Twenty Williams Students and Alumnae Awarded Fulbright Grants

Updated as of May 23, 2017

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., April 10, 2017—Fifteen Williams College students and five alumnae have been offered Fulbright grants for 2017-18, setting a new record for the college for the number of Fulbright recipients in one year.

Nine of the honorees will receive one-year grants to study or conduct research in their academic fields, and 11 will receive English Teaching Assistantships (ETA) for teaching abroad. English Teaching Assistants help local students increase their English language skills and their knowledge of the United States. All Fulbrighters work, live with and learn from the people of their host country, sharing daily experiences and working to develop academic and professional expertise.

Several Williams applicants have been designated as alternates. Decisions for those candidates will be made later in the spring.

The Fulbright winners from Williams are:

Aseel Abulhab ’15, a history major from West Bloomfield, Mich., a research grant in social work to Jordan

Samantha Avila ’16, a chemistry and French major from Chapel Hill, N.C., a research grant in biology to France

Hannah Benson ’17, a comparative literature and French major from Jackson, N.H., an English teaching assistantship to Andorra

Elizabeth Curtis ’17, a women’s, gender and sexuality studies major from Jamaica Plain, Mass., a research grant in public health to India

Desiree Daring ’13, an anthropology major from Brooklyn, N.Y., an English teaching assistantship in Spain

Mary Elizabeth Dato ’17, a political economy and Spanish major from Poway, Calif., an English teaching assistantship to Spain

Lane Davis ’17, a biology major from Atlanta, Ga., a research grant in ecology to Ecuador

Libby Dvir ’16, a psychology major from New York, N.Y., an English teaching assistant in Argentina

Peter Hale ’17, an English and history double major from Swampscott, Mass., an English teaching assistantship to Germany

Alexandra Mendez ’17, an English and sociology major from San Juan, Puerto Rico, an English teaching assistantship to Spain

Gemma Holt ’17, an English and environmental policy major from Seattle, Wash., a research grant in environmental studies in Finland

Olivier Joseph ’17, a chemistry major from Willingboro, N.J., an English teaching assistantship in Spain

Chinmayi Manjunath ’17, a mathematics major from Saratoga, Calif., an English teaching assistantship in Bulgaria

Juliette Norrmen-Smith ’17, an English and French major from Montclair, N.J., an English teaching assistantship in Andorra

Reidar Riveland ’17, a mathematics major from Kent, Wash., a research grant in cognitive science in Switzerland

Deanna Segall ’17, an anthropology major from Potomac, Md., an English teaching assistantship in Poland

Samuel Steakley ’17, a physics major from Houston, Texas, a research grant in engineering in Chile

Haley Stewart ’15, a comparative literature major from Portland, Ore., an English teaching assistantship in Mexico

Vidya Venkatesh ’17, a math and philosophy double major from Swarthmore, Penn., a research grant in philosophy to Ireland

Caroline White-Nockleby ’17, an American studies and geosciences major from Santa Monica, Calif., a research grant in geography in Chile

The Fulbright Program is funded by the Department of State and is the largest international exchange program in the United States. It was established by the U.S. Congress in 1946 and offers various grants in research and teaching for students, scholars, and professionals.


Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions on U.S. applicants are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.