26 Named Semifinalists for U.S. Student Fulbright Program


Twenty-six University of Alabama (UA) students have been named semifinalists for the U.S. Student Fulbright Program. Their applications will now be forwarded to their respective host countries around the world for further consideration. Students selected as finalists will receive a Fulbright award and could live abroad as teachers, graduate students, or researchers for the 2022–2023 academic year.

The Fulbright Program 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, as well as for English teaching assistantships overseas. The highly competitive program selects approximately 1,500 award recipients from more than 11,000 applicants each year.

“All 44 of UA’s Fulbright 2022–2023 student applicants should be applauded for their interest in furthering the Fulbright mission of mutual understanding between the peoples of the U.S. and those of other countries,” said Dr. Teresa Wise, associate provost of international education and global outreach. “As the world unites in solving the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, that mission is more important than ever.

“We are eagerly awaiting host country selections of finalists and offer our best wishes to these semifinalists as they move to the next level of the competition.”

Eight UA students have been selected as semifinalists for graduate study and research:

Makenna Berry, urban studies, Israel

Mathew Ciesla, cognitive science, Poland

Andrew Deaton, history, Czech Republic

Ihuoma Ezebuihe, nursing, Nigeria

Tegan Murrell, creative writing, Norway

Declan Smith, history, Ireland

Nathaniel Trost, installation art, United Kingdom

Samuel Watson, Korean studies, South Korea

Eighteen students were selected as semifinalists for the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to teach in a classroom overseas for a year: Madeleine Bohnett (Colombia), Judson Braly (Kenya), Heather Gann (North Macedonia), Nicholas Hayes (Germany), Sarah Homoky (Germany), Lauren L’Etang (Mexico), Vanessa Lent (Costa Rica), Caroline Lisko (Romania), John Lombardo (Germany), Otavio Menezes (Indonesia), Mary Marie Neubrander (Taiwan), Wesley Richmond (Germany), Channler Smith (Taiwan), Matthew Southern (Spain), Marie Trestrail (Germany), Aidan Winiewicz (Germany), Bryan Winkler (Spain) and Leona Yeager (Mongolia). If selected in the final round, they will live and work abroad representing their American culture and learning about daily life in another country.

“We appreciate the dedicated faculty, staff and administrators who advise our students each year in application for these awards,” said Dr. Beverly Hawk, director of global and community engagement. “As we await news of finalist status from around the globe, we hold immense pride in these exceptional student leaders and the manner in which they represent The University of Alabama and the U.S.”

A team of Fulbright advisers from UA’s Capstone International Center, the modern languages and classics department and the Center for Community-Based Partnerships helps students polish applications for success in the Fulbright competition each year.

Students interested in applying for next year’s Fulbright Program can learn more at http://international.ua.edu and https://us.fulbrightonline.org, or by sending an email to UA’s Fulbright advisers Megan Legerski, Dr. Matthew Feminella and Dr. Beverly Hawk at fulbright@ua.edu.