Bonderman Travel Fellowship
Graduate Fellow Profiles
The furthest place outside of the U.S. that Azaria has travelled is Vancouver, B.C. She has never lived away from family and friends and is looking forward to the challenges and personal growth that this trip will encourage. By stepping outside of her comfort zone she hopes to gain a better understanding of the way the world works so that she can be a better human being as well as a better Social Worker. she will travel to Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Madagascar, India, Thailand, and Vietnam and looks forward to practicing yoga where it originated and seeing different wildlife.
Erin is a compassionate listener, story collector and cheerful adventurer. Erin will discover cultures through learning about familial norms, social customs, developing economies, faith, history, wildlife and cuisine! Erin is fascinated by the resiliency of the human heart and how we are all connected. She will ask the questions; What makes you happy? What experiences have helped you grow? What motivates you? She will gain a bigger understanding of the world and herself through talking with locals in Morocco, Egypt, Madagascar, Rwanda, Tanzania, India, Thailand and Indonesia. She is filled with gratitude for this life-changing opportunity. Next stop, Morocco!
Natalie is looking forward to connecting with people through participatory dance, cuisine, and spiritual practices. In particular, she would like to experience how different cultures and identities have influenced community traditions. Her travels will foster her curiosity and strengthen her intuition as she communicates with others and learns from different lifestyles. She will be exploring places such as Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Samoa, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and India.
Theresa’s Bonderman travels will allow her to wander and engage with people in Singapore, Indonesia, South Africa, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Morocco, Brazil, and Colombia. In addition to exploring ethnic, economic, and geographical diversity, she wants to experience the multidimensionality among underrepresented groups that are often portrayed as a single story. At heart, she’s excited to face travel’s unexpected situations that will challenge her to be resourceful, creative, and ultimately learn more about herself.
Sara plans to immerse herself in the awe and messiness of a world beyond the familiarity of her current cultural bubble. She is eager to be pushed out of her comfort zone because history has taught her that uncertainty and discomfort often provide opportunities for growth. Sara hopes that diving into a deeper spectrum of human existence will provide context and purpose in her life and spur her to become a more engaged global citizen. Her travels will take her through Russia, Croatia, Israel, Turkey, India, Thailand, Cambodia, China and Japan.
John is inspired by how and where he has found human connection in the communities he has lived, from rural Wisconsin to urban Washington. He is eager to explore the potential of connection in the global community by immersing in vastly different cultures and ways of life. With plans to visit Bhutan, Mongolia, Russia, Norway, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and Montenegro, he seeks to develop an intimate understanding of human nature, focusing on how we are similar rather than different.
Casey is excited about the opportunity to explore gender identity around the world. Their itinerary includes countries that legally recognize third genders, or that have more pluralistic views of gender, as well as countries that pathologize and/or criminalize non-binary genders. Casey is fascinated by the juxtaposition of being in these spaces and hopes to learn more about the societal implications surrounding gender identity. Casey is also interested in the influences that cultural values have on happiness, and is eager to be in places where technology and social media aren’t as prevalent. In forming genuine connections and engaging in the spiritual practices and natural beauty of their destinations, they hope to return with a greater understanding of what it means to be human. Casey will travel to India, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Japan, Morocco, Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Ecuador.
My goals for independent travel center around personal growth, self-reflection, human connection, and gaining knowledge of the world outside of my own perspective. As an elementary school teacher I love connecting and building relationships with people. I want to explore diverse corners of the world to build connections with people from multiple cultures and all walks of life. My itinerary includes such countries as South Korea, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Morocco, Brazil, Chile, and Peru.
Travel objectives: Joseph’s experiences as a performer, choreographer, and teacher have led him to his interests in the tranformative capacity of dance in people’s lives. He has always believed that dance and the arts contribute to the enhancement of the “whole self.” This adventure will allow him to experience the celebration of life and community in a completely new light. His itinerary includes Norway, Sweden, Finland, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Australia, Chile, Peru, and Ecuador.
Hometown: Bremerton, Wash.
Tess plans to trek through diverse countries including, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Kenya, Tanzania, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. She will be a cultural nomad and explorer while experiencing the personal growth that comes from solo travel. During her journey she will use her experiences to develop a different perspective, awareness, and respect for other cultures that will serve her well in providing care to underserved populations as a physical therapist.
Hometown: Oceanside, NY
Marianna is seeking to reignite her love of history. She is looking forward to exploring different cultures and embracing cultural differences through art, music, landmarks, food customs, and connections with new people. The Bonderman fellowship will be an invitation to introspection and an opportunity to reflect on her own identities while learning more about what it means to be a guest in new places. Her travels will take her through Japan, Thailand, Greece, Egypt, South Africa, Peru, Brazil, and Cuba.
Hometown: Helena, Mont.
Her time as a child reading adventure stories, her experience as a young adult learning about life across the globe through biographies and memoirs, and her diverse education as a university student all provide inspiration for Jen’s Bonderman journey. Her experiences in Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Bali, Madagascar, Panama, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua will broaden her views of biological and human diversity and their relationship to public health and the human experience.
Hometown: Port Angeles, Wash.
Jacqueline’s Bonderman travels will take her through Mongolia, Greenland, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Japan, Nepal, Taiwan, and Russia. By visiting these countries with differing histories and relationships with indigenous people (including some histories that are similar to Jacqueline’s own people), she hopes to better understand how an indigenous person from one culture can immerse herself into a different indigenous land and culture.
Hometown: Olympia, Wash.
Her Bonderman journey will find Michelle engaging as much as possible with the indigenous cultures of Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia, while Brazil will find her experiencing Portuguese and soccer. Time in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Japan will bring exploration of Eastern religions, philosophy and cultures.
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Bush is seeking an adventure that pushes her outside of her homogenous reality and broadens her world view. She hopes to gain a better understanding of her identity and place, while learning how her experiences relate to and differ from those of people across the globe. She looks forward to living in the moment, experiencing the previously unimaginable, trying new foods and enjoying the world’s beauty. She plans to visit Chile, South Africa, Kenya, Vietnam, Thailand, India and Spain.
Human Centered Design & Engineering
Hometown: Pittsford, NY
DeMaria’s pilgrimage will entail traveling throughout Asia to places of cultural and spiritual significance. His journey will span up to 12 countries including Bhutan, Tibet, Japan, Turkey, Cambodia, India, Russia and China. The sacred sites he plans to visit were erected by the will of people influenced by their own forms of spirituality. These elaborate monuments hold deep meaning to these cultures. Spirituality is the process of personal transformation; this trip will be Joe’s spirituality.
Ryan Dodge III
Hometown: Lake Forest Park, Wash.
Dodge has been on the same track for most of his life and he wants to explore an unfamiliar world in an unfamiliar way. He plans to travel to the far corners of the map in order to gain a better understanding of how people in other cultures live and what is important to them. Eager to step out of his comfort zone, Ryan wants to gain a broader view of the world, which he hopes will lead him to be a curious and empathetic doctor. He will travel to Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Patagonia and Argentina.
Hometown: Bloomington, Minn.
Motivated by the desire to forge meaningful connections with the people she meets, Imsdahl will travel through East Africa and South America. Her goal is to regard each encounter as a potential learning experience: one with the power to shift her perceptions and change her for the better, regardless of how small the interaction may be. The countries on Sheri’s itinerary are Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Peru, Brazil, Argentina and Chile.
Hometown: Shirley, Mass.
Onsager is interested in the deep-rooted relationship humans share with the oceans of the world; on his journey he hopes to experience the ways in which communities work with and against these immense forces of nature. Food and associated customs are a physical and sensory distillation of a culture’s unique environment and history, yet their central place in in life is shared by all people. By visiting Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Chile, Argentina and Brazil, Per hopes to gain a deeper understanding of the people and cultures by sharing these intimate social experiences.
Using music as a method of connecting with communities and her environment, Tuason will explore kindness and what it means for people to be truly kind to one another. She seeks to better understand what binds people together as global citizens, despite the waterways and land masses that separate them. She hopes to embrace the idea of living in the moment, face her fears of solo travel, and perhaps seek her own definition of self-awareness, resiliency, contentment and humanity in action. Dawn will travel to Croatia, Hungary, Nepal, Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, Samoa and the Maldives.
Wong is compelled to travel on the Bonderman Fellowship for the same reason he is devoted to the practice of social work: he loves human beings. As a practitioner of Buddhist meditation, he is excited to travel to Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, India and Thailand. In Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Colombia, Alan plans to connect with the cultures and communities that have nurture so many brilliant and revolutionary poets, artists and musicians. Throughout his journey he will meet people whose lives are very different from his in ways that are meaningful, just, and mutually inspiring.
Hometown: Groton, Mass.
Bicknell will travel to countries of the Balkan Peninsula and Southeast and East Asia, using the universal language of skateboarding to connect with people along the way. He has been skateboarding for much of his life, and now throughout his travels, will be looking at it from a new perspective. At the same time, skateboarding will bring a sense of familiarity to the places that scarcely resemble home. Destinations: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan and China.
Hometown: Shiprock, N.M.
By interacting with others in vast, diverse environments, Bryan hopes to connect with them and learn the stories and histories that form their communities and identity. In addition, her goal is to further develop self-awareness in how she interacts with people from other cultures so that she can become more effective in her work towards social justice and creating positive change. Destinations: Chile, Peru, Brazil, India, Nepal, China, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia.
Urban Design and Planning
Hometowns: Milltown, N.J.
As Johnson visits small communities and rural areas, she will engage with natural landscapes, and will move by human power wherever possible: trek, bike, kayak, and climb! Along the way, she plans to connect authentically with people and cultures through their music, food, and customs. Throughout her travels, she will embrace the unpredictability of travel and practice mindfulness. Destinations: Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet, Tanzania, Madagascar, Ethiopia and Israel.
Hometown: Tacoma, Wash.
Day of the Dead in Mexico. Christmas in Argentina. Carnival in Brazil. Holi in India. New Year in Cambodia. Atsuta Matsuri in Japan. Celebrations like these unite people as they rejoice in a common cause. Magliocca is interested in experiencing celebrations of various national, cultural, and religious holidays and festivals around the world. Through this, he hopes to gain a better understanding of their significance and traditions. Destinations: Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, India, Cambodia, Thailand, Hong Kong and Japan.
Hometown: Winston Salem, N.C.
McDuffie’s journey will begin in Southeast Asia where he will explore mindfulness practice. Through retreats in Vietnam and Laos, he hopes to develop strategies to train his mind and body to live in the moment, be non-judgmental and cultivate a greater appreciation for the world around me. He will use these new skills and perspectives to explore the West African Diaspora. Through music, dance, art and food, he will learn how descendants of Africa are thriving in other parts of the world. Destinations: Vietnam, Laos, Senegal, Liberia, Benin, South Africa, Brazil, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago.
Hometown: Sumner, Wash.
Boxed thinking leads to boxed dreams, and the Bonderman Fellowship will give Rogen the chance to live outside my four-walled life. He wants to push himself, take risks, and never stop seeking the unknown. He wants to go to places he has only dreamed about—and to places that don’t have a Starbucks on every corner. He chose these Asian, African and Nordic countries as his destinations because all of them elicit fear and giddy excitement—the perfect mixture for a life-changing adventure. As Ulysses said, “to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.” Destinations: Cambodia, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Morocco and Iceland
Molecular and Cellular Biology; Epidemiology
Beer will travel by bicycle through Central and South America, Turkey, and parts of southeast Asia, exploring how people and cultures interact with the living world around them. Through the lenses of dwindling reptile and amphibian diversity and bicycle transportation, she hopes to observe how human activity feeds back on itself around the world to influence animal, environmental, and our own health. Although herpetology and bicycles are important parts of her life, this trip will connect her with people who experience these same animals and transportation in new and different ways.
Bucherl has chosen to travel through South America and Asia based upon her desire to experience and explore the natural beauty, music, and spirituality of those regions. Specifically, South America (Peru, Chile, and Argentina) represents an area of outstanding natural beauty, as well as the home of music and dance cultures with which she’s fascinated. Asia (Thailand, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia) promises similarly intriguing natural beauty, and represents the source of spiritual philosophies that have become essential aspects of her life. She anticipates that all of her experiences – positive and negative – will challenge and broaden her perception of the world and strengthen her respect for its inhabitants.
Claws’s journey will reflect a theme of relatedness and indigeneity, from an indigenous and genetic prospective. As a Diné (Navajo) woman, Claw has long been inspired to think critically about how scientific work in genetics/genomics is affected by ethical, legal, and social issues around the world and vice versa. She desires to experience work and presence through a global lens and with the intention of creating positive change. Her trip will take her to many countries, including, Indonesia, Myanmar, Laos, China, South Africa, and Peru; and she knows that her Bonderman fellowship journey will provide her the unique opportunity to connect with other indigenous populations around the world and hopefully to inspire others to explore their world and seek novelty.
Halstead is going to Southeast Asia and Africa, including Indonesia, Thailand, Madagascar, and Egypt, to advance her SCUBA diving experience while conquering her fear of water. Along the way she will be immersing herself into the native cultures to gain an in-depth first person perspective of the people and history of the places, appreciating that the set of knowledge and experiences she comes home with are unique. Samantha is excited to experience solo travel adventure and to build her confidence and independence.
The theme for Liapis’ journey is simply time and space. Time and space to discover new forms of communication; to experience life for the first time through the eyes of an outsider; to reflect on the past; to explore without an agenda; and, to interact with people all over the world. She will journey to Costa Rica, Brazil, Argentina, Greece, Turkey, India, Thailand, Singapore, Bali, China, Australia and Tahiti, which are in her words, “the most colorful, lively and bio-diverse places that will allow me to participate, communicate and explore a variety of landscapes, communities and cultures.”
Miller plans to explore the intersection of culture and modernity through folk wrestling. He hopes to learn more about the transitions between nations and regions by participating in traditional wrestling styles in each of the countries he visits. In particular he is interested in how indigenous ideas and expectations of masculinity are impacted by globalization, and how this negotiation happens in communities. He plans to use folk wrestling as a window into the countries he visits, as well as a tool to explore a similar negotiation within himself. As a young man he was guided by athletics through turbulence, chaos and uncertainty. Sport gave him the confidence to fail (often miserably), succeed, adapt and move forward. Miller hopes to discern more deeply how the refuge and guidance of sport occurs globally and if folk wrestling functions can function as a similar support for whole communities. He tentatively plans to visit Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, India, Nepal, Armenia, Turkey, Switzerland, France, Great Britain and Iceland.
Stofleth is interested in understanding how people resolve conflicts, not only between themselves and others, but also within themselves. He will start by experiencing Eastern forms of mindfulness practice (i.e. meditation) by staying in Buddhist monasteries in Southeast Asia, to give him a greater understanding of internal conflict. He will also visit places with pronounced external conflict, such as Egypt and Israel. From his journey he hopes to be able to better understand the relationships between internal and external conflict by approaching it from these two angles. The Bonderman also offers unseen possibilities, as Danny expressed in his application, “This is what excites me most about the potential the Bonderman offers. I imagine that the more I travel and the more I learn, the more opportunities will present themselves that I never could have envisioned . . .”
Hometown: Bigfork, Montana
Branam plans to explore seven distinct cultures through travels to Mongolia, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Sweden, The United Republic of Tanzania and Iceland. She will use drawings and sketches to document the everyday realities and individual adaptations that occur as rural landscapes become more urban.
Hometown: Woodinville, Washington
Connolly plans to travel to Mongolia, western China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Cameroon, Gabon and Congo-Brazzaville. His goal is to explore the people, land and culture off the beaten travelers’ track. He is interested in seeing how local residents educate their children so that he can bring a greater understanding of and confidence in himself to his own classroom upon his return.
Social Work with a certificate in Global Health
Hometown: Bellingham, Washington
Light’s journey will honor national days of independence and remembrance in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Brazil, India, South Africa and Rwanda, which share a history of colonialism that has oppressed people and claimed lives. His goal along the way is to develop a deeper appreciation for the power of human resiliency in resisting oppression so that he can become a more effective and principled actor in his work toward global health and justice.
Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Olson plans to embark on a spiritual and cultural pilgrimage that mirrors the journey of Santigo in Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, one of his favorite books, and to visit Central and South America to improve his fluency in Spanish. He knew the time had come for him to realize his dreams of traveling the world after undergoing treatment for testicular cancer during graduate school.
Hometown: Richland, Washington
Pednekar will begin her journey in Morocco and continue to Norway, Russia, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, India and Brazil. Inspired by Jean Brillat-Savarin’s “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are,” she plans to explore the development of culture and traditions around a relationship to food. She hopes to gain a better understanding of how access and abundance in certain nations contrasts with the limitations and lack of resources in others, and how those constraints define how people relate to each other and to their communities.
Hometown: South Orange, New Jersey
As an oceanographer, Warner studies how water flows in and out of estuaries; now she is interested in going beyond the science and making connections with people who live near major water bodies. She plans to visit China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, India, Egypt, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique and the major rivers that run through them.
Hometown: Auburn, Washington
White, whose passion is cycling, plans to bike through the Western Himalayas and the remote tropical islands of the South Pacific, making stops in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji. He sought regions of the world least touched by modern industrialization and consumer culture, and he hopes to explore how these cultures regard the idea of urgency, leisure and productivity.
Aeronautics and Astronautics
Hometown: Sequim, Washington
Boenish plans to observe and collaborate with fellow musicians in areas where music is closely tied to traditions and customs, primarily the Caribbean, South America and Southeast Africa. He hopes to learn new musical styles and techniques and to create music with an ever-changing lineup of performers.
Hometown: Carmel, Indiana
As a precious resource, water is often a flashpoint for conflict between nations and neighbors, so Cebulko plans to travel from rainforests to mountains to deserts in order to explore how we build societies, develop personal relationships and resolve conflict through disputes over water. He looks forward to gaining greater understanding and making friends as he travels through three continents and a dozen countries, including Peru, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, India, Laos and Vietnam.
Jorgensen’s goal is to gain a global perspective and challenge herself to do something she never thought possible. By the end of her trip, she hopes to have a more worldly perspective and a grasp of the essentials of a rewarding life. To accomplish this she will travel through Nepal, India, Borneo, Madagascar, Gabon, Argentina, Chile and Peru.
Hometown: Wayne, New Jersey
In his work in Public Affairs, Pollack been involved in initiatives for civic engagement; now he is anxious for a personal connection. As a singer and percussionist, his travels will take him through Brazil, Argentina, Senegal, Mali, Benin, Ghana, Nepal and India as he explores the role that music plays in these communities. Gary looks forward to internalizing the traditions of these diverse cultures while sharing his own with the people he meets on his journey.
Hometown: Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Sylwester is interested in the influence of water on a country and community, and believes that women, as caretakers, are the vessels through which a resource as basic as water impacts monumental social movements. Her itinerary will include travel along and around the Amazon River, the Nile River, Lake Victoria and the Ganges River as she observes and reflects on how women access, benefit from and enjoy life on water.
Hometown: Ridgefield, Washington
How different cultures perceive their children and define childhood will be Yamin’s focus on her journey. She hopes to gain insight into how other societies address children’s problems – insight which will assist her in her future career in juvenile law. Her Bonderman itinerary includes Japan, China, India, Thailand, Israel and Egypt.
Environmental and Occupational Health
Zetlen’s proposal was motivated by her interest in environmental and public health issues, as well as agricultural work and environmental conservation. Her travels will take her through a number of countries including Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Bolivia.
Hometown: Springfield, Virginia
James Bullock has a simple goal: “To meet diverse groups of people and open myself up to alternative viewpoints.” By doing that as he travels through the Middle East, Africa and Asia, he hopes to learn about the business landscapes in these areas, particularly in respect to energy and infrastructure. “My goals and itinerary are tentative by design, as I would like this trip to grow organically and be altered as necessary,” he said. “To borrow a quote from Dan Eldon, I believe ‘the journey is the destination.’”
Public Health: Social and behavioral sciences
Hometown: Fergus Falls, Minn.
Burkland is intrigued by places where cultures converge – places such as Morocco, Haiti and Cambodia. At the same time, she wants to learn more about cultures that have remained relatively untouched by globalization, including indigenous Amazonian rainforest people in Brazil and the !Kung in Botswana. Through her travels, Burkland intends “to embark upon an exploration of people’s everyday lives so as to understand the depth and diversity of human experience across the world.” Several months of solo travel will give Burkland opportunity for self-exploration, and “by better understanding my inner self, I will be able to more fully engage with community and offer leadership to the causes I care about.” Burkland also plans to visit India and Ulithi, an atoll in the Federated States of Micronesia where her grandfather served in the Coast Guard.
Library and Information Science
Hometown: Boise, Idaho
Gough has two passions – knitting and libraries. On her journey, she plans to travel to South America and Southern and Eastern Africa where she can learn how local handicrafts fit into daily life and individual heritage of each place she visits. At the same time, she wants to discover what role libraries play in various cultures. Gough has worked in Seattle libraries with patrons of many backgrounds and ethnicities. “I’ve worked with several immigrant populations in Seattle, and I want to visit where they’re from and see what libraries are like to expand my conceptions of the many roles a library can play and be able to better relate to my patrons,” she said.
Hometown: Montesano, Wash.
In order to become the best science teacher she can be, Anna Kramer wants to learn more about her students. To do that, she will travel to the countries where most of her students have roots: Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Western and American Samoa, the Philippines and Indonesia. Kramer teaches in a culturally diverse area of Seattle, and she wants to familiarize herself with the places which her students and their families identify with culturally and historically. By becoming better acquainted with her students’ cultural traditions, she will be better equipped to engage them in the classroom. “As I travel, I will explore the nature of the communities’ relationships with the ecosystems in which they live, as well as strive to better understand how the unique biological communities and natural resources in each place shape the daily lives of the people living there,” she said.
Hometown: Kirkland, Wash.
As an advocate for immigrant rights, Norouzi has spent many years as a housing advocate for immigrant families in crisis. She has volunteered for a women’s empowerment microfinance organization in rural India and has researched immigrant youth’s experiences of racism in public schools. With the Bonderman Fellowship, Norouzi will travel to the Middle East, East Africa and Latin America, regions of the world that have undergone socio-political and economic turmoil which have instigated migration trends. “My journey will be framed by my work with vulnerable populations, utilizing relationship building and human connection as a way to cultivate healing and growth, both for myself and those I meet during my travels,” she said. “I hope to honor the people I meet on my journey by folding their stories into my future life, career, understanding of the world and who I am as a person.”
Jolina H. Ruckert,
Ruckert plans to follow the flames from Africa to India to China to Japan. “I will explore the ancient human relationship with fire as it exists in the world today,” she said. “I will witness the various ways fire continues to foster and bond communities, tie us to our ancestors and our histories, and create and support tradition and culture.” Ruckert’s journey will start in Africa where some of the earliest fire rituals have been documented and where fire remains in ceremony as a central aspect of social life. Her first stop will be in Namibia, after which she will travel by land through Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia. Then, she will visit Asia, and end her trip in “the Land of Fire and Ice, Iceland, to witness fire as it emerges in natural forms and the innovative way people are harnessing fire to power their lives and their communities.”
Hometown: Camarillo, Calif.
How does colonization and oppression shape a culture? And how do communities gather the strength to resist and take back their independence? That’s what Alena Elizabeth Suazo hopes to discover when she travels through Africa. She will begin in Cape Town, South Africa, and then head to Botswana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya and Egypt. “From Egypt I will fly to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and make my way west to Chile,” she said. “I will travel north through Chile, to Bolivia and Peru, and finally will end in Mexico.” By immersing herself in these indigenous cultures, Suazo hopes to understand them more deeply.
Feldman plans to take time off from Ph.D. work to try and approximate the legendary Journey into the Unknown in a world with few actual frontiers. He will travel through Eastern Europe, the Balkans, down the Silk Road, all over Asia, India, the Middle East and North Africa.
Gruen plans to visit two or three countries in the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America with a focus on interaction with local communities. He wants to explore countries where he can converse in Portuguese, Spanish or Arabic and will travel by bicycle within and at times between the places he visits. Deric plans to get a full experience by moving slowly, with respect for the people and environments that host him.
Maxa will travel from South East Asia to Eastern Europe through most of the world’s major biomes. She would begin in tropical Cambodia and Vietnam and gradually move northward into the temperate forests, following China’s awe-inspiring rivers from mountains to sea. Train travel across northern China and Russia would offer up the wide remote expanses of grasslands, deserts, boreal forests, and taiga. She would then go southward through the rolling hills and plains of Eastern Europe’s big deciduous woods, from the lakes of Belarus through the Black Sea nations of Ukraine, Romania, and Bulgaria. This travel plan reflects her fascination with the complexities of the natural world and the diversity of ways that humans fit into it.
Allison (Ali) Mitnick
During her travels, Mitnick aims to interact with students and teachers in small learning communities that foster culture as an important part of identity. She wants to increase her cultural literacy by focusing on the interactions between families, children and formal schooling wherever possible. She wants to become a nomadic learner and see how culture is integrated into these learning centers, and experience how the students are also instilled with the power tools needed to succeed in the larger communities. She plans on visiting the indigenous communities across South America and Southeast Asia, newly independent communities in Kosovo, and Maori communities in New Zealand.
Fine Arts (Ceramics)
Rodriguez plans to start his Bonderman Fellowship by traveling to Japan at the height of cherry blossom season, visiting historic as well as contemporary cities. He will then head toward Spain, where he’d like to enjoy a bullfight or two before making his way toward Italy and Greece. From there he would enter South American, stopping in Peru, then traveling to Chile and ending off in Argentina.
Prior to embarking on her intended career path, Zelano wants to use the Bonderman Fellowship to travel to South Africa, Botswana, Egypt, India, China, and Borneo. She plans to experience the nature and the environment in each country, visit some nature reserves where she can and experience everything else interesting about the countries along the way.
Borchard’s adventure will be guided by her passion for handcrafts (knitting and needlework chief among them) and her interest in societies undergoing dramatic social change. She is, however, open to following other inspirations as the journey unfolds. Starting in Turkey, she will travel by bus and train through the Balkans, Eastern and Central Europe, the Baltic States, and Russia, then east by train across Siberia to Mongolia and China. Highlights will likely include experiencing rich craft traditions, knitting with strangers, discovering stories of non violent revolution and innovative social change, and growing is self and world knowledge, and the ability to embrace ambiguity and risk.
Murr’s travel will be split into three stages: 1) Argentina, Chile, Peru; 2) India, Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet; and 3) Vietnam. All three stages are intended to aid in developing the kind of critical consciousness described by Antonio Gramsci when he wrote that we must know ourselves as the products of a historical process which has deposited in us an infinity of traces without leaving an inventory. He hopes that his travels will help him to engage in the necessarily relational and cooperative process of unpacking and understanding his “traces” in relation to the peoples, places and cultures he encounters, with special attention to the intricacies and intimacies of the modes of cultural practice and interaction that have always inspired and intrigued.
Parham says “We often focus on struggle and suffering without looking for parallel moments of strength and perseverance of the human spirit.” The broad aim of this trip is to broaden his understanding of how different cultures have navigated struggle over time and how those struggles have shaped their stories and culture today. More specifically, he hopes to gain a better understanding of how people around the world have worked to sustain hope in their lives and maintain the human spirit. The goal is to help gain a better sense of the positive elements of the human spirit that enable social change from within. His major destinations are Venezuela, Brazil, South Africa, Ghana, Egypt, India, China, and Japan.
Mario Andres Perez
Public Affairs; Civil and Environmental Engineering
To explore and challenge his personal views of how education and socio-economical status influences the quality of life of individuals around the globe. Perez would like to experience for himself whether countries such as China and India (which are developing relatively fast) share similarities to developing countries such as Ethiopia, the Czech Republic, Israel, and Thailand. He will also travel to Japan and experience how an industrialized country compares to the other countries.
Speech: Language Pathology
Randles plans to travel throughout Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. She look forward to discovering the connections she can make with others in the absence of easy conversation in a common language, and to discovering how social communication varies from culture to culture. The idea of being unable to easily express feelings, wants and needs is frightening. She asks, “How deeply will I be able to connect with others in the absence of a common language? How will it feel to spend nearly a year cut off and removed from the interactions and communication with others that I am accustomed to? How will this experience change who I am, the plans I have for my life, and by extension the relationships that I have with others?”
Guillame plans to explore the cultures of three major regions of the world: Latin America, Southern and Eastern Africa, and East Asia, with particular focus on children’s needs. Her goal is to begin to understand the unique cultures in each region so that in the future she will be a better advocate for children’s rights internationally. These regions highlight three particular threats to children: poverty, HIV/AIDs epidemic, and sexual exploitation. Per region, she plans to travel to the countries most affected by these threats and learn about the culturally specific needs of their children.
Joseph is involved in initiatives at the University of Washington to raise awareness and understanding of the lack of underrepresented minorities in the sciences. He has developed a growing interest in understanding multiculturalism and racial diversity and how they differ from our country to others. He will explore other countries in Latin America and Northern Africa that are rich in culture and racial diversity similar to his own and search for stories of success and leadership in various ethnic groups in both economically developing and established countries. He wants to determine how citizens of other countries form their social structures, group identity, perspectives and how they are different from the U.S.
Lustig will fly into Arles and walk from Arles to Santiago de Compostela via the Camino Santiago pilgrim route. Next, she will travel down the Portuguese coast, by horse and donkey as much as possible. Then she will take a train and/or bus across southern Spain to Valencia and catch a series of small boats to most of the islands in the Western Mediterranean. Next comes crossing the Peloponnesian peninsula to depart from Athens, probably by train following the northern edge of the Black Sea, and heading out by train and bus to Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, and Thailand, before returning to Seattle.
Nilsson will travel through Eurasia and northern Africa in order to understand how different people define the concept of home. She will travel by Trans-Siberian rail from St. Petersburg, through the Russian taiga and the Mongolian Desert to Beijing. She will travel overland south through China to Vietnam, Laos and Thailand, then by rail through India, from Calcutta to Bombay. Finally, she will travel through northern Africa, particularly Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco. Quoting Henry Miller, Nilsson says “I want travel where the destination is not merely a place but a new way of looking at things.”
Smolak’s vision is to experience the holy places and communities of six major world religions in their places of birth. He will travel to the significant holy sites of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in the Middle East. In this region, he intends to focus on Israel and Saudi Arabia, but also plans to visit Iran and Turkey due to the presence of all three Abrahamic religions in both of these countries. When traveling to the significant holy sites of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sikhism in Asia, he will focus on India and Tibet.
Molecular and Cellular Biology
Cervantes hopes to visit key southern hemisphere sites that figured in the voyages of Captain James Cook. She aims to re-create the thrill of discovery that characterized Cook’s travels so that she may inspire young, disadvantaged students to become scientists.
Business Administration; Law
Traveling in Australia, Japan, India, Egypt, Italy and Brazil, Grupp is particularly eager to encounter live music performance as an experiential phenomenon.
Logan-Fasy aims to venture from the conventional path that he has followed in his baccalaureate, his law studies and the internships that he has filled. He is drawn to seek our people engaged in volunteerism in South America, Africa and Southern Asia.
Molecular and Cellular Biology
Rosenberg will postpone a postdoctoral fellowship in order to encounter people and their notions of what is sacred and beautiful. Her destinations are Greenland, Iceland, the Galapagos, Brazil, Mexico, India, Turkey and North Africa.
Sanchez wants to explore values and human aspirations that overcome daily struggles at a basic survival level. His itinerary is tentative, but he will set out with Australia, India, China, Ethiopia and Brazil as his likely destinations. Michael describes his focus as to “rejuvenate the art of living.”