Lehigh University
Lehigh University


Grad student, three alums win prestigious national fellowships

Victoria Hermann ‘12G will spend the upcoming year working on domestic and international climate policy in Carnegie’s Climate and Energy Program in Washington, D.C.

One graduate student and three alumni have accepted fellowships from the U.S. Fulbright Program and the Carnegie Endowment.

Victoria Herrmann ‘12G will be one of 13 Carnegie Junior Fellows nationwide in 2012-13.

Michael German ‘15G, Thomas Janis ‘12G and Claire Sullivan ‘08, ‘09G will begin Fulbright fellowships this fall.

Lehigh’s Office of Fellowship Advising (OFA) helped the four apply for the awards.

“These awards speak very well of the quality of our students,” said OFA director Richard Barsness. “These are genuinely nationally competitive programs.”

“When I learned I was selected, I jumped up and down,” said German, a Baltimore, Md., native and Ph.D. candidate and teaching assistant in environmental engineering. “I will push myself to have the fullest possible experience.”

“You are the future in your field”

German will travel in Asia, spending the first four months of his Fulbright fellowship in Kolkata, India, as part of a Critical Language Enhancement Award (CLEA.) He will study the Bengali language to improve his field work, which focuses on establishing a business that can provide sustainable water treatment technology to rural residents of West Bengal, India, and in Bangladesh and other areas.

“A new material and process are currently being refined in our lab for low-cost, long-term treatment of groundwater contaminated with fluoride and arsenic,” said German, who works with Arup K. SenGupta, the P.C. Rossin Professor of civil and environmental engineering and also of chemical engineering.

“My efforts will focus on establishing production and distribution that can expand to meet regional needs.”

Herrmann, who is from Paramus, N.J., studied art history and international relations at Lehigh and will work on domestic and international climate policy in Carnegie’s Climate and Energy Program in Washington, D.C.

Herrmann says her grandparents, both of whom are Holocaust survivors, have inspired her to pursue a career in human rights, while focusing on environmental security.

“I would like to research issues that continue to be some of America’s most pressing concerns, such as public transportation, sustainable urban development, and climate change legislation and mitigation,” said Herrmann, who also plans to apply for the 2013-14 Fulbright English Teaching Assistant program.

Janis and Sullivan will work as English teaching assistants abroad. Janis, who holds an M.A. in comparative and international education, will travel to Turkey, where he looks forward to immersing himself in Turkish culture and helping students improve their English.

“The first class I had I remember the professor exclaiming, ‘You are the future of this field,’” said Janis, who hails from Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Nazareth, Pa., and hopes to conduct collaborative research in education while in Turkey.

Sullivan, who will teach English in Vietnam, earned a B.A. in political science on a full basketball scholarship and was a multi-year member of the Dean’s List and the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll. She has worked the last three years at Kealakehe Intermediate in Hawaii through the Teach For America program.

Sullivan, who is from Wallingford, Conn., said the experience in Hawaii was great – beyond the fortune of working on the island, she learned to adapt teaching styles to communities different from her own.

“Forming relationships with colleagues and students is of critical importance. I think my experience in Hawaii will help me navigate a new culture in Long Xuyen.”

The OFA helps students apply for competitive fellowships and scholarships. Those interested can contact the office at inofa@lehigh.edu.


Story by Karl Brisseaux

Posted on Tuesday, August 07, 2012

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