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WSU Fulbright U.S. Student awardees heading to Germany and Vietnam – WSU Insider

Washington State University’s latest recipients of Fulbright U.S. Student awards—India Dykes and Lauren Hudson–will study, research, and teach in Europe and Southeast Asia this coming year.

“With support from Fulbright, they will be exceptional representatives of WSU and the U.S. and will boost their scholarship and skills to make tremendous contributions to their fields,” said April Seehafer, director of the Distinguished Scholarships Program. It is part of the Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement. Seehafer mentored the awardees through their application process.

The new Fulbrighters are enthusiastic about the awards.

“I am extremely excited to be going to Germany to pursue my research,” said Dykes. “It’s the next phase of my education and the next step towards my career.”

“I’m thrilled to be able to teach English to college students in Vietnam, a land that is part of my heritage,” said Hudson. “I’m also happy to explore language and culture as ways to further equity and acceptance among people.”

Dykes will explore tissue engineering

A recent graduate in biomedical engineering, Dykes is headed on her Fulbright to the Tri-Ankle Project at Fraunhofer IGB Institution, a partnership with the University of Stuttgart in Germany. This project is a collaboration with 11 other groups across the European Union, including universities and companies.

India Dykes

The project focuses on personalized collagen- and gelatin-based implants manufactured with 3D technology for patients suffering from osteoarticular diseases. Dykes said she anticipates collaborating and networking with world-renowned research partners from other universities as well as industry.

It is a natural segue for Dykes, a biomedical engineering spring graduate, who did undergraduate research involving tissue engineering and biomanufacturing, and working with human chondrocytes.

She said that kind of opportunity is what drew her to WSU. She said WSU has a reputation that undergraduates can pursue research with faculty mentors. Her work with professors Arda Gozen and Bernard Van Wie involved evaluating speed and pressure of 3D printing to develop artificial tissue structures, heating and cooling procedures, and developing a hydrogel printing material for culturing cells.

In addition to research, Dykes strengthened her education with involvement as a McNair Scholar and TRIO SSSparticipant. She also applied for and received a prestigious, nationally competitive award—a Goldwater—that helped to fund her undergraduate education. 

Applying for a second distinguished scholarship—the Fulbright–“was like shooting for the moon,” she said.  “The application process is exhausting, but in the end it’s definitely worth it. I can’t wait for the experiences and new knowledge that receiving the Fulbright will make possible for me. It will also be my first time living outside the West Coast.”

The future biomedical scientist, mentor, and teacher plans to pursue doctoral studies at Cornell University upon her return from Germany. She is a Spokane native and daughter of Arielle and Ron Dykes.

Hudson aspires to strengthen equity and diversity

Lauren Hudson

Hudson’s Fulbright U.S. Student Program English Teaching Assistant assignment is at Ha Long University in the Quang Ninh province. It is the tenth country she has studied, visited, or worked in beyond U.S. borders. Going to Vietnam, though, has been a particularly meaningful goal of hers, one that will help her engage in a heritage she has longed to explore more fully.

“I am Vietnamese American, with my father being American and my mother Vietnamese,” she said. 

The biology and French graduate and WSU Regent Scholar from Mill Creek, Washington, is the daughter of Scott (’95 Elementary Education) and Thuy Hudson (‘95 Pharmacy) who met at WSU. 

Hudson’s mother, Thuy, came to America from Vietnam as a three-year-old; years later, as a parent herself, Thuy stressed the importance of education to her children. Hudson took that to heart, and said she loves learning as much as teaching.

So far, she has worked with children with special needs, taught English during a study abroad experience in France, taught math and science to middle schoolers, and mentored high school and WSU students. She participated in a STEM Education Fellowship through the Memphis Teaching Residency program in summer 2021. Learning goals were embedded into games and interactive activities, and lessons addressed history, racial justice, diversity, equity, and education. 

She plans to infuse interactive activities into her Fulbright classrooms to bring lessons to life as she helps her Vietnamese students learn about America and their own educational possibilities.

“Being an ETA will enable me to connect to students with different cultural backgrounds that will also be present in my future classrooms when I am full-time in my career as a teacher. This opportunity will allow me to help current and future students normalize diversity and set the standard for how we treat others.”

Hudson plans to pursue a master’s degree in education. Her career goal is to teach STEM topics to high schoolers in a low-income school district. 

Read More:WSU Fulbright U.S. Student awardees heading to Germany and Vietnam – WSU Insider