Vanderbilt University graduates travel abroad as recipients of prestigious Fulbright Scholarships

Four Vanderbilt University graduates are traveling in China, Germany and Spain as Fulbright Scholars during the 2007-2008 academic year.

Monica Bhatt, Sarah Brooks, Travis Mills and Rebecca Panter are among the more than 1,300 U.S. citizens traveling abroad this year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

Bhatt, who completed a bachelor’s degree in 2005 and a master’s degree in 2006 at Vanderbilt, is fluent is Spanish and is using her Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to attend lectures on education at Universidad Complutense in Madrid while working with after-school programs there. While at Vanderbilt she was elected Phi Beta Kappa and served as a staff writer for the Southern Journal of Teaching and Education. Bhatt was also a site leader for the university’s Alternative Spring Break project in Guatemala and has taught English to Somali and Mexican immigrants.

Brooks, was an Honors Scholar in the College of Arts and Science where she completed a double major in East Asian Studies and French in 2006. The focus of her Fulbright research project is the internal migration patterns of rural Chinese moving to urban centers to find employment. She is studying the migration in light of gender and ethnicity, as well as the role of internal and foreign non-governmental organizations in facilitating migrant access to education and civic institutions. She is affiliated with Gunagxi University of Technology and Guangxi Normal University in China during her research year.

Mills, also a 2006 graduate, plans to integrate his interests in photography and music with his Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Germany. While at Vanderbilt, he spent a semester abroad in the Vanderbilt-in-Regensburg program in Germany and was a resident adviser in the McTyeire International House. He also won a summer research assistantship grant through the Vanderbilt Undergraduate Summer Research Program. He used that grant to help Barbara Hahn, Vanderbilt Distinguished Professor of German, set up an exhibition on German-Jewish political philosopher Hannah Arendt at the Literaturhaus in Berlin.

Panter, a German Studies major, also graduated in 2006 and has a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Germany. In addition to teaching, Rebecca plans to focus her attention on learning about recycling and pollution issues in Germany with the hope of learning ways to improve conditions in the United States. She is fluent in German and participated in the Vanderbilt-in-Regensburg program in Germany as an undergraduate. She was a member of the German Honor Society and lived in the German hall of Vanderbilt’s McTyeire International House. The Fulbright Program, America’s international educational exchange program, is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Since it was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright program has provided approximately 279,500 people – 105,400 Americans and 174,100 people from around the world – with the opportunity to study, teach, do research, and collaborate and exchange ideas on issues of importance to the general welfare of the global community.

Fore more information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, visit

Media Contact: Princine Lewis, 615-322-NEWS

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