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Whittier College graduate wins prestigious Fulbright Award

June 1, 2016

Aimme Real Arrayga at the 2016 commencement ceremonyRecently minted graduate Aimme Real Arrayga '16, has been awarded a Fulbright Award and will study immigrant women's rights in Argentina.

Real was among five students from the College who were semi-finalists for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, a U.S. government-sponsored educational exchange program that operates in more than 155 countries. Two of the Whittier graduates, Aurora Ilog '16 and Tiffany Reyes '15, were also chosen as alternates.

Under the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, students can propose an individually designed a research project or an English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) during an academic year period. This fellowship also gives students the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Real, a political science and cultural studies double major, will use her fellowship to focus on the effects of  on immigrant women of Argentina's Law 25.871 – legislation that regulates the treatment of undocumented immigrants. In affiliation with a nonprofit in Buenos Aires, Real will interview such women and reach out to institutions to better understand their rights and the issues they face. Working with the nonprofit, AMUMRA, her project will culminate in an event highlighting the women's stories.

Real's project stems from her independent study of the history of migration and immigration rights in Argentina and her senior seminar project on the feminization of migration. Real will begin the project with a deepened understanding of immigration issues, thanks to both her internship in an Arizona immigration office and three years of teaching citizenship classes.

Ilog, who was a Whittier Fellow in Arts Management and active choir member for four years, proposed to expand on her Whittier Scholars Program major in music business by conducting a scholarly study of the historical and cultural significance of the University of Philippines-Diliman, College of Music as a major driving force in preserving Philippine music.

Reyes, a women’s lacrosse team member and outstanding student in Whittier Scholars Program, proposed to apply her experiences as a teaching assistant at the College to her English Teaching Assistantship experience in Barcelona, Spain. 

If awarded a Fulbright ETA, Reyes plans to implement a student-run online newsletter as a way to foster student communication in English about significant events in sports, music, or politics. “As members of their community, the newsletter can cover relevant subjects to not only their lives, but the community that they are a part of as well,” Reyes said.

Each of the College's graduates demonstrated their academic scholarship, capacity for independent study, research or teaching, and commitment to community engagement.