Two doctoral students win Fulbright-Hays fellowships

Cornell doctoral students Mary-Kate Long and Jiwon Baik have received Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) fellowships from the U.S. Department of Education.

The prestigious fellowships, managed at Cornell by the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, will take Long to Myanmar and Baik to China.

Fulbright-Hays fellowships cover travel, living and research expenses for six to 12 months for the students and their families. All awardees must conduct their research in languages other than English.

Long, a doctoral student in the field of Asian literature, religion and culture, will travel to Yangon, Myanmar, to study the work of women’s communities, including a Buddhist nunnery. Long’s project aims to create an updated ethnographic portrait of Buddhist institutions and how change is inspired within religious landscapes. Affiliated with the Inya Institute, Long’s study will be carried out in Burmese, one of the major Southeast Asian languages that Cornell offers to students.

“I am really looking forward to the pace of a longer-term research project,” Long said. “My prior fieldwork trips have only been four to eight weeks long. I am also excited to introduce my son, Reed, who turns 1 this November, to my friends and colleagues in Myanmar.”

Baik, a doctoral student in the field of government, will study China’s Belt and Road Initiative, an infrastructure and global investment plan, including consequences of its implementation and globalization strategies.

“Before college, I got the opportunity to visit China and was amazed at the sheer scale of the vibrant economy there,” Baik said. “Since then, I’ve been searching for answers to one question: What are the driving forces behind such a rapidly developing economy?”

With eight regional and thematic programs, the Einaudi Center is Cornell’s hub for research and teaching about the world’s places, people, cultures and languages.

“Cornell is known for its area programs, and because of the number of languages taught here, the school is a leading institution for procuring Fulbright-Hays [awards],” said David Holmberg, Cornell’s Fulbright adviser. “Students receive both high-quality language and area training. This is a crucial part of what makes them strong, competitive applicants.”

Priya Pradhan ’22 is a writing intern at the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies.

This story originally appeared in the Cornell Chronicle.

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