Kuan says the research he’s pursuing through the Fulbright program is an ideal amalgamation of his interests: He’s been learning French for approximately seven years, but missed the chance to study abroad due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, and in his native Georgia, Kuan interned at a nonprofit that focused on civic engagement of Asian Americans.
“In addition to my own experiences as an Asian American, I saw firsthand the immigrant experiences of other Asian Americans, and that made me curious about Asian diasporas everywhere,” he said.
Kuan graduated from Brown in May, earning a bachelor’s degree with concentrations in applied mathematics and economics. He said he was peripherally aware of certain fellowships and scholarships students pursue after graduation, but he never envisioned it as a likely opportunity until he saw a Fulbright announcement from the Fellowships Office at Brown and began speaking with past awardees.
“I realized that I had as good, if not a better, shot to land a Fulbright here at Brown than anywhere else,” he said.
In addition to guidance from the Fellowships Office, Kuan said his participation in the Brown Consulting Club gave him valuable experience in scoping out projects, developing realistic timelines and breaking down seemingly insurmountable tasks into manageable chunks of work. And though he’s not sure exactly what his day-to-day responsibilities will entail in the lab, Kuan said he’s confident that his time spent in the classroom — particularly in smaller humanities seminars — will provide an extremely useful framework for his research.
Once he returns from France in June 2023, Kuan aims to work in government and public sector practice with an eye toward a law degree and a future in public interest or international law. Until then, he’s fully embracing the adventure of cultural immersion. From language learning to work-life balance, Kuan said he’s excited to cross the boundaries of his comfort zone and get to know what it’s like to live in — not just travel to — a different part of the world.
“Every time I go abroad, I’m always surprised at both how different and similar life is,” he said. “I can imagine some alternate universe where my parents decided to immigrate elsewhere, not the U.S., and I would be a completely different person. Living abroad feels like a glimpse into that alternate version of myself.”
This year’s recent alumni Fulbright Scholars are:
Sabrina Bajwa (Spain)
Roger Bautista (Sweden)
Maria-Chiara Bellomo (Italy)
Kaitlan Bui (Vietnam)
Benjamin Connor (France)
Joshua Danielson (Malta)
Kevin Du (Switzerland)
Celia Heath (Italy)
Julia Henke (Nepal)
Olivia Howe (Germany)
Annie Huang (Austria)
Rebecca Kirby (Germany)
Anuj Krishnamurthy (United Kingdom)
Lucas Kuan (France)
Michael Lahiff (Germany)
Scott Magid (Czech Republic)
Cameron McCartin (Taiwan)
Patrick Nasta (Italy)
Daviana Pérez (Guatemala)
Poom Pipatjarasgit (France)
Samantha Plezia (India)
Allison Singleton (Germany)
Kelley Tackett (India)
Nathan Tung (France)
Aidan Wang (Spain)
This year’s graduate student Fulbright Scholars are:
Sarah Christensen, History (Austria)
Devon Newhouse, History (Portugal)
Ike (John) Uri, Sociology (India)