Published: May 30, 2023

Six CU Boulder students and alumni have been named Fulbright finalists for the 2023–24 academic year by the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Another two students were named alternates.

CU Boulder students and alumni David Fernando Bachrach, Tsering Lhamo, Bryan Martino, Spoorthy Reddy, Lisa Rhodes and Katara Ziegler accepted the prestigious scholarship. The finalists will study, conduct research or teach abroad in the following countries: Bachrach, Indonesia; Lhamo, India; Martino, Germany; Reddy, Ireland; Rhodes, Vietnam; Ziegler, Germany.

CU's two alternates and their places of study are: Page McClean, research Belgium; Dawna Rae Warren, research Hungary.

“I’m proud to have these wonderful students represent CU as U.S. Student Fulbright finalists,” said Deborah Viles, director of the Office of Top Scholarships at CU Boulder. “They were selected from a large pool of semi-finalists for their unique proposals, their expected contributions to their host countries and their ability to serve as ambassadors and leaders. I can’t wait to see where their paths take them.”

The Fulbright is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. Since 1946, the program has provided more than 400,000 participants from more than 160 countries the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

The U.S. Student Fulbright application is open for the 2024–25 academic year. Interested students should contact for more information.

David Fernando Bachrach

Fernando Bachrach is a third-year doctoral candidate in the Department of Geography. His research examines the politics of Indonesian development and development practices more broadly, especially infrastructure projects. He is also interested in understanding the on-the-ground effects of Chinese overseas infrastructure projects.

As a Fulbright grantee, Fernando Bachrach will be living and researching in Bandung, Indonesia. His project focuses on the joint Indonesian Chinese Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway project. By undertaking a long-term, qualitative study, his project will provide a nuanced account of a key infrastructure project for both Indonesia and China. In particular, it will deepen understandings of the multi-scalar effects of the high-speed rail project for Indonesian and Chinese stakeholders and local communities.

Tsering Lhamo

Lhamo is a first-generation Tibetan-American doctoral student under the guidance of Emily Yeh in the geography department. Through her Fulbright fellowship to India, Lhamo aims to pursue her doctoral research titled Caterpillar Fungus and the Making of Borderland Lives in Sikkim Himalayas. 

Lhamo’s research examines the embodied experiences of caterpillar fungus harvesters and traders situated in the geopolitical backdrop of the Himalayan borderlands and uses predominantly ethnographic methods. Lhamo aims to conduct collaborative scholarship and community engagement through her research. She anticipates graduating from the doctoral program in May 2025.

Bryan Martino

With his Fulbright, Martino plans to pursue the Integrative Technologies & Architectural Design Research master's program at the University of Stuttgart. The program's mission is re-examining theories of design in relation to engineering, robotics, digital manufacturing, material science and biology. He looks forward to developing innovative technologies in such an interdisciplinary environment.

On a personal level, Martino anticipates his Fulbright in Germany will also help him show the world that life—by design—is an iterative process. Change and iteration represent a cornerstone of the human experience, just like evolution in nature. He believes that each step allows us to produce something unique for the world, and he looks forward to making his contribution.

Spoorthy Reddy

Reddy graduated in May 2023 with majors in neuroscience and leadership and community engagement and a minor in business. With her student Fulbright grant she will be pursuing a master's in public health at the University of Limerick in Ireland.

She aims to partner with local organizations that work with the Irish Traveller population to implement a community-based research project that better understands how these populations access and utilize preventive health care in Ireland. She’s excited to explore the Irish countryside and interact with peers from all over the world.

Lisa Rhodes

Rhodes graduated from CU Boulder in 2020 with a double major in anthropology and ecology/evolutionary biology. With her Fulbright, she will work closely with Da Nang University and nongovernmental agencies to explore the efficacy of several canopy bridges installed in the Son Tra Nature Reserve in Da Nang, Vietnam.

Canopy bridges are a novel solution to the impacts of habitat fragmentation on the Red Shanked Douc Langur. Rhodes will collect additional ethnographic data on the changing cultural and social relationships with the environment through local efforts to encourage hands-on learning and education.

Katara Ziegler

Ziegler graduated from CU Boulder in 2021 with a bachelor's in engineering plus (now integrated design engineering) with a focus in mechanical engineering and minors in German and engineering management.

Since graduating, she has worked as a manufacturing engineer and volunteered as an ESL tutor. Through her Fulbright she hopes to act as a cultural liaison while soaking up the German culture and engineering. Outside of teaching English, she intends to tutor disadvantaged people in STEM topics and try as many hikes and breads as possible.