FKAF Grant Recipients

April 18th, 2016

Written by Janine Perri, ETA 2015-16

Every year, the Fulbright Korea alumni network raises funds for current Fulbright ETAs to undertake community and research projects. The purpose of these project is to complement ETAs’ work in the classroom or explore pressing social and political issues that affect Korea today. This year, the “Fulbright Korea Alumni Fund” offered eight grants for projects ranging from winter camps and student magazines to in-depth studies of healthcare or technology. Here is an overview of this year’s FKAF grant projects.

If you are interested in donating to the “Fulbright Korea Alumni Fund,” head to the Support Us page for more information.

Community Grants

Robert Little: Cultivation For a Cause – English Language Engagement and CCD Prevention Through Community Gardening


From the biophilic benefits from access to nature to the organic conversations that grow from communal work, tending to a garden together provides human benefits that reach further than the plants cultivated.  Robert’s FKAF project enables students to revive a forgotten garden on the outskirts of the school campus, integrating the a lunchtime conversation class with an interdisciplinary school project to promote awareness of apian colony collapse disorder.  Robert is thrilled to authentically use English with his students outdoors in a way that is meaningful to the environment, their physical and mental health, and as a bridge to their previous studies.

Katrin Marquez: Our Art, Our World


Katrin’s project was a winter camp for low-income students at Chipyoung Middle School, which incorporated art and social issues education into an engaging English curriculum designed to empower students through self-expression. Having seen how many of her students were artistically inclined, but lacked the resources to participate in art classes and other opportunities, Katrin designed the curriculum around the creation of various arts pieces reflecting ideas of personal and social significance for the students.

Maeve Wall and Alessa Strelecki: It’s Okay to Be Different: Special Education English Programming

 alessastrelcki maevewall

Maeve and Alessa designed a diversity program for special education students in Daegu, South Korea. Their project aims to give students a safe space to practice English in collaboration with peers and their parents. Students will participate in dialogue regarding diversity and difference within cultures and particularly the special education community.

Allana Wooley: Attention


Attention is a student-run creative arts journal to celebrate the creative work of students at Masan Girls’ High School. A group of 13 students will design an advertising campaign, solicit submissions from their peers, select the best pieces, and format the journal. This project will offer the student population at Masan Girls’ High School a platform for their voices and ideas, while giving the student staff an opportunity to practice leadership and total agency over a task with a tangible deliverable.

Research Grants

Abhik Pramanik: Entrepreneurship from Technovalley to Silicon Valley: Drivers of and Barriers to Korea’s Sustainable Growth


In the past 5 years, fearful of a long-term slowdown in growth, Korea has put intense focus on fostering a creative economy built on entrepreneurship among Small-to-Medium Enterprises. Abhik’s research will focus on the impediments to growth for small tech-companies in Daedok Techno Valley, the “Silicon Valley of Korea.”

Jeremy Sanchez: Health Care Access for Racial Minorities: Korean Solutions to American Challenges


As globalization further fosters cultural exchange and immigration across nations, it is more important than ever to solve the problems related to poor health care access for racial minorities in the developed world. How Korea addresses these issues may well provide us with insight as minority populations increase in America.

Rebecca Shin: An Analysis of the Human Insecurity of Women on the Korean Peninsula


In this paper, Rebecca analyzes the security of women on the Korean peninsula influenced by political ideologies and military measures. She argues that the negative peace experienced by women was itself gendered and created by gender. This analysis is significant because it uncovers the results of gendered national security measures.

Allana Wooley: Following Their Art: Non-Academic Aspirations Among Korean High School Students


The prevailing cultural narrative holds that Korean students should study hard and aim for a top university with the goal of a good, stable job. This research takes Masan Girls’ High School as a case study, surveys students on hagwon attendance and perceptions of the arts and their futures, and includes in-depth ethnographic interviews and hagwon observations of students pursuing non-prescribed paths of art, music, or dance.

FKAF Focus: A Self-Examination of Multicultural Students' School Experiences

October 14th, 2015

Contributed by Matt Goldberg

When talking about my school, Naju Technical High School, co-teachers, community members, and other students would make comments such as “Students just don’t care,” “Your students are dirty,” and “We have bad English.” However, I was determined to challenge this detrimental narrative and encourage students to see themselves beyond societal stereotypes and be proud of who they are.

This vision inspired my community FKAF grant and enabled me to work with students to create cross-cultural communication through photography between my placement school and a local school in the United States, Cummings High School. Through my project, students in South Korea and the United States created self-introductory videos, asked and answered questions about each country, and captured and shared photos in response to the question, “What is important to you?”

The project process was challenging. My students felt overwhelmed at the level of English required and we struggled communicating fully with the U.S. students. Nevertheless, the project enabled my students to delve deeper into understanding who they are as people and what it means to be cultural ambassadors and teachers. Most importantly, the project enabled my students to grow in confidence and be proud of their identities. Ultimately, I was amazed and humbled by the opportunity to see the insides of my students’ minds through the photos taken. This project would not have been possible without the grant money to plan a video viewing party, print pictures, and share the students’ work with the school in a small exhibit.

Mat Goldberg is a 2014-2016 ETA who teaches in Naju, Jeollanam-do.


Reflections From FKAF Grantees

May 22nd, 2015

The Fulbright Korea Alumni Fund provides grants to ETAs for community engagement or research projects that promote cultural understanding. With the help of FKAF grants, Fulbright Korea grantees are able to pursue projects that not only impact their communities, but also enrich their own grant experiences. Featured here are reflections from two recipients of the grant, first-year ETAs Deborah Wood and Johanna Yun. The diversity of their research projects reflects the varied backgrounds and intellectual interests of our ETA class.
Our thanks goes out to all alumni who have contributed to the fund this year, and who have made these two projects and so many more possible. If you are interested in contributing to FKAF in future years, please contact eta.coordinator[at]