The future continues to look bright for UT, as 17 current students and recent graduates received fellowship offers and another eight were named alternatives. 19 UT students received Fulbright offers last year.
“On the heels of being named one of the nation’s top-producing Fulbright Student institutions, we’ve enjoyed another fantastic showing in this prestigious national program,” Andrew Seidler, director of the Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships, told UT News.
Sixty-seven UT students applied for Fulbright, and 41 of those applicants were named semifinalists. Fifty-two students applied last year, with 27 semifinalists.
“When our students receive these national recognitions, it signals to the rest of the country what those of us on campus already know: UT is full of exceptionally talented students who are getting a world-class education,” Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor David Manderscheid told UT News.
“We are proud of our students’ successes, but the awards themselves are not the goal,” Manderscheid added. “Those recognitions are a byproduct of the years-long investment we’ve been making in experiential education and of our commitment to enriching each students’ experience with learning that takes place outside the classroom.”
December graduate with a degree in modern foreign languages and literatures with a concentration in Hispanic studies Michelle Barnett will head to Ecuador as a part of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship. Barnett told UT News that she hopes to teach English as a second language in the United States.
August 2018 Haslam Scholar graduate with a degree in sociocultural anthropology and migration studies through the College Scholars program Hera Jay Brown will be in Europe on a Fulbright-Schuman European Union Research Grant, visiting Belgium, Lithuania and Malta.
Recent spring honors social work graduate Sarah Crowley will teach in South Korea on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship. Crowley told UT News that she plans to emphasize are and art in history in her classroom.
“I also hope to personally explore and incorporate the history and modern impacts of mindfulness practice into the classroom throughout this program,” Crowley said.
Another spring graduate, MFA in creative writing recipient Ben DeHaven, will head to Columbia on a Fulbright Arts Grant.
“I will be working on a creative writing project about the lasting impacts of Cold War–era US foreign policy decisions on communities in Central and South America,” DeHaven told UT News.
London, England-native Abby Durick, who earned a bachelor's degree in August 2017 for classical archarology, will be in Bulgaria on a Fulbright Research Grant. Since receiving a degree from UT, Durick earned a master's from Oxford University and is currently enrolled in another master's program.
“My project will investigate the possible movement of Mycenaean people northward via Turkey and the Black Sea region between 1150 and 700 BCE in the Pre-Thracian regions of Bulgaria,” Durick told UT News. “I will investigate burial archaeology with particular focus on grave masks and gold craftsmanship, and I will be doing archival research on excavations published during the Communist occupation in the 1960s.”
Spring forestry with minors in international agriculture, watershed, and wildlife and fisheries science graduate Andrew Franks will head to the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia on a Fulbright Research Grant. Franks will study impacts of small-scale logging on forest soil.
May 2018 bachelor's degree in English with a minor in Hispanic studies recipient Kelli Frawley received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Argentina.
“I will teach English to university students who aspire to be teachers,” Frawley told UT News. “Outside of the classroom, I plan to explore Argentine poetry and the modern reception of poets like Alfonsina Storni.”
PhD candidate in history Ryan Gesme will travel to Germany in order to perform dissertation research on a Fulbright Research Grant. Gesme's dissertation examines the identity formation of the Danish- and German-speaking communities in northern Germany during the time between 1897 and 1920.
“I seek to understand how conflict, international rhetoric, and outside actors diminished the previously culturally ambiguous space that had allowed many local individuals to express indifference to the nationality question,” Gesme told UT News.
Spring graduate in a double major of biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology and Hispanic studies Logan Houston will go to Mexico on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship.
“Given that a career in medicine will put me in contact with people from all backgrounds, receiving a Fulbright to Mexico will allow me to see how health and wellness are conceptualized differently across cultural and generational lines,” Houston told UT News. “It will be the perfect capstone to an undergraduate education in biology and Spanish as well as the ideal precursor to medical school.”
Spring graduate in chemical engineering Annabel Large will head to Sweden University of Agricultural Sciences to use computational biology techniques that she has learned while working at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Large is attending on a Fulbright Research Grant.
“I am interested in studying the interactions between potatoes and their environment, specifically as they relate to plant immunity and disease resistance,” Large told UT News.
Spring graduate with a double major in political science, with an international affairs concentration, and Hispanic studies Megan Vande Linde will head to Brazil on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship.
“For my supplemental project, I am hoping to continue formally studying Portuguese and volunteer with an outdoor recreation organization,” Linde told UT News. “Part of learning any new language is spending time with native speakers and learning to appreciate their culture, country, and traditions, and that is precisely what an ETA position is about.”
Connor Mitchell, who earned a bachelor’s degree in modern foreign languages and literatures with a concentration in Hispanic studies at UT in August 2018, received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship and will head to Spain.
“I will work with a local school to help teach English and play an active role in my Spanish community,” Mitchell told UT News.
Spring graduate who double majored in microbiology and honors classical civilization Juhi Patel will head to England on a Fulbright Partner Award.
“I will be completing my master’s degree in the history of medicine at Newcastle University,” Patel told UT News. “I also will study intergroup contact in ancient history and work with an ongoing project to both better understand and pioneer programs to provide positive relations between different cultural groups in the Newcastle area.”
Spring graduate with a master's in English and an emphasis on rhetoric, writing and linguistics, Josie Portz, received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship and will head to Sri Lanka.
“I will further my experience in teaching multilingual students and continue research in religious cultural exchange—both ancient and contemporary,” Portz told UT News.
Kristen Salonga, who earned a bachelor's degree in biology with VolsTeach minor in May 2017, will go to a Columbian university on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship.
“As a first-generation Filipino American, I have had the privilege to gain a variety of experiences, and this fellowship allows me to continue my pursuit of diverse perspectives while helping others,” Salonga told UT News.
Spring graduate with a bachelor's degree concentration in sociolinguistics, gender, sexuality, and power through the College Scholars program Patrick Sonnenberg will head to Lithuania on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship.
“Through cross-cultural challenges, I seek to better understand the post-Soviet sociolinguistic landscape, particularly the evolving usage and prestige of the English and Russian languages and how this has affected social practices, policies, and the education system,” Sonnenberg told UT News.
A 17th student was offered a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, but declined the world. Students designated as an alternate could receive awards as placements open in coming weeks.
“I am so proud of these students and thrilled about the experiences that lie ahead for them,” Seidler said. “And I’m grateful for the tremendous faculty and staff support of our campus Fulbright efforts.”