posted April 20, 2006

Student Receives Fulbright Research Award

Brandon Alleman, a Hope College senior from Morrice, has received an award through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State to conduct research in Hungary.

Fulbright grants are made to U.S. citizens and nationals of other countries for a variety of activities, primarily university lecturing, advanced research, graduate study, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools. Grant recipients include recent college graduates and graduate students, college and university instructors, and professionals in other fields.

The U.S. Student Program is designed for recent college graduates, master's and doctoral candidates, young professionals and artists. The program awards more than 1,200 grants to U.S. students annually, supporting an academic year of study, research or teaching assistantship experience. The program operates in more than 140 countries worldwide.

This year, the Fulbright Program advisors at Hope were Dr. David S. Cunningham, who is professor of religion and director of the CrossRoads Project, and Dr. Janis Gibbs, associate professor of history. "Receiving a Fulbright research grant is an extraordinary honor," Cunningham said. "Hope students have regularly been honored with Fulbright teaching awards, but this is our first research grant in some time. Brandon has achieved a remarkable distinction, for himself and for Hope College."

Alleman, who is still finalizing his plans, intends to conduct research in biophysics at the Semmelweis Medical University in Budapest. A mathematics and physics major at Hope, he plans to pursue a career in medicine.

He studied in Hungary during the fall of 2004, and based on his positive experience appreciates the opportunity to return through his Fulbright award.

"I loved being in Central/Eastern Europe and have some understanding of the customs and language," he said. "The food is also superb, but that was a minor consideration. Hungary is respected worldwide in mathematics and the sciences. Thus, the combination of culture and academics was difficult to pass up."

Alleman's activities as a student have included spending three summers conducting research: the first at Hope in mathematics with Dr. Timothy Pennings, professor of mathematics; the second at Hope in biochemistry with Dr. Janet Andersen, professor of mathematics, and Dr. Leah Chase, assistant professor of biology and chemistry and Towsley Research Scholar; and the third working on a theoretical physics project at Michigan State University. He is also a member of the physics honor society Sigma Pi Sigma, and the mathematics honor society Pi Mu Epsilon.

Alleman is the son of Robin and Susan Alleman, and is a 2002 graduate of Morrice High School.