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Boise State Student, Graduate Recognized by Fulbright Program

By: Sherry Squires   Published 2:29 pm / June 5, 2017

Juliette Rubin and Cody Wetherelt

Juliette Rubin and Cody Wetherelt

A Boise State student and a recent graduate have been recognized by the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Juliette Rubin has been awarded a research fellowship in Madagascar, and Cody Wetherelt is a Fulbright alternate for an English teaching assistant grant in Jordan.

Rubin, who will complete work on her master of science in biology later this summer, will study the effects of moonlight over rice fields in Madagascar on predator-prey interactions, particularly how the predator-prey dynamics of bats and moths are affected by increasing expanses of moonlit areas as a result of forest removal for agricultural land. Her research will primarily focus on Ranomafana National Park and the surrounding villages and agricultural fields, where she will collaborate with farmers and local and foreign researchers.

“I was excited and honored to be awarded the Fulbright to conduct research in Madagascar,” she said. “This fellowship will allow me to continue in the same vein of research as my master’s degree here at Boise State. I study the evolutionary route of anti-predator strategies in a bat-moth system. Madagascar is an excellent location for me to take my research after completing my master’s program because of its rich biodiversity (including both bat and moth species), and long history as an island with high levels of endemism. Through my fieldwork, I hope to get a window into the sorts of wild bat-moth battles that have been unfolding for centuries. I also look forward to integrating into the research station community and taking part in outreach projects with local community groups.”

After completing the Fulbright Fellowship and returning to the United States, Rubin plans to enter a doctoral program.

Wetherelt, who studied abroad in Jordan for the spring semester of his junior year at Boise State, earned his bachelor of arts in English with a linguistics emphasis and a minor in Arabic studies in May.

“As a linguist, I have a love of language and strong knowledge in linguistic theories and methodology. During my four years as a tutor and teacher of English language learners, I have gained experience teaching and working with people from diverse backgrounds,” he said.

While studying abroad in Jordan for four months, he stayed with a host family, gained confidence speaking Arabic and ultimately was enchanted by the language and culture of Jordan. If he returns to Jordan on a Fulbright, he intends to host weekly dance lessons, including swing, line, and other popular American dances, as well as learn how to dance the Dabke as a way to connect to Jordanian culture and learn its traditions.

“This is a fun and healthy way to share understanding and show respect between the two countries,” he said.

After returning to the United States, he plans to apply to a graduate program in teaching English as a second language and then teach English in secondary schools in the United States or abroad, where he can draw insights from his experiences in Jordan.

“I recommend anyone who wants to have an opportunity to impact the world and their own life to apply (to Fulbright). Even if you don’t end up being awarded, the amount of introspection, self-reflection and self-improvement you gain just through the process alone is incredible,” Wetherelt said.

Thus far, 12 students and recent alumni from Boise State have been awarded grants through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Eight of those have been awarded since 2013, when the Honors College put dedicated staff and concentrated efforts toward international fellowships advising.