UB Alumni Daniel Courteau and two others win student Fulbright awards

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By CHARLES ANZALONE published in UBNow

Release date: June 21, 2021

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One current student and two UB alumni and have won Fulbright awards, the prestigious national competition for grants to study, research and teach abroad in 2021-22.

The three winners — joined by two UB alternates — were especially notable this year because of the disruption to the program from the pandemic. Their selection continued UB’s efforts and aspirations of becoming one of the country’s top-producing universities of Fulbright winners, according to Patrick McDevitt, associate professor of history and Fulbright faculty adviser.

“This application cycle was truly unprecedented due to the pandemic,” McDevitt says. “The ’19-’20 grantees were recalled early. The ’20-’21 grantees were forced to pursue either modified and delayed programs or had their grants completely deferred.

“Our traditional recruiting practices were severely disrupted. Nonetheless, we put forward 17 applications, and eight were shortlisted as finalists. In addition to the three ’21-’22 grantees, two more were named as alternates.”

This year’s UB Fulbright winners:  

  • Daniel Courteau for study/research to Taiwan. Courteau received a BA in economics and social science interdisciplinary from UB in 2019. A native of Walworth, Courteau will be studying for a master’s degree in agricultural economics at National Taiwan University. His goal is “to tackle climate change’s impact on food security through agriculture and international development.” He was part of the Peace Corps until he had to return to the U.S. due to COVID-19. Courteau also was a Summer Enrichment Program Rangel Scholar. He was an Honors Scholar at UB as an undergraduate, and did research and internships in the Buffalo Public Schools.
  • Denis (D.J.) Tuttle for study/research to Thailand. Tuttle received his bachelor’s and master’s degree in occupational therapy from UB in 2016. He is a native of Pittsford. “The burden of geriatric caregiving has economic and emotional impacts for families,” Tuttle says. He will examine “the impact of an occupational therapy intervention on reported caregiver burden.” Tuttle wanted to do his research project in Thailand because of the “culture of familial caregiving.” He will work with faculty at University of Chiang Mai for guidance. Tuttle currently works as an occupational therapist in Bakersfield, Calif.
  • Ana Lyons will receive an English Teaching Assistantship to Brazil. She is currently in her second year of a master’s degree program for teaching English to speakers of other languages (ESOL) at UB. Lyons previously received her bachelor’s degree from Buffalo State College. Her hometown is Buffalo. Lyons says her goal is to work as a teacher of English to speakers of other languages in the Buffalo Public Schools. She works as a part-time Spanish and Portuguese interpreter and translator with the International Institute of Buffalo and Journey’s End Refugee Services.

The Fulbright Awards are among the most prestigious scholarships available to American students. More than 400,000 individuals from the U.S. and other countries have participated in the program since its inception in 1946.

“Each year, nearly 1,600 students go abroad as part of the program,” says McDevitt, “and I would guess that the experience is literally life-changing for all of them.

“UB is thrilled for Courteau, Tuttle and Lyons” he adds. “All were very strong candidates, and we are confident they will be great successes during their upcoming Fulbright terms.”

The two alternates for this year are:

  • Ashley Cercone for study/research to Turkey. She is a fourth-year PhD student in anthropology, and a previous Fulbright grantee whose term was cut short by the pandemic.
  • Alivia Smeltzer-Darling for an English Teaching Assistantship to Spain. She is a senior at UB, studying interdisciplinary Spanish and social science.
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