Skip to main content


Michele Canny

Michele Canny '19, a double major in sociology and Italian studies, has won a Fulbright award to conduct research on community organizations and migrant women in Italy.

Michele Canny ’19 will conduct research in Italy, mapping out and cataloging nonprofits and community-based organizations that assist migrant women in Sicily. Canny grew up in the East Bay, with family originally from El Salvador as well as the U.S. She currently serves as the communications associate for Northern California Innocence Project (NCIP). Landing an internship at a justice-based Santa Clara Law program while an undergraduate has “changed the course of my post-graduate pursuits,” she said.

“I attended public schools in lower-income communities all of my life, so SCU felt like a breakthrough in helping me reach my educational and career goals,” she said.

A double major in sociology and Italian studies, Canny said her father is part Italian, and so she took the opportunity to study abroad in Italy in her junior year. She later received a REAL grant from SCU's College of Arts and Sciences, which enabled her to intern during the summer of 2018 in Brindisi, Italy, at a migration reception center where she shadowed an immigration attorney.

These two experiences “affirmed my passion for this work, and I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunity to once again return to it,” she said. After completion of her Fulbright program, Canny plans to attend law school and become an immigration or human rights attorney.

About 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 and 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 more than 155 countries worldwide. For further information please visit

Michele Canny