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Three Hunter Students Win Fulbright Grants

Three Hunter students have been awarded Fulbright grants for the 2010-2011 academic year. Maria Artinnes, Heidi Exline and Lauren Vriens were selected for this prestigious award on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential. All three will be traveling abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

Maria Aretinnes, a June 2010 Hunter graduate with a triple-major in the Thomas Hunter Honors Program, women and gender studies and political science, has won a Fulbright grant to teach English in Cyprus. Aretinnes will be an English teaching assistant at the university level, and will incorporate her knowledge and background in American film, literature and art in the classroom. Long active in social causes, Aretinnes founded and supervised a human rights club in high school, started up an independent literature library at a community center, worked with a women's collective and participated in Freewheel, a group which fixes old bikes for those who could not afford other means of transportation. Upon her return to the United States, she plans to attend Hunter School of Social Work.

Heidi Exline, a graduate student in the urban planning, has been a long time advocate of creating a just and sustainable food system. Her early years were spent on a family farm in Iowa which grew corn and soybeans. Exline will be working at the Punjab Agriculture University in India, analyzing data on malnutrition and hunger and focusing on issues of food security. She will help form a team to conduct research to learn how food costs and price spikes affect Indians. Her goal is to help empower Indians to find new solutions to make changes in helping families plan healthful meals. After her Fulbright year, Exline plans to work for an international non-governmental organization working with farmers or communities to fight hunger.

Lauren Vriens is a June 2010 Macaulay Honors graduate with a major in political science and a minor in Arabic. Vriens will travel to Bahrain, where she will explore how youth and women entrepreneurs play important roles in the socio-economics of the country. Her interest in the Middle East stems from her travels to Morocco and previous internship in Bahrain. Upon her return to the U.S., she plans to enroll in a joint graduate program in business administration and international studies with a focus on the Middle East and Arabic.

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