Three Middlebury seniors and a recent graduate have received grants from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program for international postgraduate study, research, and teaching. Three more have been named as alternates.

The Fulbright program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is supported by the United States government and partner countries around the world. Funding comes through an annual appropriation made by Congress to the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. 

This year’s Fulbright award recipients:

Makoto Johnstone ’23 has received an award for study and research in Chile. A physics major with minors in Spanish and mathematics, Johnstone will work with Dr. Ezequiel Treister at la Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile to conduct research on merging black hole systems. Johnstone notes that with Chile’s wealth of observatory capacity, it’s important that local youth have access to science education. He plans to engage the local community with an after-school program that helps students explore astronomy concepts. At the conclusion of his Fulbright, Johnstone plans to earn his PhD in astronomy/astrophysics and conduct research on supermassive black hole growth and evolution at observatories around the world.

Rory Kelly ’19 has received a Fulbright for study and research in Tunisia. Kelly, who majored in neuroscience and minored in Arabic at Middlebury, will work with a research team and the Tunisian Football Federation for her project, “Elevating Tunisian Girls and Women Through Sports Medicine and Sports Science Research.” Kelly will work on two projects with the research team during her time in Tunis and hopes to find youth coaching opportunities to help her connect with the local community while she is there. When she completes her Fulbright year, she plans to attend medical school in the United States and pursue a career in female athlete medicine.

Grace McCarthy ’23 will spend her Fulbright year as an English teaching assistant in Argentina. Majoring in English and American literatures and Spanish, McCarthy has always enjoyed working with younger students—tutoring in high school and volunteering with Page One Literacy as a Middlebury student. She’s interested in Argentina’s history of immigration and migration, combined with its preservation of Indigenous languages and cultures, and looks forward to exploring the evolution of both Spanish and English with her students. On completion of her Fulbright, McCarthy plans to continue teaching for another year in the U.S. before completing her PhD and teaching at the university level.

Asa Skinder ’23 will spend his Fulbright year as an English teaching assistant in Mexico. An environmental studies and geography joint major with a minor in Spanish, Skinder looks forward to sharing his knowledge of English, along with social and political aspects of life in the United States, with his students in Mexico. He hopes to study food sovereignty and culinary and agricultural traditions during his Fulbright year, making connections with people engaged in culinary or agricultural work to learn more about their processes and traditions. At the end of his Fulbright, he plans to build a career as a labor organizer and possibly pursue teaching English as a second language. 

This year’s Fulbright alternates include the following alumni and students:

Kyle Arnashus, MA candidate at the Kathryn Wasserman Davis School of Russian, for study and research in Kazakhstan

Courtney Crawford ’22.5, English teaching assistant in Italy

Iman Sayeed ’23, English teaching assistant in Morocco

For more information about the Fulbright program or other fellowship opportunities at Middlebury, visit the Fellowships Office.