Alana Hubbs '20 and Raquel Reilly '20 Awarded Fulbright Scholarships

Alana Hubbs '20 and Raquel Reilly '20 Awarded Fulbright Scholarships

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Hubbs will travel to Latvia to teach English and Reilly will pursue biochemistry research in Germany.

To date, more than 65 Fairfield University alumni have been awarded a Fulbright — a year-long scholarship that supports post-graduate study, research, work, or teaching in another country. Aligned with Fairfield's mission to embrace global awareness, cross-cultural learning, and independent intellectual thought, the Fulbright program aims to increase mutual understanding between people of the U.S. and other countries.

Recent graduates Alana Hubbs ’20 of Kingston, N.Y. and Raquel Reilly ’20 of Prospect, Conn. are the newest Fairfield alumnae to receive prestigious Fulbright scholarships. While their travel plans are not yet finalized due to the impact of Covid-19, they plan to travel to Europe for their Fulbright experiences.

“Fairfield University’s Fulbright program reflects our commitment to reaching for the magis, the more, not only in terms of scholarly inquiry, but global engagement,” said Jocelyn M. Boryczka, PhD, associate vice provost for scholarly, creative, and community engagement. “Alana and Raquel represent this commitment and, even amid a global pandemic, the importance of international exchange to pursuing academic excellence.”

Get to know Alana Hubbs and Raquel Reilly and learn more about their Fulbright plans:

Alana Hubbs '20

Alana Hubbs ’20

Alana Hubbs first heard of the Fulbright Scholarship while researching experiences she could pursue prior to law school. While at Fairfield, she dedicated her time to supporting local immigrant and refugee communities. As part of Fairfield’s "African Politics" course and Refugee Mentorship Program, Hubbs engaged in service learning through the local non-profit Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants (CIRI) in Bridgeport.

“I was able to meet young refugees from around the world who have their own stories about the immigration process. I am thankful everyday for the relationships built from my mentorship program experience.”

Hubbs traveled to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania for two weeks in 2017 to study human trafficking of people with albinism, and she presented her research at the Fairfield University Innovative Research Symposium in 2018. That same spring, Hubbs continued working for CIRI as a service learning associate for the Center for Social Impact, alongside Associate Director of Community Engaged Learning Andrea Canuel. Last summer she worked for New York State Assembly Member Kevin A. Cahill and conducted legislative research for immigrant rights.

Hubbs rounded out her internship experiences last semester working with Alfred Babo, PhD, professor of sociology and anthropology, to coordinate meetings to inform students about local refugees, their hardships, and their experiences adjusting to living among new cultures.

Hubbs said she received tremendous support from the Office of Scholarly Development while preparing to apply for the Fulbright, and would like to thank Dr. Boryczka; Kim Baer, program coordinator of the Office of Scholarly Development; and Janie L. Leatherman, PhD, professor of politics and international studies.

For her Fulbright experience, Hubbs will travel to Latvia to teach English. She will also conduct research to study the oral, musical, and cultural traditions maintained in Latvia as a post-Soviet occupied nation. In the future, Hubbs plans to pursue a law degree.

 "I am excited to serve in a position that promotes diplomatic relations at such a young age. Although our country is not perfect, and we can see that reality in the news today, I am thankful to be awarded an opportunity by our government that seeks a small, positive triumph in light of much negativity and injustice.”

Raquel Reilly '20

Raquel Reilly ’20

During her time at Fairfield, Raquel Reilly served as a resident assistant for McCormick’s Service for Justice Residential College and Mahan residential hall. She first heard about the Fulbright Scholarship from fellow resident assistant and Fulbright recipient Kayla Urbanowski ’17. The two bonded over Urbanowski’s scientific research trip to Brazil, and that friendly bond turned into mentorship for Reilly’s own Fulbright journey.

Last summer, Reilly worked with the German Academic Exchange Service alongside Gerhard Klebe, PhD, at Phillips University of Marburg. The two collaborated to research novel inhibition approaches of a protein called tRNA-Guanine Transglycosylase (TGT) which has applications in treating the bacterial disease Shigellosis. The Fulbright award is Reilly’s opportunity to carry out her research in Germany once again.

“The Fulbright has deepened my gratitude for my parents, mentors, and friends who have continuously supported me. I look forward to representing the United States with this honor,” said Reilly.

Reilly’s research interest stems from her recent diagnosis of myasthenia gravis (MG), a muscular nerve impulse disease.

“Given my connection to this project, I think it will be very rewarding to use the skills I’ve learned as an undergraduate in order to work towards improving a medical problem I am personally affected by.”

Reilly owes special thanks to Dr. Boryczka, Kim Baer, and chemistry professors Drs. Aaron Van Dyke, Matthew Kubasik, and Jill Smith-Carpenter for their input, support, and expertise during her time at Fairfield.

While Reilly’s Fulbright experience has been postponed to start next January, she has begun her PhD pursuit through Yale University’s Biochemistry, Quantitative Biology, Biophysics, and Structural Biology (BQBS) doctoral track. She hopes to pursue a career as a biochemistry professor and share her global competence and cross-cultural experiences and perspective with students.

Tags:  Faculty or Staff Stories

Last modified: 06-19-20 9:30 AM

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