Ms. Tenzin Dickyi (Writing)

MFA, Fiction and Literary Translation, Columbia University, New York Project: “Unsettled: A Tibetan Family Memoir of Exile and Diaspora”

Tenzin Dickyi is a writer and literary translator. She is editor of Old Demons, New Deities: 21 Short Stories from Tibet, the first English language anthology of contemporary Tibetan fiction published in the west. She is also an editor at The Treasury of Lives, a biographical encyclopedia of Tibet, Inner Asia and the Himalayan Region. She received her MFA from Columbia university and her BA from Harvard university. A former ALTA fellow of the American Literary Translators’ Association, she translates contemporary Tibetan fiction and poetry into English.

She was born and grew up in a Tibetan refugee settlement in India. As a Fulbright fellow, Dickyi will gather research material and work on a family memoir that seeks to humanize and personalize the Tibetan exile experience through the struggles of one family. This story will trace the journey of an ordinary Tibetan family through three generations, during which they find themselves uprooted from Tibet, exiled to Nepal, transplanted to India, and finally unsettled in America.

Ms. Jasmine Anna Kaduthodil (Neuroscience)

BA, Neuroscience and Anthropology, Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts Project: “Redefining the Trauma Narrative: Understanding Resiliency in Nepal”

I am interested in the biological and social aspects of physical and mental resiliency, especially in relation to trauma. Current research shows that genetic predisposition shapes reaction towards trauma; however this information is based primarily off of samples of the European diaspora in the United States. This highlights a main problem in trauma research: trauma has not been entirely understood, and thus fails to be completely representative. My primary goal in undertaking research in Nepal  is to conduct pilot and feasibility research to add a neurocognitive dimension to the world’s first study looking at genetic predictors of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in South Asia. It is an existing large scale, long-term project in Nepal, entitled “Understanding the Connections among Genes, Environment, Family Processes and Mental Health”, which integrates the Chitwan Valley Family Study, a measure of social environment, and will focus on psychiatric phenotypes, demographic information, and genetics in the Nepali population. My research will additionally focus on the intergenerational and social support structures in the forms of schools, families, and communities that are crucial for recovery post-trauma.

I received my BA in neuroscience from Wellesley, and when not conducting research I enjoy cooking, painting, and working with children.

Dr. Brook G. Milligan (Senior Scholar, Conservation Biology)

Dr. Brook Milligan is a population geneticist with strong interests in conservation biology and modeling.  He obtained his B.A. in Physics from Dartmouth College and his Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California, Davis.  He received a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in Plant Biology, and has served on the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin and New Mexico State University.  Dr. Milligan is known for his careful development of better ways of transforming our hard-won data into new knowledge.  This has resulted in important advances of science as well as contributions to combating the $150 billion illegal trade in wildlife, timber, and fish.  As the first Jefferson Science Fellow from New Mexico, a prestigious position in the U.S. Department of State, he advises not only the State Department, but also USAID, other agencies, and NGOs on the interplay between genetics, international policy, and environmental issues.  Dr. Milligan is committed to international collaboration, has led college courses to Nepal and Mexico, and has led a workshop in Peru.

As a Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Milligan looks forward to applying his quantitative skills and international experience to enhancing science in Nepal.  Although the focus of his research will be on the status of the Bengal tiger population, he is eager to develop new collaborations and create new educational opportunities for Nepali colleagues.  Bridging as he does conservation science and international policy, Dr. Milligan is eager to motivate science-based solutions to practical challenges.

Ms. Hilary Brady Morris (Musicology)

PhD candidate, Musicology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois Project: “Belonging in Boudhanath: The Material and Social Life of the Himalayan Lute in Kathmandu.”

Hilary Brady Morris, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Navan, County Meath, Ireland, is a Ph.D. candidate in musicology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (USA), specializing in ethnomusicology.  She earned a B.A. degree (in music and French) from the University of Arkansas (2004) and a master’s of music, specializing in musicology, from Illinois (2012).

As a Fulbright student scholar, Hilary will conduct her dissertation research on Himalayan lutes in Nepal. Her ethnographic study focuses on the intersections of music and belonging through investigating these musical instruments (e.g., Sherpa dongmen, Tamang tungna, and Tibetan dranyen) in the ethnically diverse neighborhood of Boudhanath, Kathmandu. Through studying how they are made, played, performed, seen, and heard, Hilary aims to understand how music plays a role in creating lived experiences of “home” for highland Himalayan Tibeto-Burman peoples in new urban, migratory environments. Her dissertation project, entitled “Belonging in Boudhanath: The Material and Social Life of the Himalayan Lute in Kathmandu,” was developed while studying intensive Intermediate and Advanced Tibetan language at the Rangjung Yeshe Institute in Boudhanath (summers of 2012 and 2013).

While in Boudha, Hilary hopes to provide English-language tutoring and translation in local schools or monasteries and volunteer with local organizations, facilitating cultural exchange through community outreach. Her long-term goals include an academic career in ethnomusicology and Himalayan studies, directing a music ensemble partnering with Himalayan guest artists and cultivating a student-exchange program.

Outside of academia, Hilary is an avid woodworker and artist, creating miniature dioramas inside of chicken and duck eggs.

Ms. Beth Prosnitz (Sociology)

PhD candidate, Sociology, The University of Texas, Austin, Texas Project: “Gender and Land Ownership in Post-Conflict Nations: A Case Study in Nepal.”

Beth Prosnitz is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. Her primary research interests are in the relationships between land, markets, and citizenship in post-conflict countries. Her dissertation looks at the gendered dimensions of land ownership in an emergent remittance economy in post-conflict Nepal. As a Fulbright Student Scholar, Beth will conduct ethnographic research on the social and symbolic meanings of women’s land ownership within this shifting landscape of land markets in Nepal.

Prior to graduate school, Beth worked in international peacebuilding and development, including with the Carter Center and UNDP in Nepal. Beth earned her BA in Religion from Smith College and MA in International Affairs from the New School.

Outside of graduate school, Beth enjoys running, hiking, reading, and watching the X-Files.

Ms. Haley K. Sanner (Economic Development)

BS, Mathematics, Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina. Project: “Redefining Living Spaces: A Market Analysis of Intergenerational Homesharing.”

Haley Sanner will use her Fulbright Study/Research grant to conduct a market analysis of intergenerational homesharing to address the emerging population aging and caregiving crisis in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. Supported by her affiliate partner, Bihani Social Venture, she aims to understand the cultural trends, lifestyle factors and social contexts that could potentially impact the feasibility and effectiveness of homesharing initiatives. She envisions her research could lead to a social entrepreneurial venture.

Beginning by studying abroad in Nepal with School for International Training (SIT) in the Fall of 2013, she has become captivated by Nepal’s unique culture and language leading her to pursue a two year post-graduate experience as a 2015/16 Davidson College Impact Fellow working on aging issues in the non-profit sector and a 2016/17 position as Academic Coordinator with SIT. During her time at Davidson College, she received scholarships to pursue research relating to social isolation among older adults and people with multiple sclerosis, nationally and internationally. These experiences led her to be invited as a presenter at the European Multiple Sclerosis Platform’s 2014 Conference and secure her current position with the AARP Foundation’s Social Connectedness Team working on innovative solutions to mitigating social isolation among low income older adults.

Born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area, Haley is a competitive Ultimate Frisbee player and avid outdoors enthusiast. She is excited to continue to share these extracurricular interests through mountain biking and camping with Kathmandu’s Ladies Mountain League and building cross-cultural ties with the Indian Ultimate Frisbee community.

Dr. Anna M. Stirr (Senior Scholar, Ethnomusicology)

Associate Professor, Asian Studies, University of Hawaii, Manoa

Anna Stirr is Associate Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She holds a BA in music and religious studies from Lawrence University in Wisconsin, and an MA, MPhil, and PhD in ethnomusicology from Columbia University. She has also taught at Oxford University, Leiden University, and the New School. Her research focuses on music, dance, language, intimacy, and politics in South Asia, particularly in Nepal and the Himalayan region. She performs Nepali folk music as a singer, flutist, and percussionist.Anna’s research focuses on South Asia, particularly on Nepal and the Himalayan region. Her current projects deal with music, love, intimacy, and politics in Nepal. Her first book, Singing Across Divides: Music and Intimate Politics in Nepal (Oxford, 2017) looks at improvised dohori question-answer songs as culturally intimate, gendered expressions of ideas of nation, belonging, and heritage, within a cycle of migration and media circulation that spans the globe.

Her Fulbright project chronicles the history of Nepal’s politically oppositional “progressive song” from the 1960s to the present, with a focus on ideas of love, development, and communist thought as interrelated ways of imagining a better future. Articles from these projects have appeared in various journals and edited volumes. Anna also maintains active research interests in the relationship between music, religion, politics and public culture in South Asia and the Himalayas. She is working on compiling and translating the Nepali folk music teaching materials created by her teachers as well as the late musicologist Subi Shah.

Dr. Marc Veletzos (Senior Scholar, Civil Engineer)

Associate Professor, Civil Engineering, Merrimack College

Dr. Veletzos is an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at Merrimack College.  He is a licensed Civil Engineer in the State of California and earned his Ph.D. from UC San Diego in 2007.  Dr. Veletzos has over twenty-five years of engineering experience from both an industry and academic perspective.  He has worked in the field inspecting bridge pipelines and as a resident engineer on a construction site.  He was an integral team member in the design and construction of numerous bridges, including the award winning Otay River Bridge in California, the Rama VIII bridge in Thailand, and the Sundial Bridge at the Turtle Bay Museum in Reading, CA.  He has developed multiple manuals and training programs for the assessment of highway structures after an emergency event for both the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program.  In addition, he has authored guidelines for the seismic design of segmental bridges for Caltrans.  His work on the seismic design and analysis of bridge systems and on innovative methods to resist seismic demands has been presented at many conferences and workshops throughout the world.  Dr. Veletzos has led numerous service-learning trips to Haiti and Nepal to help small communities rebuild after critical infrastructure has been damaged by earthquakes.  In 2008 he received the Federal Highway Administration James Cooper Best Paper Award.  In 2017 he was inducted into the inaugural class of the Merrimack College McKniff Honor Society.

Ms. Sameen Yusuf (Medical Sciences)

BS, Bioengineering, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia Project: “Tuberculosis Screening Diagnostics Study in Nepal.”

After my family moved to the U.S. from Karachi, Pakistan, I grew up in Alexandria, Virginia. I attended George Mason University and studied bioengineering and chemistry.

I believe it is important for those designing healthcare technologies (engineers) to have a holistic exposure of global health. During college, I participated in campus initiatives to encourage multidisciplinary collaboration and deeper understanding of the realities of global health policy today. Although these organizations were the foundation of my global health activism, I felt that I still had a gap in my exposure: I needed to witness healthcare gaps as an element within the hospital system. I interned as a biomedical technician repairing broken medical equipment in Nicaragua and Nepal through Engineering World Health. Through those international experiences, I recognized the shortcomings of medical technologies for low-resource settings first hand.

To bring my passions for global health and bioengineering together, I have worked on research and design of low-cost technologies. Recently, I have been working at the GMU Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine. I work with a team of on design and implementation of low-cost technologies for communicable disease diagnostics. My Fulbright study in Nepal will assess the potential impact of a novel urine sample collection kit that is compressible and mailable to a clinical lab for TB screening, obviating the need for shipping liquid specimen samples and possibly reducing patient delays in diagnosis and treatment for infectious diseases. I aim to understand the cultural, systemic, and technical barriers that prevent implementation of a patient-centered, rapid screening system in the Nepali healthcare system.