WGSS Major, Minor Receive Fulbrights

Of the fifteen current and former Dartmouth student selected for Fulbrights this year, two were majors or minors in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. 

Alyssa Heinze ’18

Government and Asian and Middle Eastern studies double major; Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality studies minor
Research/study grant, India

Alyssa Heinze planned to study biology and chemical engineering at Dartmouth. But she was curious about the world, she says, and that led her to government classes, internships in Nepal and India, and ultimately, to change her major to government and Asian and Middle Eastern studies. 

The course “Telling Stories for Social Change”—in which students work with women at a drug rehabilitation center—had a big impact. “That experience reified my desire to bridge academic disciplines to each other, and academia to the world.” Her thesis, on women leaders’ intersectional identities on their political performance in India, grew out of a foreign study program in Hyderabad, an off-term internship in Mumbai, and field research this spring. “Being able to spend almost a cumulative year of my college experience in South Asia is something I don’t think I would have gotten at another college,” she says. 

She plans to use her Fulbright-Nehru research grant to study Marathi language and research “the efficacy of NGO-provided training programs that target first-time women politicians and seek to help them build their confidence and leadership skills in the beginning of their tenure as politicians,” in Maharashtra and Mumbai.

Prior to beginning her Fulbright studies, Heinze will be in India, studying the Marathi language through a Dartmouth Paul L.’83 and Neil T. McGorrian Fellowship.

Her long-term goal is to earn a PhD in political science. “Having 15 months in-country to pursue language training and research is truly a privilege,” she says. “I hope to build on this research for a doctoral dissertation, and, eventually, through a career as a political science professor.”

Mary Liza Hartong ’16, MALS ’18

English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality studies double major 
Research/study grant, Ireland

Through Fulbright, Mary Liza Hartong will study Irish film and literature at University College Cork, work on a novel, and establish connections with a network of LGBTQIA+ writers and artists in Ireland. “Ireland was the first country in the world to legalize gay marriage by popular vote, and that spurred my curiosity about what queer artists were doing in Ireland right now,” she says. 

Hartong decided to major in English after “I ‘accidentally’ took an upper-level seminar on Gertrude Stein and Virginia Woolf my freshman fall,” she says. The course “whipped me into shape. Everything has been easier since.” 

Outside of class, Hartong wrote for The Dartmouth and performed improv with Casual Thursday. “Improv really does inform writing—you can’t be embarrassed about anything or take too much time to think, you just have to go with it,” she says. “That’s taught me to keep going, even when I feel I can’t write another word. You can.”

Staying on campus to pursue her master’s in liberal studies with a concentration in creative writing has given her time to write and to enjoy the Dartmouth community. “It’s been nice to have time to think about what I want to do,” she says. “I’m grateful for all the help that I’ve gotten from staff and professors and people in my classes who have been willing to talk about Fulbright. It feels good.”