May 24, 2022

Fulbright Winners to Circle the Globe as Researchers and Teachers

As recipients of prestigious Fulbright awards, four members of the L&C community will work abroad next year: Meredith Stinger BA ’19 (India), Mila Wolpert BA ’19 (France), Amelia Madarang BA ’22 (Taiwan), and Alex Webb BA ’22 (Colombia).

Two Lewis & Clark alumni and two graduating seniors will spend the next year overseas after receiving prestigious Fulbright awards. The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, fosters mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges. Lewis & Clark is one of the top producers of Fulbright award winners in the country, demonstrating a sustained commitment to international education and engagement.

Meredith Stinger BA ?19 Meredith Stinger BA ’19Meredith Stinger BA ’19
Major: Sociology and Anthropology
Minor: Political Economy
Hometown: Falls Church, Virginia
Fulbright Award: Research in India

What will you be researching?

I received India’s Fulbright-Nehru Student Research Award to conduct independent research in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, for nine months, beginning in February 2023. My proposed research explores the role that India’s biometric identification program, Aadhaar, has played in accessing health care resources throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as its uses for contact tracing. Aadhaar is a digital ID program that was implemented in 2009 to streamline access to government services and documentation for Indian residents. The program uses a 12-digit code coupled with biometric fingerprint data to authenticate identity.

How did you become interested in this topic?

I originally started researching the Aadhaar program when I studied abroad in India in 2018 and continued my research on the topic for my senior thesis. My interest in the Aadhaar program began when I learned that fingerprint scanning was being used in a state-sponsored ID program, and that there were ongoing Supreme Court cases contesting its implementation.

The use of biometrics and digital identification for resource allocation and contact-tracing has been a topic of international discussion and funding since COVID-19, with high-stakes implications for those navigating these new systems. I’m hoping to engage in this international discourse through research on how Indian citizens pursue state health care resources in the midst of a major public health crisis, and how their strategies are facilitated and/or impeded by the Aadhaar program.

What are your future plans?

I’ve always wanted to return to India since studying abroad. My time in India shaped my aspirations to pursue a career in anthropological research with a focus in Southeast Asia. My senior thesis advisor, Professor Deborah Heath, inspired me to pursue what felt like a very ambitious goal—to get my PhD in anthropology. She suggested that I apply for a Fulbright grant to continue the research I began in undergrad as a first step toward this goal.

Mentors and supporters:

I’m so grateful for the support of Dr. Nita Kumar, my host affiliate and study abroad in-country professor at the NIRMAN Centre, and Dr. Danilyn Rutherford, a personal mentor. At Lewis & Clark, I’m thankful for the support and encouragement of my professors from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Dr. Deborah Heath, Dr. Kim Cameron-Dominguez, and Dr. Oren Kosansky, as well as my Fulbright advisors, Dr. Therese Augst and Dr. Carolyn Zook.


Mila Wolpert BA ?19 Mila Wolpert BA ’19Mila Wolpert BA ’19
Majors: History and French Studies
Hometown: Santa Monica, California
Fulbright Award: Research in France

What will you be researching?

I have been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Study/Research grant to research a globally renowned, historical fine and decorative art collection in Paris from October 2022 to June 2023. By conducting research in several Parisian archives and libraries, I will create an inventory of Baron Edmond de Rothschild’s (1845–1934) collection that once decorated Hôtel Rothschild, the baron’s home and now the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence in Paris. My research will also take me to the National Archives in Washington, D.C.; to the Rothschild Archive in London; and to Waddesdon Manor, a great Rothschild house and National Trust property in England.

How did you become interested in this topic?

My research topic is founded on my love for history and the stories that are revealed when investigating primary sources. I first became enamored with a career in cultural heritage when I was an intern at the U.S. Embassy in Paris in 2018, the summer after I studied abroad in Paris with Lewis & Clark. During that embassy internship, I learned how material culture from centuries past can teach people today about diplomacy, national identity, and international relations. The real-world implications of my work stem from the Rothschild family’s global importance and the diplomatic primacy of the U.S. ambassador’s residence. I will need to grapple with the relationship between the Rothschild collection and the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence in Paris, one of France’s most significant cultural and diplomatic sites. Most importantly, I will work with an art collection that shaped social values and the meaning of taste in the 19th and 20th centuries and now fills the rooms of the world’s most famous museums.

Did you participate in an L&C overseas study program?

I was part of the first cohort who went on the overseas study program to Paris in spring 2018. The most valuable lesson I learned during my time abroad was that I flourish when learning from people from cultures other than my own. Whether it was taking courses on phonetics or on French literature, I was grateful to interact with professors whose perspectives were dissimilar to mine. I recognized the joy I felt when engaging with diverse people in foreign contexts, and later tailored a career out of that realization.

What are your future plans?

After finishing my Fulbright in France, I will continue on in the pursuit of a curatorial career in historic European fine and decorative art collections. After a year as assistant curator at Althorp Estate, one of England’s premier historic homes, and eight months in Paris researching the Rothschild collection, I will be equipped to curate and manage a historic collection at a European stately home or museum. The nature of my work means that I am always traveling and chasing the next opportunity abroad, but that is exactly what makes it so thrilling!

Impact of Lewis & Clark:

None of my achievements would have been possible without the tremendous support from my Lewis & Clark community. Enrolling in such an internationally focused, engaging, and caring college enabled me to grow into the person I am today. I will be forever thankful for my time there.


Amelia Madarang BA ?22 Amelia Madarang BA ’22Amelia Madarang BA ’22
Major: Political Science
Minor: Middle East and North African Studies
Hometown: Vancouver, Washington
Fulbright Award: Teaching in Taiwan

Describe your Fulbright award.

I was awarded the Fulbright award to be an English teaching assistant in Hualien, Taiwan. I will be working with junior high school (ages 13 to 15) for an 11-month period.

Why do you want to teach abroad?

Through Lewis & Clark, I got a work-study job with Academic English Studies as an English conversation assistant. Basically, I was a native English speaker in the class to help AES students practice conversation skills. Also at L&C, I took Education in a Complex World, which is an undergraduate class that is taught by professors from the Graduate School of Education and Counseling. Both were wonderful experiences and they informed my decision to apply.

What else interests you about working in Taiwan?

Through a friend, I learned about the Awakening Foundation and the Homemakers United Foundation in Taiwan. I was inspired by their role in feminist movements. Some of their projects align with what I am excited about: the destigmatization of menstruation. Like many people, I grew up with shame surrounding menstruation, and I don’t want that to be the experience of other young people. Once I learned that there are many alternatives to pads and tampons, I never stopped talking about the subject. I will bombard anyone who lets me with facts about environmentally friendly alternatives and the risks of toxic shock syndrome that are present in other products. I want my passion to inspire others.

Did you participate in an L&C overseas study program?

I participated in the spring 2020 Morocco program with Leah Gilbert, associate professor of political science. It was a wonderful program. We were, of course, one of the overseas study groups that came home early due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Alex Webb BA ?22 Alex Webb BA ’22Alex Webb BA ’22
Majors: Political Science and World Languages (Spanish, French)
Hometown: Ashland, Oregon
Fulbright Award: Teaching in Colombia

Describe your Fulbright award.

I will be an English teaching assistant at a university or postsecondary institution in Bogotá, Colombia, from August 2022 through May 2023.

Why do you want to teach abroad?

I applied for this position because I have some teaching experience and found it to be a very rewarding way for me to not only help others but to learn more myself. I also love traveling abroad, especially in Latin America, and I was attracted to the opportunities for cultural exchange involved in the Fulbright program. I hope to be able to help students in Colombia learn English, which is very important to advancing job prospects in a country that has developed rapidly in the past few decades and is seeing increased tourism and business from the United States and other English-speaking countries.

Did you participate in an L&C overseas study program?

I participated in Lewis & Clark’s overseas study program in Cuenca, Ecuador, during the spring semester of 2020. This was vitally important in my decision to apply to Colombia, as I fell in love with the Andean region of South America, its people, its scenery, and its many cultures. While there, I tried to learn from the locals and live in the present moment, slow down, and be grateful for what I have.

What are your future plans?

I plan to apply to law school this fall (with a start date of fall 2023). Although it’s not directly linked to my Fulbright, law school involves many analytical and advocacy skills that I can help develop while teaching. I might want to become an immigration attorney, so spending time in a country with many people who immigrate to the U.S. would serve me well in that capacity if that’s what I choose to pursue.

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Alternates:
Fulbright Research Fellowship: David Nhek BA ’22
Fulbright Teaching Fellowships: Diego Kagle BA ’22, Elisabeth Miller BA ’20, and Liz Starkey BA ’16

Overseas and Off-Campus Programs