Bios for Villanova's Fulbright Winners

Bios of Villanova's 17 Fulbright U.S. Student Grant Recipients

The U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board recently announced the Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards for 2020-2021. This year, 17 Villanovans won the prestigious award.

Below are bios for the 17 Villanovans awarded Fulbright U.S. Student Grants:

Mark Brady (’19 CLAS), of New Canaan, Connecticut, graduated early in Fall 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and minors in Business, History, and Spanish. After spending his Junior Fall abroad in Seville, he will be returning to Spain as an English Teaching Assistant. Mark is eager to follow the cultural and economic developments of his placement region. Upon returning, Mark will pursue graduate study opportunities in International Affairs, Economics, or History.

Amanda Burau (’19 CLAS), of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, graduated in summer 2019 with a Master of Human Resource Development degree. Burau has spent the beginning of her career in urban and rural communities working with low-income, first-generation students pursuing admission to and success through college. She completed her undergraduate work in 2013 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) studying Natural Resource and Environmental Economics. Through her involvement at UNL, she was awarded both the Heart and Soul Award and the Hero Award for citizenship and service. Burau will spend the next year as an English Teaching Assistant in Bulgaria where she is excited to immerse herself in Bulgarian culture, help students in and out of the classroom, and explore the beautiful countryside.

Christa Cook (’20 CLAS), of Richardson, Texas, will graduate this spring with a master's degree in Sustainable Engineering with a focus in International Development. Prior to her time at Villanova, she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Louisiana State University. She spent two years as a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Engineer with the Peace Corps in Peru implementing rural water systems. She has also worked as a Sanitation Engineer for CH2M. At Villanova, she is a Service Learning Coordinator and leads service trips focused on WASH projects. Christa will spend her Fulbright year in Brazil investigating the use of sustainable materials, specifically coconuts, for waste-water treatment in rural communities.

Nora Cowley (’20 CLAS), of Sterling, Pennsylvania, will graduate this spring with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication, specializing in Rhetorical Studies, with minors in English and Political Science. A writing tutor and assistant to the director of the Villanova Writing Center, Cowley has worked as a legal intern at HIAS Pennsylvania through the Philadelphia Area Social Justice Internship cohort; taught English to Latin American immigrants at the Center for Culture, Art, Work and Education in Norristown, Pennsylvania; and been a member of Villanova Residence Life. Cowley will begin her Fulbright award in Spain in January 2021, working as an English Teaching Assistant in Madrid. Upon her return, she will begin law school, pursuing her career in immigration law.

Chris Deucher (’20 CLAS), of Cleveland, Ohio, will graduate this spring with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Political Science with a minor in Business. During his time on campus, Deucher served as Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Villanovan, a Resident Assistant and a student leader for Villanova on the Hill, a week-long immersion program. This past summer, he interned in the United States Senate. As a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, he will teach English at a secondary school in the Czech Republic. Upon his return to the U.S., Deucher will attend law school.  

Elizabeth Einig (’16 VSB), of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, graduated in the spring of 2016 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. During her time at Villanova, she was an active member of Blue Key Society and a Career Assistant in the University Career Center. Einig joined Teach For America upon graduation, and she has spent the past four years teaching secondary math in San Antonio and Los Angeles. As a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Poland, she will teach English to university students. Upon her return, she intends to pursue a career in higher education.

Isabel Forward (’20 CLAS), of Denver, Colorado, will graduate this spring with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Education and English, with minors in Spanish, Peace & Justice and Latin American Studies. She has served as a leader for multiple Villanova Service and Justice experiences, and assisted in the development of a new program focusing on Immigration Justice and Community Leadership. During her time at Villanova, she challenged dominant narratives surrounding immigration through her work published in Slate magazine and as a speaker at TEDxVillanovaU. She served on the executive boards of Phi Sigma Pi Honor Fraternity and LEVEL, in addition to her membership of the Blue Key Society, Phi Beta Kappa, and her role as an Orientation Staff member. She will spend her Fulbright year in Colombia serving as an English Teaching Assistant. Upon her return to the U.S., she will attend law school to pursue a career in domestic policy reform.

Caraline Gammons (’20 CLAS), of East Greenwich, Rhode Island will graduate this spring with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, and a minor in Geography. A Villanova Undergraduate Research Fellowship recipient, Caraline has been an active member of the Curry Research Lab and is completing a thesis on achromatic plumage variance in local pure and hybrid chickadee species. She is a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority as well as the pre-veterinary club. Caraline will spend her Fulbright year completing a master’s degree in One Health at the Royal Veterinary College in London, followed by a four-month research project abroad. Upon completion of her Fulbright year, Caraline intends to attend veterinary school in pursuit of a career in veterinary research.

Jillian Haggard (’20 CLAS), of Basking Ridge, New Jersey, will graduate this spring with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Spanish. Throughout her time at Villanova University, she served as a Community Interpreter for the Villanova Law Clinic, tutored at after-school programs in Philadelphia, and was a member of the Sophomore Service Learning Community and Alpha Gamma Delta. She studied abroad in Cádiz, Spain during the fall of her junior year and will return to Spain as an English Teaching Assistant. Upon completion of her Fulbright year, she plans to pursue a career in school psychology.

Michelle Kimura (’20 CLAS), of Honolulu, Hawai’i, will graduate this spring with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Peace and Justice and a minor in Biology. A tour guide on campus through the Blue Key Society, Kimura has also volunteered as a coach with Delaware County Special Olympics, acted as a learning community student facilitator, and is a member of Chi Omega sorority. She was as a producer for this year’s International Social Justice Documentary. Kimura will spend her Fulbright year in Kenya studying the intersectionality between disability and health, conducting a research project titled, “Health and Equity for Those with Disabilities in Kenya.” Upon her return to the U.S., Kimura intends to pursue a career in medicine.

Nathalie Leonardo (’20 CLAS), of Newark, New Jersey, will graduate this spring with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and minors in Criminology and Spanish. In the past two years, she has served as a Resident Assistant fostering fellowship amongst Villanova University residents. As Secretary and Vice President of the Epsilon Eta Chapter of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc., she has helped put together interactive programming to educate others, fundraise for St. Jude and encourage community engagement. In addition to these contributions, she has dedicated her undergraduate experience to working with the immigrant community as an interpreter for the Charles Widger School of Law and as an intern for the International Rescue Committee. As a Fulbright Teaching Assistant, she will teach English in the Canary Islands. Upon returning to the U.S., she will attend law school and continue her work with the immigrant community.

Caleigh Manyak (’20 CLAS), of Cape May, New Jersey, will graduate this spring with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Global Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Arab and Islamic Studies. She has served as an Executive Board Member for Villanova College Democrats, as well as a Cardinal Cabinet Director for Chi Omega Fraternity. Her social justice work has been highlighted by the Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women’s Leadership, Huffpost, and Latina Magazine. After working as a field organizer for the Democratic National Committee for the 2020 election, she will go to Brazil to complete a Fulbright year as an English Teaching Assistant. Upon return to the U.S., Caleigh intends to continue her studies by earning a master's degree in Education Policy.

Benjamin Moy (’20 CLAS), of Cohasset, Massachusetts, will graduate this spring with a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Environmental Science and Geography. He has been on Villanova's Men’s Rowing Team for four years. Moy studied abroad in Dunedin, New Zealand, which sparked his interest in pursuing research in the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions. Moy will be conducting his Fulbright year in Indonesia where he will learn Bahasa Indonesian through the Critical Language Enhancement Award. His project will study socioeconomic impacts on regulation of shark fisheries in Tanjung Luar Village on the island of Lombok. Upon completion of his Fulbright year, Moy will return to New Zealand to pursue a graduate degree in oceanography with a concentration in marine management.

Christina Prinssen (’20 CLAS), of Torrington, Connecticut, will graduate this spring with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Global Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Japanese. On campus she served two years as president of the Japanese Club, was a member of the Villanova Voices, and worked for Villanova Catering. She has spent two consecutive summers working with Japanese students in Ibaraki, Japan and at Keio Academy of New York. She will complete her Fulbright year in South Korea as an English Teaching Assistant. Upon her return she intends to pursue a career in international relations.

Clare Reckner (’20 CLAS) of Sellersville, Pennsylvania, will graduate this spring with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, a concentration in Writing and Rhetoric, and a minor in Communication. A Dr. Richard Neville Distinguished Student awardee, Reckner served in multiple leadership roles in arts and service organizations at Villanova. She also studied abroad for a semester in Galway, Ireland. As an English Teaching Assistant, Clare will teach secondary school in the Czech Republic. Upon her return to the U.S., Clare will attend law school.

Nkiambi Sokolo (’18 CLAS), of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics with a minor in French and Francophone studies. Since Fall 2018, he has been teaching English in Ulsan, South Korea and Seoul, South Korea to learn more about the technology used in education. As a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, Nkiambi will be teaching English in Taiwan. Upon returning to the United States, he plans to pursue a master's in software engineering. 

Jasmine Thornton (’20 CLAS), of Houston, Texas, will graduate this spring with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a minor in Educational Policy. She has served as President for both her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Tau Xi Chapter, and the Pennsylvania State Education Association chapter on Villanova's campus. She has served as an Executive Board Member for student organizations such as the Multicultural Greek Council and the Pre-Law Black Law Students Association. Jasmine will be traveling to Greece to complete a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship. Upon return to the U.S., Thornton intends to continue her studies by eventually earning an EdD in Education Policy and going on to work at a think tank as an education policy analyst specifying in urban education and financial aid.