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RIT Global

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is a prestigious award that provides funding to study for a master’s degree, complete an independent research project, or teach English for up to a year outside the U.S. During their grant period, Fulbrighters meet, work, live with, and learn from the people of their host country.

RIT Awardees

Hira AbidHira Abid
Chemical Engineering (KGCOE)
Fulbright Finalist – Study

Hira will study at Koҫ University in Istanbul, Turkey, to earn a graduate degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering. With experience as a research assistant in polymers and nanomaterials, Hira wanted to learn even more about biotechnology and bolster her growing interest in gene therapies and is excited about pursuing the coursework in Istanbul. 

Fascinated with Turkey from a young age, she remembers watching Turkish dramas on television, dubbed in Urdu, the national language of Pakistan. Even then, she imagined herself in Turkey, enjoying the culture and its people. “I’ve always noticed that Turkey was a mix of East and West together. That’s what I feel I am more comfortable with, and that is how I see myself,” she says.
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Matthias HausmanMatthias Hausman
Double major in Mechanical Engineering (KGCOE) and International & Global Studies (CLA)
Fulbright Finalist – English Teaching Assistant

As an English Teaching Assistant (ETA), Matthias will teach English language in Germany. After studying abroad in Germany in 2019, Matthias wanted to pursue a Fulbright award to have an in-depth cultural experience in Germany and perfect his German language skills. “By teaching, I will be regularly interacting with many Germans of various perspectives, from which I will be able to learn many more perspectives about Germany, and it's culture than I have before,” he says.

Matthias’ long-term goals include pursuing a career in international affairs focusing on energy and environmental policy topics and how international institutions can achieve progress in those policy areas. “This award will help me as it will give me greater experience living and working abroad, which would be helpful in such an internationally focused area. Since Germany is a leader in those policy areas, I will have greater exposure to see how their actions are perceived domestically,” says Matthias.
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Tyler PugedaTyler Pugeda
Professional Studies (MS) (SOIS)
Fulbright Finalist - Research

Tyler will work on a research project based at Charité Hospital in Berlin that investigates a possible mechanism for Alzheimer's disease. “While there are drugs that alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer's, it is frustrating that there are no approved treatments to slow the progression of the disease. However, my Fulbright work could lead to the first groundbreaking therapy that slows the progression of Alzheimer's. It could also extend the use of this research to treat other neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's,” says Tyler.

With an interest in pursuing an MD-PhD degree, Tyler’s research supports his goal of translating scientific discoveries into groundbreaking therapeutics to improve medical care. “As an aspiring physician-scientist, navigating cultural and linguistic barriers in Germany will give me greater insight into how non-native patients cope with such barriers in the U.S.,” he says.
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Ashley TuckerAshley Tucker
Double major: Biomedical Sciences (CHST), Biology (COS)
Fulbright Finalist -  Research

Ashley will conduct a research project at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria, working with the malaria research group led by Professor Catherine Falade, Director of the Institute for Advanced Medical Research and Training, College of Medicine. Her research will study rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) used to diagnose malaria in Nigeria and how the deletion of Histidine-Rich Proteins in RDTs can lead to malaria misdiagnosis. “This research will provide Nigeria with information on the regions with the highest prevalence of these mutations, which interfere with the proper diagnosis and treatment of malaria, a fatal parasitic disease,” Ashley says.

After completing her Fulbright research, Ashley will pursue further study in an MD-PhD program. “This award provides me with the extraordinary opportunity to work in a research lab to further develop my bench techniques while working on a project to benefit my host country of Nigeria,” she says. “Experiencing a new culture will strengthen my appreciation for lifestyles and beliefs that differ from mine and will be a great benefit when working with patients from different backgrounds,” she concludes.
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As a Fulbright alternate, these students could be promoted to Fulbright finalist status if additional funding becomes available.

Abigail Buchman
Game Design & Development (GCCIS)
Fulbright Alternate – Study

Abigail would pursue an MSc in Emerging Media at Dublin City University (DCU) in Ireland. After working on a collaborative multi-media project with students in Paris during spring 2020, Abigail saw the value in getting an international education and digging deeper into the global scope of interactive media. “DCU’s program aims to create a deeper understanding of how interactive media and the Internet of Things is both influenced and influencing the world around us,” says Abigail.

Anna Tilstra-Smith
Biomedical Engineering (KGCOE)
Fulbright Alternate – Study

Anna would pursue a master’s degree in Life Science and Technology from TU Delft in the Netherlands with a focus on Cell Factory and Biocatalysis. Her academic and career goals center on research related to women’s health. “I want to research the formation of scar tissue and how to utilize the healing process to prevent excessive and problematic scarring. I also have an interest in pursuing research related to conditions like PCOS and Endometriosis. Both are highly prevalent conditions in the female and uterine possessing populations with no known cause and no true cure,” says Anna.

Keara Mangan
Film and Animation (CAD)
Fulbright Alternate - Study

Keara would pursue a master’s degree in Creative and Cultural Industries Management at Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

RIT students interested in applying for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program fellowship should contact Jenny Sullivan (, Director of Education Abroad & International Fellowships.