2023-2024 Award Recipients - University of Houston
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    Adeena Ali

    Fulbright U.S. Student Program
    Indonesia, English Teaching Assistantship
    Adeena Ali graduated cum laude from the University of Houston in 2023, earning a Bachelor of Science in psychology with a minor in applied linguistics. Her desire to become an international social worker for immigrant and refugee communities encouraged her to apply for the Fulbright program. At UH, she worked as an assistant learning specialist at the Academic Center of Excellence where she promoted self-regulated learning to student athletes. Adeena hopes her time as a Fulbright English teaching assistant will be an opportunity to learn more about the history and culture surrounding Islam and the diversity of communities in Indonesia. Following Fulbright, she plans to further her experience in research and non-profit organizations that interact with refugee and immigrant communities before pursuing a graduate degree in social work. As a future social worker, she hopes to serve minority communities in the Houston area by protecting their human rights and relieving their economic disadvantage.
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    Cameron Cochran

    Fulbright U.S. Student Program
    Poland, English Teaching Assistantship
    Cameron Cochran graduated magna cum laude from the University of Houston in 2023, earning a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in applied linguistics and a minor in philosophy. During his time at UH, Cameron became fascinated with and passionate about better understanding the experiences of English language learners. He has been fortunate to work as a tutor and teaching assistant at UH's Language and Culture Center, and he considers the mentorship and experiences received there invaluable both personally and for his future career. Cameron hopes his time as a Fulbright English teaching assistant will allow him to hone the tools and skills needed to better support individuals from all backgrounds on their language learning journeys. After completing his Fulbright grant, he plans to continue working with English language learners and learning more about teaching English as an additional language. Moreover, he plans to use his experience and new foreign language skills to pursue a graduate degree in linguistics or a related pedagogical field.
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    Isaac DeBerry

    Fulbright U.S. Student Program
    Belgium, English Teaching Assistantship
    Isaac DeBerry graduated from the University of Houston in 2024, earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and a minor in creative work. Isaac began his first independent research project through the Mellon Research Scholars program, examining sentiments of queer masculinity within texts surrounding WWI. His literary passions lie in academic and creative writing alike. He aspires to become a dual credit English professor at the community college level, exemplifying both academic and creative angles of expression to early collegiate writers. Isaac views his nine-month venture as an English teaching assistant in Belgium as a significant leap forward to actualizing the kind of educator he strives to be.
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    Lucas Giannetti

    Fulbright U.S. Student Program
    Kosovo, English Teaching Assistantship
    Lucas Giannetti graduated from the University of Houston in 2023, earning a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and English with a concentration in linguistics. While at UH, Lucas interned at the Language and Culture Center as a teaching assistant for incoming foreign students learning English as a second language. This experience working with students of many different origins and linguistic backgrounds greatly improved his communication skills and influenced his interest in teaching English in Kosovo. Armed with a love of traveling, he has traveled throughout the Middle East, South Africa, and most recently Argentina to visit family. Lucas has a background in the oil and gas industry and is currently using his experiences to further his career in international logistics.
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    Estella Gomez

    Sumners Scholarship
    Estella Gomez is a sophomore at the University of Houston, majoring in liberal studies and psychology. She is a part of the 3+3 Law Program through the Honors College with a minor in Phronesis. She plans to start law school in 2025 to earn her JD, specializing in immigration law. She received the At-Large Sumners Scholarship and is looking forward to civil involvement events and other opportunities coming her way. Estella has a leadership role in the UH Baptist Student Ministry, volunteers in community service events in her neighborhood, and runs her homemade pie business. She is also a Rodeo Scholar and interns at JDKG law firm in the commercial law division.
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    Jayden Gunsolley

    Sumners Scholarship
    Jayden Gunsolley is a sophomore majoring in finance with a minor in energy and sustainability. He has developed an interest in renewable energy and the energy industry as a whole through his experiences in the minor and through a stock pitch with the Investment Banking Scholars Club. In addition, Jayden has learned about and fought against food insecurity in Houston via the Bonner Leaders' Food Insecurity Team and the HERE research program. Through the Sumners Foundation, Jayden aspires to learn more about the intersection of energy, law, and policy, and to promote energy development through bipartisan action.
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    Zunayra Hemani

    Fulbright U.S. Student Program
    Bulgaria, English Teaching Assistantship
    Zunayra graduated from the University of Houston, earning a bachelor's degree in public health and political science with a minor in biology. She is passionate about the intersection of health and policy, and improving healthcare outcomes and the quality of life of those belonging to marginalized communities. After completing internships in both the House of Representatives and the White House, she discovered an interest in law and hopes to attend law school in the future and use her degree to help those who do not have access to legal help. Zunayra has spent the last four years at UH serving the campus community as an ambassador for the Women's and Gender Resource Center, an orientation leader, and a resident advisor. She is passionate about community building and student success and hopes to bring that to Bulgaria as a Fulbright English teaching assistant.
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    Kayla Huhn

    Fulbright U.S. Student Program
    Spain, English Teaching Assistantship
    Kayla Huhn graduated summa cum laude from the University of Houston in 2023, earning bachelor's degrees in Spanish and English applied linguistics. Teaching English as a second language while completing a summer study abroad program in Costa Rica led her to pursue a minor in secondary education. In addition to earning her teaching certification, she wrote a senior honors thesis based in the disciplines of linguistics and education. She is particularly interested in multilingual education models, which inspired her to apply to the Fulbright program in Galicia, Spain, where she was accepted as an English teaching assistant. She will work in Spain for the 2024-2025 school year, and she looks forward to improving her fluency in Spanish, researching local languages, and gaining a better understanding of effective multilingual education models.
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    Javier Padron

    Fulbright U.S. Student Program
    Brazil, Study/Research Grant
    Javier Padron graduated from the University of Houston in 2023, earning a Bachelor of Science in chemistry with a minor in biology. While attending UH, Javier participated in undergraduate research programs such as the UH Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship and the NSF CIC Research Experience for Undergraduates. His fascination with laboratory work has led him to seek new skills abroad. In addition to seeking scientific knowledge, Javier also hopes to meet and connect with people of different backgrounds. Being selected for the Fulbright award grants him the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to accomplish the many things he wishes to do such as travel, research, study, and connect with people.
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    Sofia Poznansky

    Fulbright U.S. Student Program
    Georgia, English Teaching Assistantship
    Sofia Poznansky graduated from the University of Houston in 2022, earning a Bachelor of Arts in history. She is also an alumna of the UH Honors College. Since graduating Sofia spent 10 months teaching English in Israel in two distinct regions of the country. She then went on to work at The New York Times and hopes that the Fulbright Scholarship will allow her to not only teach university students in Georgia but also report on geopolitics whilst there. She aims to use the international experience to continue journalism.
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    Veronica de Quastenit

    Fulbright U.S. Student Program
    Germany, English Teaching Assistantship
    Veronica de Quastenit graduated summa cum laude from the University of Houston in 2023, earning a Bachelor of Arts in world cultures and literatures with a focus on German studies. She distinguishes herself as a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Beta Delta, embodying a commitment to global understanding and cultural exchange. At UH, Veronica dedicated her time to supporting international English students at the UH Language and Culture Center and served as a German language tutor for the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. Her dedication to cross-cultural communication and education led her to be awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship, where she will serve as an English teacher assistant in Hessen, Germany. Following her Fulbright experience, Veronica is determined to pursue a permanent position as an English teacher in Germany, furthering her mission of bridging cultures through language and education.
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    Justin Schnitzer

    Sumners Scholarship
    Justin Schnitzer is a sophomore political science major in the Honors College with a minor in data and society. He is a member of the UH Policy Debate team where he competes against other students from universities around the nation in debates ranging from nuclear policy to the lasting effects of settler colonialism. Additionally, he has interned for a federal congressional campaign, participated in the Houston Early Research Experience program, and is a member of Houston Scholars. Justin is also an Eagle Scout who has been in the Scouts BSA program for 14 years and continues to give back through volunteering at the National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience in New Mexico during the summer. As a Sumners Scholar, Justin plans to continue developing his political opinions while engaging in diverse discussions over critical contemporary issues.
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    Tammy Tran

    Fulbright U.S. Student Program
    Vietnam, English Teaching Assistantship
    Tammy Tran graduated from the University of Houston in 2024, earning a bachelor's degree in health with minors in biology and medicine & society. Drawing upon her experiences as a first-generation American, she led Operation Fusion, a community project to empower immigrant and refugee youth to build self-agency and healthy habits. Her commitment to service has fueled her desire to become a mediator and advocate for marginalized communities, working to bridge health disparities and improve health outcomes. Post-graduation, Tammy is eager to begin a Fulbright English teaching assistantship in Vietnam to connect with her cultural roots, improve her communication skills, and foster a deeper understanding of the local communities. Following Fulbright, Tammy hopes to apply to medical school and leverage her Fulbright experience to become a better advocate and physician for underserved communities.
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    Leonard Wang

    Fulbright U.S. Student Program
    University of Strathclyde Award, United Kingdom
    Leonard Wang is a third-year MD/MPH student at the University of Texas Medical Branch. He completed a bachelor's degree in honors biomedical sciences at the University of Houston through an accelerated BS/MD program. At UH, Leonard was selected for the Houston Scholars Program, FrameWorks Fellowship, and Honors College Outstanding First Year Student Award. He also conducted environmental conservation research in the Galápagos Islands. Through Houston Scholars, he received a grant for his externship with the Patient Care Intervention Center to develop social determinants of health screening for Federally Qualified Health Centers in Harris County. At UTMB, Leonard is the health policy research coordinator for the Department of Family Medicine. He was a 2022-23 Albert Schweitzer Senior Fellow and TYLENOL® Future Care Scholar. He received the Student Award in Oslerian Medicine and was the first medical student selected for the American Society of Human Genetics' advocacy program. Leonard plans to pursue a career at the intersection of clinical practice, policy, and healthcare management to reduce health inequities and provide compassionate care to the underserved.