Godwin graduate Janet Rafner demonstrating superconductivity in Paris in 2014.

Godwin graduate Janet Rafner demonstrating superconductivity in Paris in 2014.

Godwin alumni have been getting big rewards from the US government and schools like MIT. Janet Rafner, Godwin graduate of the Class of 2011, has just been granted a Fullbright Fellowship grant to Denmark. The Fullbright Fellowship is funded by the US Department of State and sends American students to research or teach English in other countries. They also act as cultural ambassadors.

“I was elated that I would be able to spend the next year pursuing the type of interdisciplinary projects and international collaborations that I truly enjoy. It is a wonderful feeling to have your work validated and endorsed. The Fullbright Fellowship is a perfect match. I could not be happier,” Rafner said.

The process, however, wasn’t easy. Since it is funded by the US government, the applicants must go through a grueling application process.

Rafner said, “The application started last summer. First, I needed to find a sponsor in Europe who was a good match for my interests. This research took about a month of sending dozens of emails to universities and research groups. When I finally found a good match with a professor doing research in the area of how physics and arts come together, in this case in Denmark, I started writing my grant proposal and personal statement.

“This part took about another month and a half. I had an interview at the University of Virginia in October of last year, and then it was just a waiting game. In January I found out that I was a finalist. Review committees in each country make the final decision on who is accepted so it was not until April 3rd that I received a notice that I had been awarded the grant.”

Lizzie Wallace, another graduate of the Godwin Class of 2011 and daughter of Godwin math teacher Dan Wallace, has received fellowship money to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Joint Program. WHOI is located on Cape Cod and is considered one of the top ocean science institutes in the world.

“I will be attending classes and getting my degree from MIT but I will be doing research predominantly at WHOI. I will be getting my degree in Marine Geology and Geophysics. My research will focus on using sediment cores from the Caribbean basin to extend the current hurricane records and evaluate changes in hurricane frequency over time,” said Wallace.

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