Published: July 10, 2018

Ten CU Boulder students and alumni have been honored with prestigious awards to study and conduct research in locations around the globe. Eight CU students have been offered Fulbright grants for the 2018–19 academic year, and two were honored with Boren fellowships.

The Fulbright scholars are Alice Hill, Chile; Jordan Holquist; Germany; Noha Kikhia, Mexico Binational Internship; Page McClean, Chile; Tyler Fair, Mexico; Maya Friedli-Schroeder, Colombia; Jean Russell, Malaysia; Jordan Thomas, Spain. The Boren scholars are Marielle Butters, Indonesia; Naomi Chang, Tanzania.

“I’m thrilled to see our students representing CU in competitive awards like the Fulbright student grants and Boren graduate fellowships,” said Deborah Viles of the Office of Top Scholarships. “Our students show up extremely well on the national stage. It’s exciting to see them recognized for the remarkable work they do.”

The Fulbright recipients were selected for their academic and professional achievement as well as for their record of service and leadership potential in their respective fields. The 70-year-old program, sponsored by the U.S. government, operates in more than 140 countries and has provided opportunities for more than 360,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and scientists.

In 2018, 341 Boren scholarships and fellowships were awarded to undergraduate and graduate students to study 33 different languages in 38 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Middle East.

CU Boulder students interested in applying for a Fulbright or Boren award should contact The Fulbright campus deadline is Sept. 6, 2018; the Boren fellowship campus deadline is Jan. 9, 2019.

Boren scholars

Marielle Butters is working on her doctorate degree in linguistics at CU. Her Boren fellowship will take her to Indonesia where she will divide her time between intensive language study of Bahasa Indonesian and her dissertation research, a description of the Sudanese language. Her linguistics work is primarily concerned with the comparison, analysis and description of languages for which there are few records. She previously worked in Indonesia as an English teacher. After she completes her Boren, she hopes to work as a foreign service officer on the consular or political track.

Naomi Chang is pursuing a master’s degree in environmental engineering. She will go to Tanzania on her Boren fellowship, where she will improve her proficiency in Swahili by working with a native speaking tutor. She will work with Maji Safi Group on Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) interventions. WASH engages the community in participatory learning programs to improve WASH behavior and improve health and quality of life. Her previous work in the Peace Corps in the area convinced Chang to pursue a career in international development. She hopes to work with USAID in Tanzania in the Global Health initiative after her Boren.

Fulbright study/research

Alice Hill recently completed her doctorate degree in geography at CU. Her Fulbright will take her to central Chile where she will study water vulnerability. Her research with Hidrologia Ambiental at the Advanced Mining Technology Center seeks to improve water vulnerability forecasting due to increased pressure from mining and quantifying how much water comes from non-renewable glacier ice as compared to renewable sources like snow and rain. She's looking forward to learning to salsa in Santiago and to explore the region by public transportation, which lends itself to unexpected interactions and conversations. Ultimately, she plans to work at a teaching university in the U.S.

Jordan Holquist is pursuing his PhD in aerospace engineering at CU. He will collaborate with a lab at TU Munich in Germany to accelerate the development of a technology to advance human space exploration. He's developing a theoretical model of an electrochemical technology to convert CO2 to oxygen, which he'll validate in a prototype reactor. In Germany, he'll implement his model to simulate life support using V-Hab, a one-of-a-kind dynamic simulator developed at TU Munich. When he's not in the lab, Holquist is a jazz/rock drummer and singer who enjoys hiking and climbing, all of which he'll explore in Germany. Upon return, he will seek a career in space exploration.

Noha Kikhia is a Boettcher Scholar and recent graduate who earned a degree in business administration with an emphasis in finance and a minor in socially responsible enterprise. Since graduating, she is working in New York doing social science research. Her Fulbright is a binational internship in Mexico. As Kikhia sees it, as the world globalizes, we must create an international business community that fights for equality to harness the full potential of human capital. She looks forward to working at a Mexican company while taking courses in public policy to help her understand the potential private and public action that could create more economically just communities around the world. She also hopes to engage with her community through Laboratoria para la Cuidad, a government innovation lab focused on developing citizen-centered solutions. She plans to pursue a graduate degree in social policy and evaluation of social intervention.

Page McClean is pursuing her doctorate degree in anthropology at CU. Her research in Chile seeks to understand the influence of Chile's southern highway. She'll conduct ethnographic research in Villa O'Higgins and Puerto Rio Tranquilo for her dissertation on discourses, practices, and experiences of connectivity. Spending time in both communities will help her understand the varied and uneven effects of infrastructural investment in the Aysen Region. To further engage her Chilean community, she hopes to collaborate with the community of Lago Verde on an oral history project, contributing her audiovisual and interviewing skills. As a musician, she will also learn and share folk songs.

Fulbright English teaching assistantship

Tyler Fair graduated in May with a degree in neuroscience and a minor in Spanish. He will draw on his background in leadership, Spanish, language acquisition and his diverse studies to teach English in Mexico. He plans to apply to medical school when he returns and expects this experience will make him a better communicator as a physician. He's interested in exploring end-of-life care while in Mexico as well. At CU Fair has been involved as a volunteer in the Student Worker Alliance Program as an English speaking partner. He's served on the executive board of GlobeMed and sung a cappella as a member of In the Buff.

Maya Friedli-Schroeder is excited to teach English in Columbia, which has been her dream since she learned Spanish. She graduated from CU with a degree in international affairs and Spanish language and literature. She believes that speaking a second language provides a valuable skill for a person's personal and professional lives. She has taught Spanish classes in Colorado and believes in the power of international education in promoting understanding and peace. Upon her return, she hopes to pursue a master's degree in development studies to promote educational programs for women and children. She studied abroad in Argentina and Spain.

Jean Russell graduated with a degree in environmental studies and a leadership studies minor. She is looking forward to exploring the rich religious, cultural and ethnic diversity in Malaysia as she teaches English there. She anticipates using English as a tool to build bridges across cultural divides. While she's there, she hopes to engage in one of her biggest passions by starting a co-ed Ultimate frisbee team. She has studied abroad in Vietnam. She's a member of the Presidents Leadership Class and captains the CU women's ultimate frisbee team. She also volunteered with the Student Worker Alliance. When she returns from her Fulbright year she plans to earn as master's degree in human rights and social development at the University of Sussex.

Jordan Thomas earned her bachelor's degree last year in international affairs with a minor in Spanish and business. She applied to teach in Spain to nurture her deep love of learning. She believes that learning together, we can bridge gaps in understanding and create compassion rather than resistance toward others. She brings her diverse experience of multi-cultural learning and teaching to the program and gain new cultural experiences in Spain, a place that has influenced her studies, but where she has not yet been. While at CU she studied abroad in the Dominican Republic and worked with the Student Worker Alliance as a volunteer. She plans to pursue graduate work that will allow her to work with immigrant and refugee populations.

Bonnie Cox, Michael Salka, Eric Schaedig, William Tesconi and Danielle Erickson were named as Fulbright alternates.

Scholarship information

Fulbright Program

  • CU Boulder is one of the Fulbright Program’s top producing institutions.
  • Each year, more than 1,900 U.S. students, artists and early career professionals are offered Fulbrights to study, teach English and conduct research in more than 140 countries throughout the world.
  • About 217 CU Boulder students have received Fulbright grant notifications since 1978, including this year’s recipients, according to CU Boulder’s Top Scholarships office.

Boren Awards

  • Boren fellowships provide unique funding opportunities for U.S. graduate students to add international and language components to their educations by studying overseas in world regions critical to U.S. interests.
  • Recipients of the award represent a vital pool of highly motivated individuals who want to work in the federal national security arena.
  • In exchange for funding, Boren Award recipients agree to work in the federal government for at least one year.