2024-25 Fulbright: Anna Synya

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2024-25 Fulbright: Anna Synya

Color portrait of Anna Synya on a red campus background
Anna Synya

Anna Synya, who will graduate from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln on May 18 with a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice, has earned a 2024-25 Fulbright U.S. Student Program award to pursue a master’s degree in history at Dublin City University in Dublin, Ireland. Originally from Kherson, Ukraine, she now lives in Lincoln.

For her Fulbright project, Synya will compare habeas corpus in Ireland and the United States to better understand how the legal mechanism is used by marginalized communities. Under the mentorship of Professor William Murphy, a scholar of Irish social history with expertise in the Irish penal system, Synya will utilize historiography, Geographic Information System and historical geography methods to conduct fieldwork. She will also have access to records from the Royal Irish Constabulary and High Court of Justice, which are only available in Dublin.

“This research allows me to establish mutual understanding and engage in meaningful work with Irish scholars that could not be done in any other nation,” she said.

Through the First Year Research Experience and Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Experiences programs at Nebraska, Synya has worked on the digital project “Petitioning for Freedom: Habeas Corpus in the American West, 1812-1924.” Under the mentorship of Katrina Jagodinsky, Susan J. Rosowski Associate Professor of history, Synya has researched marginalized communities and their interactions with the law. She has presented her findings at the 2023 and 2024 Student Research Days poster symposia, the Rawley Graduate Conference in the Humanities and the Midwest Sociological Society Conference. She also worked as a summer research intern for the Juvenile Justice Institute and as a student researcher on the “Street Experiences, Affect and Coping” project, focused on youth experiencing homelessness.

Synya credits her leadership experiences on campus, including as an International Welcome Team member and Digital Humanities Student Association undergraduate executive member, for her successful Fulbright application. She has also worked extensively on preventing institutional violence as a Husker Care Peer Educator, conducting Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence prevention training. While in Ireland, Synya hopes to extend her work on violence prevention by working with campus and community organizations, sharing her own knowledge while learning local strategies.

“Specifically, Dublin City University offers a student advice center and an officer through their student union to support students on campus dealing with bullying, harassment and assault, which takes a different approach than most institutions in the States,” she said. “We often have separate entities to deal with Title IX, equity and discrimination, and relationship violence. With support from the Fulbright, I can use my experience to contribute and learn from Ireland and come back to the United States with more to offer.”

After completing her master’s program, Synya plans to return to the United States and further pursue habeas corpus research within a joint Juris Doctor/Doctor of Philosophy program. She hopes to become a professor at a public research university and conduct more research abroad, identifying Canada and the United Kingdom as sites of interest. Through comparative studies, she aims to support further transnational exploration of habeas petitioners, the nuances of this legal mechanism and its state-level implementation.

The Fulbright program, the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, is supported by an annual appropriation made by Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, as well as partner countries around the world. Fulbright recipients are selected based on academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in more than 160 countries worldwide.

At Nebraska, the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships advises and nominates undergraduate candidates for 30 supported scholarships and fellowships. To learn more, students and campus community members should contact Courtney Santos, director of undergraduate research and fellowships, at courtney.santos@unl.edu.

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