The University of Georgia once again hit double digits in the number of international travel-study grants offered to its students and recent alumni through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. With 18 students selected, this marks the fifth straight year—and ninth time in the past 10 years—that UGA has received 10 or more offers.
Of the 18, 15 were able to take advantage of the opportunity. Six received academic and arts grants, and nine will be teaching English.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers research, study and teaching opportunities in more than 140 countries to recent college graduates and graduate students. As the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, it is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and countries worldwide.
“We are quite proud of the 18 students who received offers and are excited for the 15 who are able to participate,” said Maria de Rocher, assistant director of the Honors Program and chair of the Fulbright selection committee at UGA. “The great number of Fulbrights awarded again this year is further evidence of our students’ remarkable academic accomplishments and strong commitment to solving the world’s most pressing problems.”
Six UGA students and alumni received Fulbright academic and arts grants. They are listed below with their study concentrations, host countries and UGA degree information.
- Jennifer Alexander of Athens will spend her Fulbright year in Vietnam, working with independent solid waste collectors to evaluate waste management strategies. A 2016 graduate, she will return to UGA after Fulbright to pursue a master’s degree in environmental engineering and continue researching waste management and plastic pollution issues.
- Kristen Gleason of Palos Verdes, California, is a doctoral candidate in English and creative writing. Working in the northern Norwegian city of Tromsø, she will investigate the contemporary arctic to continue her studies in environmental theory and aesthetics and to complete a novel that will serve as her dissertation.
- Jonathan McCombs of Dallas, Texas, is spending his Fulbright year in Hungary, working with urban geographers at the Center for Economic and Regional Studies. He is on track to graduate from UGA in 2020 with a doctorate in geography.
- Michelle Paterick of Cumming and, most recently, Honduras, is pursuing a master’s degree in education and learning at the University of Turku. She will conduct a study comparing Montessori schools in the U.S. with public schools in Finland. She graduated from UGA in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
- Keysa Rosas-Rodriguez of Hormigueros, Puerto Rico, will investigate the consequences of land conversion to palm oil production on the quality and quantity of freshwater resources available to communities in Tabasco, Mexico. A doctoral candidate in integrative conservation and ecology at UGA, she expects to earn her degree in 2020.
- Nicholas Twiner of Dunwoody is traveling to the United Kingdom to complete a master’s degree in linguistics at Queen Mary University. He will specialize in syntactic theory and sociolinguistics, and write a thesis on the variation of English dialects. He graduated in December 2017 with bachelor’s degrees in linguistics, classical languages and classical culture.
Nine alumni received Fulbright English teaching assistantship awards. They are listed below alphabetically by their host countries and UGA degree information.
- Brazil: Lilian Zhu of Iowa City, Iowa, graduated in May with degrees in Romance languages and Latin American and Caribbean studies. She will be teaching English at a federal university.
- Colombia: Shornima KC of Kathmandu, Nepal, graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in international affairs. She will teach English at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Medellin.
- Malaysia: Kara Pemberton of Statesboro graduated in May with bachelor’s degrees in anthropology and entertainment and media studies. In addition to teaching English, she will engage with her local communities through dance and documentary film.
- South Korea: Rachel Kelley of Marietta graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in international affairs. Beyond teaching, she wants to improve her Korean and learn more about Korean politics. Maggie Little of Cumming graduated in May with a bachelor’s in political science and a master’s degree in public administration. With a background in theatre and arts education, she plans to start an after-school club for students interested in the arts.
- Spain: Laura Moeller of Augusta graduated in May with bachelor’s degrees in science education, chemistry and Spanish. She is teaching at Colegia Decroly in Madrid, Spain, working with students from 12 to 17 years old. Elizabeth Jennings of Marietta graduated in May with bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and world language education. Rachel Tepper of Alpharetta graduated in May with bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and international affairs. Both Jennings and Tepper are working in the La Rioja region assisting English teachers in elementary schools.
- Vietnam: Caroline Beadles of Atlanta graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and pre-physician assistant courses. Outside of her English teaching duties, she looks forward to learning Vietnamese and offering professional development workshops.
Photos and more information about the students and their travel-study plans are available on the UGA Honors Program website.