Students, new grads awarded Fulbrights

Above, L-R: Wenji Guo, Suzanne Oskouie, Rhea Phillips, Danielle Riebe, Michal Wilczewski.


Five students and new grads received Fulbright grants to conduct research abroad this academic year.

The Fulbright Program, the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries.

Wenji Guo, a 2013 Honors College graduate in biological sciences, was awarded a three-year Fulbright-Oxford Clarendon Scholarship to pursue a Ph.D. in cancer epidemiology at the University of Oxford in England. She will study the relationship between breast cancer risk and iron, zinc, cadmium and selenium.

As part of UIC’s Guaranteed Professional Program Admissions in medicine, Guo plans to return to UIC for medical school after she finishes the Fulbright-Oxford program. Her career goals include medical and public health research and practice.

Guo received a national Goldwater Scholarship in 2012 and UIC’s Donald and Leah Riddle Prize for Outstanding Graduating Senior in 2013.

Suzanne Oskouie, a 2013 Honors College graduate, was awarded a Fulbright research grant to study neural progenitor cell migration and differentiation at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. Her one-year fellowship begins in September.

After three years of undergraduate study in the Guaranteed Professional Program Admissions in medicine, Oskouie graduated from UIC in May with bachelor’s degrees in neuroscience and French and francophone studies.

She plans to attend medical school at UIC after her studies in Switzerland.

Rhea Phillips was awarded an English teaching assistantship from the Fulbright Fellowship U.S. Student Program to teach in Brazil for 10 months, beginning in February 2014. She will teach Brazilian university students studying to become English teachers.

Before receiving a master’s degree in linguistics from UIC in May, Phillips conducted sociolinguistics research focused on the effect of gender on speech. She plans to pursue a career in language education at the college level.

Phillips earned a bachelor’s degree in Latin American studies, with a focus on Spanish and Portuguese, from University of California, Santa Cruz.

Danielle Riebe, a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology, will use her Fulbright research grant to examine the impact that interaction has on social and environmental boundaries between archaeologically defined groups of people, with a particular focus on cultures from Hungary.

Beginning in February 2014, she will spend six months conducting compositional and stylistic analyses of materials from multiple sites in the Great Hungarian Plain. Her research will be sponsored through affiliations with the Hungarian National Museum/National Heritage Protection Center in Budapest and the Munkácsy Mihály Museum in Békéscaba.

Riebe, who studies through the UIC-Field Museum Collaborative Program, earned a B.A. in archaeology from the University of Evansville and an M.A. in anthropology from UIC.

Michal Wilczewski, a doctoral candidate in history, received a Fulbright grant for dissertation research on the social conditions of rural Poland in the aftermath of World War I.

His analysis of the everyday lives of Polish farmers looks at the dynamics of rural society, focusing on family life, gender relations, migration patterns and rural politics.

During Wilczewski’s nine months of research in Poland, he will travel to Warsaw, Krakow, Poznan and Bialystok. He will be affiliated with the Tadeusz Manteuffel Institute of History in the Polish Academy of the Sciences in Warsaw.

Wilczewski earned a bachelor’s in sociology from La Salle University and a master’s in history from Michigan State University.


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