Fulbright Scholars Prepare to Head Abroad

Two of the four students selected will pursue master's degrees, while two others will conduct research.
Left to right: Mario Bianchini, Brianna Cochran, Savannah Lee, and Trevor Worthy

Left to right: Mario Bianchini, Brianna Cochran, Savannah Lee, and Trevor Worthy

This year, four Georgia Tech students and recent graduates were selected as Fulbright Scholars for the 2019-20 school year. The Fulbright Scholarship is named for the late U.S. senator from Arkansas, J. William Fulbright, and it provides funding for recipients to study and do research abroad. The senator created the program, now one of the most prestigious, in 1946 to encourage American scholars to engage with other countries.

While Fulbright grants vary by country and type of award, they typically cover travel costs and living expenses for the grantee and the dependents who accompany them.

Three of this year’s recipients come from the College of Engineering, while the fourth comes from the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.

Mario Bianchini, a Ph.D. candidate in the School of History and Sociology, will be traveling to Germany to conduct research for his dissertation on East German technological utopianism, interviewing former East German engineers. He looks forward to returning to the Potsdam Center for Contemporary Historical Research, where he did research in the German Federal Archives during the 2017-18 academic year.

Brianna Cochran graduated in December 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in industrial and systems engineering and will use her Fulbright award to pursue a master of science in entrepreneurship at University College London. Her work focuses on designing and producing better artificial fingernails, and Cochran is excited to have the opportunity to explore her product ideas in one of the fashion capitals of the world.

“If I can help other people grow through my appreciation for self-expression and my hard-earned engineering background, then I know I am being the change I want to see in this world — one nail at a time,” she said.

Savannah Lee, who also graduated in December 2018 with a degree in chemical engineering, will head to Taiwan to pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in international human resources.

“I hope to use this MBA to focus on long-term solutions for including people with disabilities in the workforce,” Lee said. She sees the fellowship as an investment in herself and hopes that living in Taiwan will help hone her Chinese language skills to the point of fluency.

Trevor Worthy graduated this month with a bachelor’s in materials science and engineering and, like Bianchini, will conduct research in Germany. He plans to research the oxidation of different alcohols to better understand how to optimize fuel cell performance. He’s excited to work in Germany because of the country’s leadership in sustainability, and to build a strong international network to address environmental problems.

Fulbright applications are now open for the 2020-21 academic year. Those interested in applying can visit the Fulbright website or contact Georgia Tech’s Fellowships Advising team for more information on this and other prestigious fellowship opportunities.