PLAN 74: Article
Students Will Travel to Mexico, Syria and Switzerland
Two recent graduates of MIT and ten current students have been awarded Fulbright scholarships to study abroad for the 2009-2010 academic year.? This year's tally of 12 Fulbright winners is MIT's highest on record, eclipsing the nine MIT students who received the scholarships in 2003, and four of those students – fully a third of the winners – are from SA+P:
Nicholas DuBroff, a master's degree student in urban studies and planning, will travel to Mexico to examine urbanization of ecological conservation lands in Mexico City following a 1992 constitutional reform that allowed for the privatization of communally owned land called ejidos. While there he will collaborate with Professor Clara Salazar Cruz of El Colegio de Mexico.
Jennifer Furstenau, a PhD student in architecture, will continue research she began with Associate Professor John Ochsendorf in Switzerland with the Pantheon Project at the Univeritat Bern. The Pantheon Project has conducted extensive analysis of Roman dome technology but currently lacks an engineer to help advance the project. Furstenau will therefore assist their project and will further her own dissertation research on the structural integrity of historic masonry domes.
Anneka Lenssen, a PhD student in art history, will conduct research in Damascus, Syria, where she will investigate painting and film-making in the period 1960-1980, one distinguished by both artistic and intellectual internationalism and a state-sponsored struggle for cultural authenticity against imperialism. Through this study of ‘official’ and ‘vanguard’ modern art in the post-war Middle East, Lenssen hopes to re-examine art's social role in the region and in the period.
John Lopez, a PhD candidate in architecture history, will travel to Mexico to study the transformation of Mexico City from a pre-Columbian city to a colonial one via the desagüe, a public works project to drain six lakes surrounding the city to control flooding. The project was one of the largest engineering enterprises of pre-industrial society anywhere in the world.
Fulbright scholarships have given students a role in US foreign relations since their inception in 1946. More than 7000 students apply for the program each year and about 1500 are selected based on their achievement and potential. Each grant covers the costs of travel abroad and living expenses for one academic year.