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International Studies Majors Earn 2019 Fulbright Awards

An aerial view of the John Dickinson Campus

Photo by Kimberly Drexler ’15

lyman limestone photo

 

Olivia Lyman

Major: international studies
Hometown: Mount Kisco, New York
Award: Fulbright
Purpose of award: English teaching assistant, Côte d'Ivoire

How has Dickinson prepared you for life after graduation?

Within my life at Dickinson, I want to remember days like Dec. 8, when 150-plus of my classmates marched from Stern to Borough Hall to fight for Carlisle’s Anti-Discrimination Ordinance. This day, to me, represented every value that Dickinson has taught me: courage, resilience, strength, sacrifice and, above all, compassion. I hope this day goes down in history for all of the glory and beauty that it held, but further, I hope that it is a piece of history that future Dickinsonians can look to and reflect on with the climate of campus. It is this knowledge of reflexivity, positionality and intersectionality that enables us to create positive and sustainable change for years to come, not only on this campus, but in our everyday lives, within our future careers. My international studies major and women's, gender & sexuality studies (WGSS) minor have both taught me of the importance of looking back throughout history to first, learn from and not make the same mistakes we have made as a community in the past and, second, to recognize the courageous efforts of others, because it’s our responsibility to continue forging a path in their footsteps.
   
Within my passion for women’s empowerment, specifically in post-conflict and educational settings within the African continent, I hope to seek out opportunities to learn about these topics by immersing myself in new cultures and taking on diverse leadership opportunities. During my junior year, I was lucky enough to have studied in Rwanda where I gained invaluable insight into post-genocide peacebuilding through my coursework, conducting research on women’s post-genocide empowerment and teaching English at the Nyamirambo Women’s Center. With my proficiency of French, ability to learn Kinyarwanda, and willingness to work outside of my comfort zone, I’ve been able to access different worldviews by working with communities at the grassroots level. With this knowledge and motivation surrounding WGSS, I hope to use these intersectional studies and in-depth work experiences to start a career where I can help empower women in conflict and peacebuilding settings. I could not be more grateful for the Department of International Studies and WGSS for existing and helping me not only grow as a student, but a friend, sister, daughter, as a partner. Dickinson has full-heartedly pushed me to be the absolute best version of myself and has helped me realized that I am a part of something so much bigger than myself- I will forevermore practice intersectionality, reflexivity and empathy in my future career and everyday life.

What are you most anticipating about your career or postgraduate pursuits?

I am most excited to once again, immerse myself within a new culture- to foster and grow from yet another beautifully resilient and unapologetic community. I am also incredibly excited to be a resource to any and all Dickinson students passionate about women, peace and security. I have a lot of love and appreciation for Dickinson and its ability to help me grow as not only a student but a friend, sister, daughter and partner.

What are some of the defining moments of your Dickinson experience?

My sophomore year, I attended the Anti-Discrimination Ordinance at Town Hall- talk about a community. Throughout this night, I constantly had to keep looking around to capture this mental image because what I was looking at, were some of the most hopeful, ambitious, determined, unapologetic and resilient faces I had seen in my life. Students, professors, administrators and neighbors, men, women, children, gay, straight, transgender, gender-non conforming, young old, ally’s, you name it. I sat there, wide-eyed, smiling from ear to ear, listening to my classmates, my neighbors and my mentors speak about the definition of love. One student, a good friend of mine, queer and beautiful, stood up and said, “I love Carlisle, but I want Carlisle to love me back.” With this resilience, the anti-discrimination ordinance passed and I celebrated love that night with hundreds of members of our community. This strength, this beauty, this vulnerability helped me come into my own sexuality, unapologetically and was only just the beginning of the beauty that I witnessed within this community.
   
When I came back from abroad, struggling to re-acclimate myself to campus and find my place again, one of my good friends, a Posse Scholar, encouraged me to attend the Posse Plus Retreat. Hesitant that I would be encroaching on someone else’s space, family, community- I went and I thank myself every day for making that decision. As we discussed Race, Hate and Hope in America today, I found myself in productive, meaningful, challenging, uncomfortable, beautiful and inspiring conversations, every second of the day. These days were facilitated, but these interactions were organic, they were genuine, they made my heart heavier with each individual that I spoke to. You see, at this retreat, everyone didn’t just look at each other, they saw each other. Whether you were a student, faculty member, administrator, Posse trainer, senior staff member or anything in between- you had a voice and that voice was valued, appreciated and respected. I went to this retreat my junior year and you better believe I went again this year because at the end of every retreat, almost every year someone said, “This is my Dickinson.” I had the privilege of watching mentorship- as various administrators individually volunteer four years to curating a support system for these scholars, to commit to unapologetically supporting each and every one of them, whenever or wherever that may be. For two and a half days, I was surrounded by hundreds of leaders who taught me that the easiest way to gaining a sense of humility was to appreciate others- that we can learn something and grow from everyone we cross paths with. No one wasted time asking why, we valued each conversation we had, we found peace in knowledge, truth, wisdom, experience and most of all, love. We have a lot of problems and continue to have a lot of problems that we each face individually, collectively and authentically within our community, but these voices, these individuals, are what has helped me see the hope and beauty in not only our community, but in humanity.

Internship Experience

I completed an internship with Diamonds Unleashed, the Women's Education Project, MADRE as a humanitarian aid & maternal health intern, the National Women's Health Network as a health policy intern and lastly, with PKSOI as a women, peace and security intern.

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Candice Ionescu

Major: international studies
Hometown: Maple Glen, Pennsylvania
Award: Fulbright
Purpose of Award: Fulbright research fellow

Job Responsibilities

I will be researching standardization/trade policy at the Federal University in Rio de Janeiro beginning March of 2020.

How has Dickinson prepared you for life after graduation?

The externship program is the reason I was able to get the internship at NIST, which in turn put me onto a path to doing Fulbright. Going abroad changed my perspective on how I viewed the world. Dickinson Christian Fellowship helped me find my identity in Christ. Being a student-athlete on the cross country and track and field teams, has taught me to be a hard worker, a team player and a positive leader. It has shown me my passion for my sport, as well as challenged me in so many ways it's hard to name. Mostly though, I learned to persevere despite the challenges and obstacles. I will forever cherish the memories on these teams.

What are you most anticipating about your career or postgraduate pursuits?

Just finding out what really motivates and drives me.

What are some of the defining moments of your Dickinson experience?

Going abroad definitely overall defined my experience and my worldview. Making it to nationals was also a defining moment for me because it showed me how far I have come in my sport since I came to Dickinson. Receiving the NIST fellowship and the Fulbright fellowships both showed me that I made the right decision to change my major. I think I came to this realization to change it after speaking to Professor Carolina Castellanos.

Internship Experience

I interned at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as a summer undergraduate research fellow researching Chinese standardization strategy in Gaithersburg, Md.

Molly Burger

Majors: international studies, German
Hometown: Hermon, New York
Award: Fulbright
Purpose of Award: teaching English in Berlin, Germany

How has Dickinson prepared you for life after graduation?

Dickinson has taught me how to think in various fields and critical thinking.

What are you most anticipating about your career or postgraduate pursuits?

I will work for a couple of years and then plan to go to grad school.

What are some of the defining moments of your Dickinson experience?

Studying abroad in Bremen was defining.

Internship Experience

I interned with the U.S. Army War College and researched border security. I also interned with the Bremen Information Center for Human Rights and Development where I helped with various projects.

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Published April 30, 2019