Alena Ja ’16 and Katie Rose Criscuolo ’14 Receive Fulbright Award


The US Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board announced recently that Alena Ja, a graduating member of Agnes Scott College’s class of 2016, and Katie Rose Criscuolo, a member of the class of 2014, have been offered a Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant. Ja has received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Program grant to Malaysia and Criscuolo has received an ETA grant to Argentina.

Alena Ja designed her own major, sustainability and human rights, to explore the intersection of environmental studies and social justice, with a particular emphasis on global women’s rights. She plans to dedicate her career to finding holistic and interdisciplinary solutions to issues of environmental justice and their impact on women. As a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Malaysia, Ja hopes to expand her understanding of Malaysian culture, communities and environment, and to use that knowledge to promote sustainability in her classes and community projects.

Katie Rose Criscuolo was an English literature and creative writing major while at Agnes Scott, and she is drawn to Argentina for the range of stories that arise from its diverse population. Argentina is one of several South American nations accepting Syrian refugees, and Criscuolo plans to volunteer with a refugee development center so that she can learn more about the individual stories within that community. Her goal is to collaborate with local writers and translators to compile an anthology of works to be published both in their native languages and in English, creating an emblem of the multiculturalism that is uniquely Argentine.


The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Program operates in more than 160 countries worldwide. Students accepted into the English Teaching Assistant Program are placed as English teaching assistants in primary and secondary schools or universities overseas—improving foreign students’ English language abilities and knowledge of the United States while increasing the U.S. student’s own language skills and knowledge of the host country. ETAs may also pursue individual study and research plans in addition to their teaching responsibilities.