Motivated by her parents’ struggle to gain access to education under a Romanian communist regime, Julia Dean ’19 found a passion for global citizenry and service-based travel.
As a student and Weissman Scholar, Dean studied, lived, and worked in five countries, became multilingual, and created an entirely new organization and living space on Babson’s campus.
Now, as she readies for graduation, she has been awarded a Fulbright Study/Research Grant from the world’s largest and most diverse international educational exchange program. As a Fulbright student, Dean will travel to South Korea and create an entrepreneurship boot camp curriculum to empower North Korean defectors to better their lives through education and an entrepreneurial mindset.
“Empowerment through education has long been a passion of mine,” said Dean. “My parents taught me that people’s potential withers when access to education is hindered. After I received a full-tuition scholarship to Babson, I learned that entrepreneurship, and the skills to provide for yourself and others, could be taught, and that I could not only seize opportunities, but also create my own. In a world like my parents’ Romania, or present-day North Korea, this skill can be life-saving.”
Ian Lapp, dean of the Undergraduate School, has long been one of Julia Dean’s biggest supporters.
“It gives me great pride to see Julia recognized with a Fulbright Award, in particular because I have watched in awe of her growth over her four years at Babson,” said Lapp. “She is among the best of Babson, and her project is brilliant, leaving me with little doubt that it will be impactful in ways that the world never imagined.”
Babson has had nine Fulbright Award recipients in the last 15 years.
“I am thrilled to see a resurgence of interest from Babson students for the Fulbright U.S. Student program,” said Lorien Romito, senior director of International Education and Fulbright Program advisor at Babson College. “Julia’s well-deserved award reminds all of us that Babson students have so much to contribute to the Fulbright mission of international partnership and mutual understanding across nations.”
The Fulbright Program
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 primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments, host institutions, corporations, and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in over 160 countries worldwide.
Fulbright alumni include 59 Nobel Laureates, 82 Pulitzer Prize winners, 72 MacArthur Fellows, 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, and thousands of leaders across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. Since its inception in 1946, more than 390,000 “Fulbrighters” have participated in the program.