From Drew, to NYC, to Russia With Love
Alumna Sarah Calderone to study migrants with prestigious Fulbright grant.
While in Vladimir, Russia on a language program, the summer after her junior year, Sarah Calderone ’13 noticed a group a migrants from Central Asia while riding a local trolley to class.
Her curiosity about them and how they were adjusting to their new lives led her to apply for a research grant to further study issues facing migrants in Russia.
This April she found out she’d been awarded a prestigious Fulbright student research grant to spend nine months in Ekaterinburg, Russia, researching these issues and working with organizations that assist migrants.
“I was shocked and honored when I received the email,” she said of the grant award. The Fulbright program is highly competitive and awards are based on a number of factors, including an applicant’s project proposal and language ability.
The fact that Calderone is Drew’s latest Fulbright scholar is something that did not surprise her former Russian language professor Carol Ueland, “She’s a fabulous student, a great language learner, who combined her interests in international relations and human rights with advanced language proficiency,” says Ueland.
Calderone said when she leaves this summer, she will be studying integration efforts for migrant populations from Central Asian republics to see how Russia integrates them into society and whether those measures are effective.
While at Drew, Calderone was president of the Russian Club and took part in the UN Semester, during which she interned with Human Rights Watch. A double major in political science and Russian studies, she wrote her honors thesis on Russian foreign policy, for which she reached out to staff at the Institute of Modern Russia in New York City. That led to a post-graduate internship and full-time job.
The Sparta, N.J., native said she hopes the grant will help move her toward her future career goal. “I would like to research these and other regional issues for a non-governmental organization,” says Calderone, 23. She said her experiences at Drew were key in leading her to where she is today, “It’s been a great trajectory.”—Elizabeth Moore