D printed prosthetic design in order to reduce the cost of assistive care.

Jacob Krauss (Martel ’17) will conduct research with Alicia Lamb in conjunction with Centre ValBio in Ranomafana, Madagascar for 2 months. The project will compare groups of the Milne Edward’s Sifaka lemurs (Prophitecus edwardsi) in protected areas with those in areas of high human activity.

Chloe Nguyen (Wiess ’15) will conduct a design project at Medical Technology Transfer and Services (MTTS) this fall 2016 in Hanoi, Vietnam for nine months. Chloe’s project will consist of developing and testing a newborn warming bassinet design for low-resource hospitals.

Marica Sharashenidze will work with the School for Higher Economics in St. Petersburg, Russia for the 2016-2017 school year. Marica will be conducting an ethnography of a group of children of migrant laborers.


Fulbright Scholars

Students who receive a Fulbright grant have a strong academic background, leadership potential and a passion for expanding mutual understanding among different nations and cultures. This year, 7 Rice University students were awarded Fulbright grants to study, teach and/or conduct research in a foreign country.


Beatrice Herrmann, a Biochemistry and Cell Biology major, will study and research Fundamental Microbiology with the École Normale Supérieure de Cachan in Paris, France for a year. With the conclusion of her research in Paris, she will obtain her Master’s degree in Microbiologie Fondomentale.

Erin Rieger, a Chemistry and Sociology major, will conduct research with the Norwegian Centre for Minority Health Research and University of Oslo this year in Oslo, Norway for 10 months. Erin will study behavioral prevention strategies to address the high prevalence of obesity among female Turkish immigrants in Oslo.

Michael Donatti, a Mechanical Engineering major, will pursue an MSc in Environmental Policy and Management at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom for one year. He hopes to one day craft policy that reduces greenhouse gas emissions from energy production.

Spencer Seballos, a double major in Biochemistry & Cell Biology and Hispanic Studies, is a Fulbright ETA recipient and will be teaching English at the University of Health Sciences (UHS) in Vientiane, Laos for one year. When he returns to the United States after his Fulbright grant, he plans to attend the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine.

Clare Monfredo, a Master’s student at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, will study at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Leipzig, Germany for ten months. Over the course of her Fulbright project, Clare will study the six Unaccompanied Suites for Cello by J.S. Bach under the tutelage of the cellist Peter Bruns.

Joao Ascensao, a Bioengineering major, will conduct research at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain for one year. He will work in the Dynamical Systems Biology Lab under Dr. Jordi Garcia-Ojalvo to perform research on the dynamics of gene regulatory circuits.

2014-2015 Fellowship Winners and Honorable Mentions

Thomas J. Watson Fellowship  
Zach Bielak

Lydia Smith

Fulbright Scholarship 

Lavanya Rao, India

Shayak Sengupta, India

Lachazar Hristov, Germany

Aminat Adegabi, Azerbaijan

Christopher Chu, Brazil

Roy and Hazel Zeff Memorial Fellowship 
Adam Griffin

Morris K. Udall Scholarship Honorable Mention
Michael Donatti
Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship 

Peter Cabeceiras

Ken Groszman

Eric Sung

NSF Fellowship
Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship  

Jennifer Gueler

C.D. Broad Scholarship
Brett Gutstein

Wagoner Foreign Study Scholarship (Undergraduates) 
Karen Haney, Haiti

Disha Kumar, India

Naomi Benecassa, Serbia

Ellen Huang, UK

Charlotte Larson, Switzerland

Anai Navarro, Italy

Andrew Stout, Netherlands

Henry Luce Scholarship
Nicholas Thorpe

Beinecke Graduate Scholarship
Blaque Robinson

Hertz Fellowship
Ravi Sheth


2013-2014 Fellowship Winners 

Thomas J. Watson Fellowship  
Colleen Fugate
Heather Olson
Fulbright Scholarship 

Nathan Liu
Jemina Buoma
Joyce Chou
Kristian Edosowman
Albert Wei
Antonia Sebastian
Monica Matsumoto
Faith Shapiro (Alternate)
Melody Tan (Alternate)
Roy and Hazel Zeff Memorial Fellowship 

Ana Builes
Truman Scholarship 

Hira Baig

Morris K. Udall Scholarship 
Hutson Chilton
Zach Bielak

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship 
Julia Zhao
Joao Ascenscao 
NSF Fellowship

Julian Cooper
Josue Lopez
Aaron Sharpe
Stephanie Tzouanas
Meredith Jackson
Calvin Schmidt
Joseph Yu
Nick Ryder

Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship  
Sarita Panchang
Melody Tan

C.D. Broad Scholarship
Michael De Marco  

Wagoner Foreign Study Scholarship   
Umit Ackigoz
Nikki Moore
Camille Cohen Barnette
Nathanael Homewood
Junia Howell
Natasha Mao
Ludmila de Souza Maia
Onja Razafindratsima
Krystal Lau
Sally Huang
Renaud Boucher-Browning
Anant Subramanian
Naomi Fa-Kaji
Patrick Huang
Josue Lopez
Justin Dong
Linda Wang
Tianyi Hua
Irene Oh
Sarah Heberling

Henry Luce Scholarship
Kevin Schell

National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowships
Aaron Sharpe

Whitaker Fellowship
Nathan Liu

Beinecke Graduate Scholarship
Danny Graves

Hertz Fellowship
Stephanie Tzouanas