Two Class of 2022 Graduates Named Fulbright Scholars

Two Class of 2022 Graduates Named Fulbright Scholars

Photo of Matthew Little ’22 and Sean McQuade ’22

2022 Fairfield Fulbright Scholars, Matthew Little ’22 and Sean McQuade ’22

Matthew Little ’22 and Sean McQuade ’22 will travel to Brazil and Germany respectively, to continue their scholarly endeavors and pursue their passions.

The Office of Scholarly Development is pleased to announce that Matthew Little ’22 and Sean McQuade ’22 have been named 2022 Fulbright Scholars. The Fulbright Program is a year-long scholarship that supports post-graduate study, research, work, or teaching in another country. Through the Fulbright Program, Little and McQuade will travel to Brazil and Germany respectively, to continue their research and pursue their passions.

Matthew Little’s Fulbright journey will take him to Fortaleza, Brazil where he will pursue his research, titled “The Embodied Interconnectedness of Brazil’s Domestic Natural Products,” with Dr. Claudia Pessoa at the National Lab of Experimental Oncology at The Federal University of Ceara. A biology major with minors in chemistry and economics, his research stems from a combination of two projects he conducted at Fairfield.

The first was a project funded by the Global Scholars Program that took him to Brazil the summer between his first and sophomore year, where he studied the efficacy of payment for environmental services programs under the mentorship of professors of economics Dina Franceschi, PhD, and William Vasquez Mazariegos, PhD. The second project, funded by the Office of Scholarly Development, enabled Little to study chemical biology with associate professor of chemistry Aaron Van Dyke, PhD, where he compared chemical pathways of social distancing and metabolism and white blood cells.

“I was fascinated with the idea of manipulating biochemical pathways and wanted to combine that interest with what I learned in Brazil, the most biodiverse country in the world,” said Little.

“As a biology major I’ve taken many classes with Dr. Shelley Phelan, Fairfield’s cancer expert. Recognizing opportunities in the field to increase the bioprospecting value of the forest, I’ll attempt to develop anti-cancer pharmaceuticals from plants and other materials sourced from Brazilian nature. My experience as an athlete on Fairfield’s sailing team, having spent so much time outdoors, also pushed me to pursue a project with an environmental focus."

Little has been accepted to Yale University for graduate studies and will pursue a PhD in chemical biology following his Fulbright experience.

For Sean McQaude, the Fulbright program will allow him to pursue his research, titled “Integration of Female Afghan Refugees” which he’ll pursue in Hamburg, Germany with Dr. Joachim Schroeder at the University of Hamburg. Following an internship at Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants in which he tutored an Afghan boy, McQuade knew he wanted to do more research about refugees.

"I’ve always been interested in international conflict and understanding the product of domestic affairs and what happens to people following war," said McQuade. "My research will allow me to engage with female Afghan refugees in order to give them a voice. That is what I see as the purpose of this project on an international level."

An international studies and politics double major, McQuade’s mother is an immigrant from Sweden who has influenced him to be interested in different perspectives, cultures, and societies. Due to the Covid-19 travel bans, he was denied study abroad as an undergraduate and is thrilled to be able to pursue his research in Germany now that he’s graduated. This past year McQuade studied Afgan and Syrian refugees for his capstone project and found little research from the perspective of female Afghan refugees. This finding helped shape the topic for the research he’ll soon begin abroad.

Following his time in Germany McQuade hopes to pursue his master’s in international relations in Germany or another European country.

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