Two Bolton Hill neighbors head to India, Norway for Fulbright studies

Leah Eliza Balter (Stanford ’23; left) and Caroline Troy (Brown ’22; right)

Two young Bolton Hill women who grew up just a block or two apart have each received Fulbright scholarships to spend the new school year studying abroad.

Caroline Troy, a 2022 graduate of Brown University, is in India working and conducting research with an ecology professor at the Indian Institute of Science.

Leah Eliza Balter is in Norway where she will be conducting a case study on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Ukrainian refugee crisis in Norway, with the Pandemic Centre at the University of Bergen. She is a 2023 graduate of Stanford University with a degree in human biology concentrating on trauma and health in conflict and refugee settings.

Troy arrived in Bengaluru in August for nine months of research on how urbanization affects the diversity of bat species in southern India. “My research will be conducted using bat detectors which can record the ultrasonic calls of bats, allowing the identification of different bat species present in an area based on their unique calls,” she said.

Earlier as a remote intern at the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan, she created a short video about the benefits of urban bat populations and how urban areas can be better designed to incorporate bat species. More recently Troy interned at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in the Shenandoah Valley near Front Royal, VA. She is a 2018 graduate of The Bryn Mawr School. She is the daughter of Caroline and David Troy, who live on Bolton Street.

Balter is the daughter of Kathryn Frey-Balter and Joseph Balter, who live on Lanvale Street. She graduated from Baltimore City College and spent her senior year of high school at St. Michael’s University School in Canada. At Stanford, she was a research coordinator studying human rights in a trauma mental health laboratory. Earlier she spent a gap year studying Arabic in Rabat, Morocco, where she also volunteered with an AIDS outreach program.

“I am living in a ‘kollektive’ in downtown Bergen with eight other women all Norwegian who have welcomed me in every way, from bringing me to the grocery store on my first day to helping me put Ikea furniture together,” Balter said. “During the week, I walk along the fjords to work, where I get to learn from and collaborate with an incredible group of physicians, post-docs, and other researchers.”

The Fulbright Scholar Program, funded by the State Department, provides more than 400 awards annually in the U.S. and other countries to enable scholars to teach, conduct research and carry out professional projects. It’s unlikely that any other single neighborhood the size of Bolton Hill has more than one such scholar. It also appears that while as Bolton Hill children they walked the same brick sidewalks, the two are not acquainted.