Nop and Remillard are Fulbright Semi-Finalists

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Graduating senior Josh Remillard and alumna Sophie Nop, '16, propose to study the Syrian refugee crisis and digital literacy among Cambodian youth.

Two UW Tacoma students have been selected as semi-finalists for the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Alumna Sophie Nop, ’16, and graduating senior Josh Remillard hope their respective proposals will be accepted in the 2017-2018 academic year.

Sophie Nop, '16, Fulbright semi-finalistSophie Nop has created a research proposal to examine how mobile apps increase digital literacy amongst Cambodian youth. If her proposal is accepted, Nop will work with a local non-profit in Kralanh district in northwest Cambodia. Nop says “I hope to teach computational thinking through human-computer interaction.”

During her time at UW Tacoma Nop earned a bachelor of science in computer science and systems. She served as student-body president for the 2015-2016 academic year. She taught youth mobile app and web development, animation and robotics at the Tacoma Computer Clubhouse.

Nop hopes her research may broaden the inclusivity of the fields of study that include science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). She cites as one inspiration for her Fulbright proposal her work with Dr. Emma Rose, which led her to understand she could combine two of her passions: computer science and the links between technology and service. “I hope not only to immerse myself in Cambodian arts, language and tradition, but also to extend my research so that everyone, no matter their background, can learn and use technology,” said Nop.

Josh Remillard, Fulbright semi-finalistJosh Remillard will graduate this spring with a bachelor of arts in politics, philosophy and economics. He has proposed to study the effects of the Syrian refugee crisis while earning a master’s degree in human rights at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany. He is a military veteran, having served in the U.S. Army for eight years, deploying to Iraq twice and being stationed in Germany for two years. Growing up, he lived with his grandfather, who worked for the U.S. State Department: he lived and attended school in a variety of international settings. “Living in all of these places, I became fascinated with different cultures and people and how they carried on their day-to-day,” he said.

Remillard is interested in the Syrian refugee crisis for two reasons. “First, the range of reactions by member countries of the United Nations with regard to the Syrian government's mass killings of civilians and other human rights violations and why, with such obvious crimes against humanity, the U.N. is not getting more involved. Secondly, I find it interesting to understand the degree to which refugees are able to interact, if at all, with their host countries.”

Cindy Schaarschmidt in UW Tacoma’s global affairs office reports that Sophie and Josh’s Fulbright applications have been forwarded to their proposed host countries where final decisions are made. “We all have our fingers crossed, but just having been named semi-finalists is an incredible accomplishment, and we congratulate both Sophie and Josh and everyone who has taught, inspired and supported them during their time at UW Tacoma.”

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards funding for one academic year of self-designed study, research, creative projects, or teaching English in one of over 140 countries around the world. Eligible applicants are U.S. citizens who will have a bachelor's degree before the start of the grant, but not yet a PhD. Please contact Cindy Schaarschmidt, Director, Student Fellowships & Study Abroad for more information.

Written by: 
Zak Kaletka / March 15, 2017
Media contact: 

John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 253-692-4536 or