Current Fellows

Jonthon Coulson | Indonesia | 2016-2018 | Educational Spaces, Moments, & Movement

Jonthon returns to Indonesia to explore the country’s educational spaces, which are increasingly affected by both foreign entrants and governmental decentralization. His particular focus is on the role education plays in the formation of identity wherein Jonthon will examine how educational experiences lead religious and national identities to emerge, converge and diverge.  In using education as a lens, Jonthon will look far beyond schools and schooling to the public pedagogies, endangered languages, and subaltern knowledge which he hopes will offer others insight into “becoming-Indonesia.”  The  world’s fourth-most populous country (and largest population of Muslims in the world) remains a relatively unknown archipelagic nation which is changing rapidly — in ways that have implications for the regional and the global community. Jonthon has taken a leave of absence from his doctoral program at Columbia University Teachers College to accept the ICWA Fellowship.  He previously lived in Indonesia as a Fulbright Scholar and U.S. State Department English Language Fellow.


Onyinye Edeh | Nigeria & Niger | 2016-2018 | Girls’ Health, Education, & Empowerment

A Nigerian-American who earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in the United States, Onyinye is returning to her native Nigeria to examine the urgent issue of girls health, education, early marriage and, most of all, girls empowerment.  Onyinye holds a Masters of Public Health degree from University of Washington-Seattle, as well as graduate-level certificates in the Global Health of Women, Adolescents and Children, and in Sexual and Reproductive Health Research.  Describing the impetus for her project, Onyinye points out that, Niger is presently ranked as the country with the highest percentage of child brides in the world with 76% of girls married before age 18. Nigeria holds the number 14 position with 43% of girls married before age 18As a trained global health practitioner and advocate for adolescent sexual and reproductive health, I understand the power in a girl’s voice and the dangers associated with silencing that voice.  During my ICWA Fellowship I intend to work with young people and their communities to understand the factors that propel child marriage and hinder girls education.  My aim is to identify culturally-sensitive ways to address these critical problems.”

In addition to her academic credentials, she brings field experience in project design and implementation, monitoring and evaluation, maternal and child nutrition and adolescent sexual and reproductive health; Onyinye has worked in both urban and rural/remote locations in Africa and in the US.  What’s more, she is skilled in creating and nurturing cross-cultural and interdisciplinary partnerships.  An emerging young leader, Onyinye has been recognized by the Clinton Global Foundation as a Commitment Maker, was awarded a prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship as well as a Global Opportunities Health Fellowship.  Onyinye’s ICWA Fellowship began in August, 2016 and will continue until August, 2018.


 Scott Erich Oman | 2015-2016 | Culture & Development

Scott will examine culture and rapid development in the Sultanate of Oman, a country with an increasing regional and international profile. Scott is deeply familiar with Oman having traveled there, researched the country’s maritime history, and worked at the Sultan Qaboos Center in Washington, DC.  More recently, Scott has been working at the University of Chicago’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.  Scott completed a certificate in Arabic Language and Cultures at the University of Chicago, and holds a bachelor’s degree from Gettysburg College, where he was awarded the Nicholas Prize in Religious studies for his ethnographic work on visitation rituals to shrines in southern Oman. He will travel with his wife, Emily, a social worker and environmentalist.


 Jonathan Guyer| Egypt | 2015-2017 | Art, Mass Media, and Satire

From Cairo, Jonathan will focus on examining connections between cultural currents and political change across the region. He has been living and working in Egypt since 2012, where he is a contributing editor of the Cairo Review of Global Affairs, a policy journal published by the American University in Cairo. From 2012 to 2013, he was a Fulbright fellow researching political cartoons in Egypt. He previously served as a program associate for the New America Foundation’s Middle East Task Force in Washington, DC, and as assistant editor of Foreign Policy’s Middle East Channel. A frequent analyst on Public Radio International, he has contributed to Guernica, Harper’s, Modern Painters, The New York Review Daily, The New Yorker, The Paris Review Daily, New York Magazine, Nieman Reports, and others. His research on Egyptian satire has been cited by the Associated Press, CNN, The Economist, The Nation, New Statesman, Reuters, and TIME, as well a variety of international news outlets. A cartoonist himself, he blogs about Arabic comics and caricature at oumcartoon.tumblr.com.


 Jessica Reilly | Central America | 2015-2017 | Climate Change and Adaptation

In a first for ICWA, Jessica and her partner Josh Moman will conduct a seafaring Fellowship, exploring adaption to climate change in coastal communities in México, Central America and the Caribbean.  Sailing the Pacific coast through the Panama canal and into the Caribbean on her 39-foot sailboat Oleada, Jessica will focus on how communities experience climate change impacts. Hazards such as erosion, storm surge, and the spread of disease can be consequences of sea level rise and sea temperature change, and Jessica will examine how these changes tear or build the social fabric. With her background as a research scientist, she has worked as a field biologist at the largest thermal solar plant in the world, mapped renewable energy development for 23 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa with the Lawrence Berkeley Lab, supported satellite-based forest mapping in the Andes-Amazon Region with the Carnegie Institution for Science, and authored multiple reports and user guides to translate science into digestible instruction. With a desire to better connect the science of climate change with stories on-the-ground, she plans to use her mapping experience to build vulnerability maps of the coast while gathering accounts of change and adaptation. Jessica was awarded a Fulbright fellowship to document climate impacts in México; she holds an Ecology degree from Brown University and an interdisciplinary MS from the Energy and Resources Group (ERG) at UC Berkeley, where she also studied video journalism. By harnessing wind and sun to travel, Jessica hopes to access remote locations, share the ocean-bound experience of local communities, and listen to and document the stories of climate adaptation with words, images, and video.