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Sept. 19: Carnegie Mellon Student, Alumnus Receive Fulbright Scholarships to Hong Kong, India


Abby Houck                       

Carnegie Mellon Student, Alumnus Receive
Fulbright Scholarships to Hong Kong, India

PITTSBURGH — A Carnegie Mellon University student and alumnus have received Fulbright Scholarships to study, teach and research abroad during the 2007-2008 academic year.

Sarah Rubin, who plans to receive a master's degree in rhetoric from Carnegie Mellon's College of Humanities and Social Sciences in May 2008, is serving as an English teaching assistant at the University of Hong Kong and working with Radio Television Hong Kong. Gautam Gandhi, a 2004 MBA graduate of Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School of Business, is researching business practices and entrepreneurship in India.

Rubin will teach an American media course and research the role of Hong Kong's public radio network in establishing a deliberative democracy that encourages citizen participation in civic affairs. She hopes that this work will form the basis of a doctoral dissertation, most likely at Carnegie Mellon. Her interest in rhetoric, the study of how language is used, originated from her extensive travels throughout Israel, Spain and the United States.

"Rhetoric is such a great mix of literature and all the things I love about language and how people use it, and sociology," Rubin said. "It's a great way to use my tools with literature to connect to people and to help people."

Rubin has focused her undergraduate and graduate theses on how disasters affect individuals and communities. Her undergraduate thesis, "Moving Toward the Sun," was named the Best Undergraduate Thesis in Creative Writing and Poetry from the University of Michigan in 2004. It focuses on interviews she conducted with victims and volunteers recovering from an oil spill off the coast of Galicia. The graduate thesis Rubin wrote at Carnegie Mellon analyzes New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's speeches while drawing upon her personal experiences volunteering during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.   

Gandhi is affiliated with the Indian Institute of Studies in Industrial Development, a national public institute recently inaugurated by India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. His research will examine the rapid industrialization of India's economy and its effects on Indian society. He also is observing current entrepreneurship processes within India and identifying future opportunities for entrepreneurs.

"Gautam Gandhi is uniquely qualified to perform this important research," said Thomas Emerson, the David T. and Lindsay J. Morgenthaler Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Tepper School of Business. "He has thorough first-hand knowledge of the cultures and business practices in both the United States and India. The fact that he is spending time exploring and investigating the links between changing business practices and their social effects so early in his career is a true testament to his potential as a future business leader."

While completing his MBA at the Tepper School, Gandhi co-authored a business plan for a medical device startup and received the Hewlett-Packard Grand Prize at Rice University's annual business plan competition. He also was a finalist in the MOOT Corp., Forbes and Jungle business plan competitions. In addition, Gandhi was named Carnegie Mellon's 2004 Roseman-Canfield Entrepreneur of the Year.

Gandhi's graduate school project led him to co-found ClearCount Medical Solutions, a medical device company focused on improving patient safety by preventing medical tools and supplies from being left in the body after surgery through the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. In addition to obtaining a $1.2 million National Institutes of Health Small Business Innovation Research Phase II grant, ClearCount has received media coverage from the Wall Street Journal, BBC, CNN, CNBC, Forbes, Science, Nature and the Archives of Surgery.

The Fulbright Scholarship program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Since 1946, the program has provided more than 279,000 students, scholars and teachers in 150 countries opportunities to study, teach and research abroad. Recipients are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.