Student Achievement and Success

Stefan Badza (Serbia) has an internship at The University of Utah Nuclear Engineering Program. His research is focused Stefan Photo 1on analyzing rice elemental composition using a nuclear method called Neutron Activation Analysis. The main goal of his research is to determine the best way to detect different elements in rice and to see how rice processes environmental conditions.  Also, he is examining the geographical effect on rice’s elemental composition.

Stefan recently presented his research at the Annual American Nuclear Society Student Conference, held in Boston in early April and organized by Massachusetts Institute of Technology student chapter. At the conference undergraduate and graduate students from over 30 universities in U.S., Brazil, Russia, India, Israel, Japan, Switzerland, Korea, UEA and Canada presented their work. There were over 250 different papers submitted in over 20 categories for presentation at the conference.  University professors and industry experts evaluated the papers.

Stefan’s research competed in Environmental Sciences category. He was extremely happy to win the award for “Best Paper” in this category. A graduate student from his university, Greg Moffitt also won an award for “Best Paper” at Accelerator Applications category. The conference was an overall success for The University of Utah.

Stefan writes that the conference, “was a great opportunity to see research that students from around the world are working on to improve our understanding of nuclear technology and its application.  The tips we received from professors and leaders of the industry were also very helpful. It was a great experience to meet and present in front of all these people.”


Allan Wilson (Panama) recently wrote, directed and performed in a play entitled, “Colors” with fellow student, Justin Ahdoot at Virginia Commonwealth University.  Allan writes, “Colors is an experimental performance that tries to answer one of the problems in our modern society.  The performance is about labels and how they limit our lives and our souls. It is an artistic creation of a social problem of our society and it shows different perspectives of how our lives are framed from our first day of living.  People are labeled and those adjectives that we ‘represent’ confine our lives, but more than that they keep us away from working together as a race, human race. Those labels frame us to be what we become and what we will get over the time.  The only escape is a better life after death or working to transform our world in a place where everyone can have the same opportunities and be beautiful just because we are part of the human race.”


Iva Kozlina (Serbia) will complete an internship with the Chippewa Valley Symphony this month.  When the violin performance major isn’t rehearsing for the orchestra, she’s finding other outlets for her talents – including playing with S. Carey, drummer for the Grammy-winning band Bon Iver.  Iva and several students from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire joined Carey, to record a cover of the song Leave from the artist’s solo album.  You can see photos and videos from their session at and read an article about the recording process at  VolumeOne.


Before coming to the U.S.Rachana Nget - SAC, Rachana Nget (Cambodia) would never have dreamed of working with a robot or RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology. However, during her internship in the Computer Engineering Department at Florida Gulf Coast University, Rachana wrote a program to control a robot through RFID. Rachana writes, “This is exactly one of the most wonderful achievements I have accomplished over this academic year. Thanks to the Global UGRAD, all the impossibilities are finally transformed to possibilities along with a very exciting life-changing experience.”




Emman Marpaung (Indonesia) was selected as an actor in a campus film called “Every Chance Violence Prevention ProgEmman Marpaungram.” The purpose of this project is to film educational videos on the topic of sexual violence prevention. These videos will be shown nation-wide and will help educate others on how to intervene when they notice violence happening on campus. This program was organized by a non-profit organization called “Green Dot” that came to the University of Mississippi. This picture is the crew team on that film. Emman writes, “It was an unforgettable experience to take part in.”






Patriluz Manongsong (Philippines) has had a stand-out year at Bennett College. Among her top accomplishments are being accepted to the Honor Society last semester and being invited to be an honorary member of the Sigma Tau Delta International English Honors Society this semester. As a member of the Honors Program she will travel with classmates to the Salzburg Global Seminar in Austria from May 19 to 25.

She was also invited to speak about the Filipino culture and her experience as an exchange student at Bennett’s program entitled, “Faces of Faith, Culture and Tradition” and on a Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. panel. She writes, “Above all these achievements are the beautiful relationships I have built with the wonderful people who have made my UGRAD experience truly life-changing!”


In March, Snezana Duric (Serbia) who attends Utica College in New York won second place in the Woman’s Resource Center Essay Contest, celebrating achievements of women. The essay contest was in celebration of Women’s History Month (March). The topic she chose was “Women’s Rights and How Far Women Have Come.” She wrote about the problem of women not being heard and how much they have achieved through their fight for equality. Moreover, she stressed the modern problem that women face: the choice between pursuing a career and raising a family in the modern world.


Vuthika with Model UN group

Vuthika Hang (Cambodia) was selected to represent the University of Montana at the National Model United Nations conference in New York City.  His Model UN team represented the country of Armenia.  In addition, he was recently nominated to join the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society – the highest honor society at the University of Montana.