Senior geology and history double-major Elena Robakiewicz has been awarded a Fulbright grant for research in Germany. Robakiewicz will conduct her research in Tübingen, where she will work with professors who study paleolake (or ancient lake) data in order to better understand early human migration patterns. She says she will also travel to Potsdam.
Robakiewicz says she applied for the fellowship because it seemed like the best opportunity to advance her science career while spending time abroad. “I visited Germany for the first time four years ago, and I studied abroad in Berlin for spring semester 2015,” she says. “I loved Germany so much and I knew that I wanted to spend more time there.”
Robakiewicz also says she hopes to use her time in Germany to begin collecting data for a master’s project using microfossils to understand climate and its relations to early humans. She says she one day hopes to work as a community college professor in the New England region.
At Oberlin Robakiewicz participated in a number of clubs and activities, including Newman Catholic Organization, ViBE Tap, Oberlin College Choir, and Boys in Motion. She also worked as a Geology 120 teaching assistant, admissions tour guide and interviewer, and for campus dining services. She says her Oberlin professors helped prepare her for what’s to come with this fellowship and beyond.
“Being at Oberlin surrounded by so many talented students can make it difficult to see your own self-worth,” she says. “My professors helped push me to be a better student and to take risks such as studying abroad, applying for a Fulbright, or going for my PhD. Oberlin has taught me that it's important to reach out and try new things, which I really think brought me to apply for this scholarship.”
Robakiewicz will travel to Germany in August and begin her research September 15.