Category: Fulbright

UA Students Win Fulbright Awards

by Diane Kennedy-Jackson
Publications Coordinator, Division of Community Affairs

Tuscaloosa, Ala. – A University of Alabama student has received a Fulbright Student Research Award and four students have won Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Awards for the 2021–2022 academic year. Additionally, three UA students were awarded alternate status in this year’s national Fulbright competition. In addition to this year’s winners, five UA Fulbright Student Award recipients from last year who had their awards delayed as a result of COVID-19 conditions in their host countries are expected to have an opportunity to serve in 2021–2022 as health conditions improve and travel restrictions ease.

Fulbright is the most prestigious U.S. international exchange program, offering opportunities for students, scholars and professionals. The Fulbright Award of the U.S. Department of State offers one-year grants for independent study and research and for English teaching assistantships overseas.

The highly competitive program selects approximately 1,500 award recipients from more than 11,000 applicants each year. The University of Alabama has received national recognition as a Top Producing Institution for Fulbright U.S. Students for five of the last six years.

“During a year of extraordinary challenges, every Fulbright student applicant and their faculty and staff advisors rose to those challenges by demonstrating a commitment to the vital work of advancing intercultural understanding throughout the world,” said Dr. Teresa Wise, associate provost of international education and global outreach. “No matter the circumstances, UA remains steadfast in providing such global learning opportunities to all of our students. We congratulate our 2021–2022 awardees and alternates, as well as those from last year who will now begin their Fulbright experience after a delay due to the ongoing pandemic.”

Fulbright Student Research Award recipient:

  • Malik Seals, of Columbus, Mississippi, received a Fulbright Award to research “Pregnancy and Multiple Sclerosis: Investigating Nature’s Immunosuppressant” at Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin in Berlin, Germany. A 2020 UA Honors College graduate in biological sciences, he has been honored with the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award and membership in Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., the Anderson Society, the Jasons Senior Men’s Honorary, Omicron Delta Kappa, Alpha Epsilon Delta and the Black Student Union Hall of Fame, and he served as president of the National Pan-Hellenic Council. He is currently a graduate student in immunology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he is an Albert Schweitzer Fellow.

Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) Awards offer U.S. students the opportunity to serve in an English classroom overseas assisting the teacher and exchanging culture with the people of the host country.

The 2021–2022 recipients are:

  • Lindsey Drost, of Holland, Michigan, an experienced English Language tutor and Spanish educator in the Tuscaloosa City Schools and a UA English Language Institute conversation partner, who graduated summa cum laude with a BA in German and Spanish and received awards for excellence in German and the best essay in Spanish. Currently enrolled in UA’s master’s program in education, she was selected to teach in Germany.
  • Logan Fenhouse, of Lombard, Illinois, a Blount Interdisciplinary Scholar in the liberal arts, former leader of Beyond Bama Alternative Breaks, Spanish interpreter at Maude Whatley Health Center and mentor with experience tutoring all ages. A 2020 summa cum laude Honors College graduate with degrees in Spanish and interdisciplinary studies and fluency in Spanish, she was chosen to teach in the Canary Islands of Spain.
  • Michael Fisher, of Auburn, a 2020 UA graduate in international relations and German, brings teaching experience in programs that engage communities with special needs (Easter Seals, Best Buddies, Miracle League of Tuscaloosa and Night to Shine Prom) and international experience in Nicaragua. During his Fulbright year of service, he plans to share his American culture through his guitar presentations and music exchanges and build community through service in the classroom and civic organizations. He was chosen to teach in Germany.
  • Natasha Stevanovich, of Washington, Michigan, a Delta Phi Alpha German Honor Society and Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society member, UA German Club President, Outstanding Service in German award recipient, Model United Nations Club member, Tuscaloosa County Schools ESL Tutor and UA English Language Institute conversation partner. A 2021 Honors College graduate in German and psychology with a minor in creative media with study experience at Humboldt University in Germany and advanced fluency in German, she was selected to teach in Germany.

The three students who were awarded alternate status for 2021–2022 are  Matthew Southern (Spain), Chynna Swann (Thailand) and Katie Tindol (Malaysia). They will be invited to serve should more openings become available.

Recipients of 2020–2021 ETA Awards whose travel was delayed are:

  • Camille Constance Nealey Carr, of Wake Forest, North Carolina, a Blackburn Institute Fellow, a Blount Interdisciplinary Scholar in the liberal arts and a 2019 summa cum laude Honors College graduate in Spanish and political science with fluency in the Spanish language. Currently a secondary education math teacher, she was selected to teach in Colombia.
  • Isabella Rose DeSheplo,of Washington, D.C., a Blackburn Institute Fellow, a member of the Carl A. Elliott Community Service Honor Society and a 2020 UA Honors College graduate with a BA and MA in political science and a minor in public policy studies. She was selected to teach in Bulgaria.
  • Robert “Chad” Hankins, of Mobile, a Blount Interdisciplinary Scholar in the liberal arts, member of The Mallet Assembly and The White Rose Society, certified teacher of English as a Foreign Language and a 2018 graduate in political science with a minor in German, advanced German language competency and the Global Studies Certificate Hankins served as a campaign staff manager for a political action committee for the 2020 U.S. presidential election and is currently enrolled in American University’s School of International Service for the MA in International Affairs: Comparative and Regional Studies. He was selected to teach in Germany.
  • Katherine Lightfoot, of Northport, a discussion facilitator with the UA English Language Institute, an active leader in Model United Nations and German Club, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, a Delta Phi Alpha German Honor Society member, a 2019 Honors College graduate in international studies and foreign languages and a Critical Language Scholarship recipient. She is enrolled in graduate studies in German at UA and was selected to teach in Germany.
  • Ian Samlowski,of Madison, an instructor of German in the department of modern languages and classics, a translator for the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center and a fluent German speaker. He holds BA and MA degrees in German from UA with membership in Delta Phi Alpha German Honor Society and was selected to teach in Germany.

“Our campus is proud of these exceptional student leaders in international engagement,” said Dr. Beverly Hawk, director of global and community engagement at the Center for Community-Based Partnerships, “and we appreciate the dedicated faculty, staff and administrators who worked with our students in application for these awards.”

UA Fulbright advisers Megan Wagner, Dr. Matthew Feminella, and Dr. Beverly Hawk help students polish applications for success in the national Fulbright competition each year. Students with an interest in applying for next year’s Fulbright program can learn more at http://international.ua.edu and https://us.fulbrightonline.org, or email fulbright@ua.edu.

 

UA Recognized as Student Fulbright Awards Top Producer; Sets University Record

FulbrightTopProducer2021

TUSCALOOSA — For the fifth time in six years, The University of Alabama was recognized as a Top Producing Institution for Fulbright U.S. Student Awards. Additionally, the 2020–2021 cohort sets a new University record with 17 students receiving Fulbright Award offers.

“We are immensely proud of our student Fulbright scholars, all of whom have earned a priceless opportunity to teach and conduct research in other countries,” said UA President Stuart R. Bell. “Not only will they grow personally and intellectually by building relationships with likeminded peers across cultures, they are also furthering UA’s mission of transforming lives throughout the world through distinctive academic and research projects.”

Now in its 75th year, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the premier educational exchange program of the United States Department of State. The Fulbright Award offers grants for independent study and research and for English teaching assistantships overseas. The highly competitive program selects about 2,200 award recipients from more than 10,000 applicants each year.

“UA’s repeated recognition as a Top Producer of Student Fulbright Awards reflects the quality of our applicants and the dedication of our faculty and staff to providing all students with a global perspective during their time at the Capstone,” said Dr. Teresa Wise, associate provost for International Education & Global Outreach. “The challenges of the pandemic have altered our delivery methods but not our devotion to offering a world-class and world-focused education.”

The UA students who received Fulbright Award offers in this year’s national competition are: Christine Allen (Spain), Austin Blair (Germany), Mason Olivia Blanke (Poland), Camille Carr (Colombia), Julia Coursey (Hungary), Caroline Smith Dean (Spain), Isabella Rose DeSheplo (Bulgaria), Lota Erinne (Spain), Logan Fenhouse (Spain), Amelia Wyant Gaither (Taiwan), Robert “Chad” Hankins (Germany), Asia Hayes (Spain), Joshua Kirks (Germany), Katherine Lightfoot (Germany), Ashley Tickle Odebiyi (Italy), Rebecca Paholski (Spain) and Ian Samlowski (Germany).

“These brilliant students deserve admiration for their dedication to their studies, and our university takes pride in their Fulbright honors,” said Dr. Beverly Hawk, director of global and community engagement in the Division of Community Affairs’ Center for Community-Based Partnerships. “We wish them all success as international travel resumes, educational institutions reopen, and winners have the opportunity to go abroad and serve.”

UA Again Recognized as a Top Producing Institution for Fulbright U.S. Student Program

 

 

Upcoming Event: Fulbright Scholarships for UA

A recognition luncheon and information session will take place Thursday, Feb. 22 from 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m. in Capital Hall on The University of Alabama campus. Lunch will be provided and all are welcome. There is no charge.

The event will recognize Fulbright alumni, welcome Fulbright visitors and encourage new Fulbright applicants. Fulbright Award winners will share their Fulbright experiences. Representatives from the Capstone International Center, as well as UA scholarship officials and members of the Global Café Fulbright Advising Initiative will be present. Parking passes for the event will be available at the Capital Hall front desk.

TUSCALOOSA — The University of Alabama has once again been recognized as a top producing institution for Fulbright U.S. Student Awards, according to “The Chronicle of Higher Education.” Fifteen of 47 UA applicants received the award for 2017–2018, one of the highest winning percentages in the nation. Additionally, this year’s Fulbright success makes UA the leader in the Southeastern Conference. This is the second time in the past three years UA has been recognized as a top Fulbright U.S. Student Program producer.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers grants for independent study and research and for English teaching assistantships overseas. The highly competitive program selects approximately 1,500 award recipients from over 10,000 applicants each year.

“Our record success in placing students in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program demonstrates the far-reaching international scope of our excellent academic programs and the high value of a University of Alabama education,” said Dr. Kevin Whitaker, UA provost. “We continue to take pride in the many excellent and promising young people who choose UA for their academic studies.”

Ten UA graduates won awards as teaching assistants and five UA graduates received Fulbright awards for research and study for the 2017–2018 academic year.

“It is an honor for UA to be listed as a top producer in the U.S. Student Fulbright competition,” said Dr. Teresa Wise, associate provost for international education and global outreach. “The Fulbright Program provides life-changing opportunities and experiences for our students.”

University of Alabama graduates serving abroad on Fulbright Awards are Ruth Bishop (Colombia), Erica Boden (Bulgaria), Benjamin Canady (South Korea), Kathryn “Katie” Cater (Poland), Kelsey Daugherty (Germany), Brittany Groves (Germany), Jonathan Joyner (Sri Lanka), Jackson Knappen (Spain), Alexandra LeViness (Germany), Julia Quan (Macedonia), Charlotte Sheridan (Jordan), Ann Varnedoe (Spain), Sarah Dylan Walker (Macau), Kevin Ryan Williams (United Kingdom), and Emily Zapinski (Malaysia).

“Few universities in the nation win 15 Fulbright Awards,” said Dr. Beverly Hawk, UA Fulbright program adviser. “Top Producer recognition is the result of many hours of work on the part of our great students, the dedicated faculty and supervisors who advise and recommend, and university administrators who advocate for international learning on our campus. Everyone takes pride in this great victory.”

Other top producers among research institutions this year include Brown (39), Michigan (25), Harvard (24), Texas-Austin (20), Tulane (15), Yale (13), Virginia (12), Duke and Emory (11), and UNC-Chapel Hill (10). For the full list of top student Fulbright program producers, see https://www.chronicle.com/article/Top-Producers-of-Fulbright/242557.

Students interested in applying for next year’s Fulbright program can learn more at international.ua.edu and us.fulbrightonline.org, or by sending an email to beverly.hawk@ua.edu.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state’s economy, is in keeping with UA’s vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state’s flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.