LAWRENCE – Five University of Kansas students were selected to receive prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Awards to study, conduct research and teach English abroad for the 2020-2021 academic year. One additional KU student was named as an alternate Fulbright recipient.
This year’s Fulbright U.S. Student grantees include two doctoral students who will conduct research and study in Austria and Hungary and three recently graduated seniors who were selected to teach English in Tajikistan, Colombia and Spain. Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, the start of the program has been delayed to Jan. 1, 2021, and some countries have had to reduce the number of available awards. Affected award recipients were given the option to be considered as alternates for other countries or to reapply for the 2021-2022 academic year.
“Global challenges demand global solutions,” said Charles Bankart, associate vice provost for international affairs. “As our students depart for their Fulbright programs, they will not only be transformed in myriad ways but will be further empowered in their efforts to transform the world around them because of the empathy they developed, the respect they have earned from and for those around them, and the knowledge gained from the synthesis of ideas and information.”
The Fulbright program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between Americans and people of other countries. The U.S. Student Fulbright program operates in more than 160 countries worldwide.
Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as their record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields. Fulbright grants provide funding for round-trip travel, maintenance for one academic year, health and accident insurance and, where relevant, tuition.
Since the program’s inception in 1946, KU has had 482 students, including this year’s recipients, selected for Fulbright awards. KU International Affairs coordinates the applications for Fulbright grants.
“KU’s applicants for the 2020-21 cycle were an exceptionally talented group,” said Rachel Sherman Johnson, director of internationalization and partnerships at KU International Affairs. “They exemplify the intercultural sensitivity, intellectual engagement and emotional resilience that are hallmarks of the Fulbright program, and we are thrilled to have them represent KU on the world stage during this time of profound global challenges.”
The 2020-2021 Fulbright recipients include:
Alaina DeLeo, Omaha, Nebraska, is a 2020 graduate with bachelor’s degrees in global & international studies and Russian, East European & Eurasian studies. She received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship for Tajikistan.
Gabrielle Doue, Omaha, Nebraska, is a 2019 graduate with bachelor’s degrees in English and Spanish. She was selected for a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship for Colombia.
Anthony Lee, Cary, North Carolina, is a doctoral student in piano performance. He received the Fulbright Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music Award, which will allow him to study at the Liszt Academy in Budapest, Hungary. Along with taking lessons and giving performances while in Hungary, Lee will research the history of the Liszt Academy, a topic that has few sources in English.
Amy Millet, Hillsboro, Oregon, is a doctoral student in history. She received a research award for Austria, where she will study the intersection of gender history, national identity and food studies in 19th century Austria. Her work will examine how women used daily culinary practices, pre-political obligations that cut across partisan lines, to articulate their views of womanhood. Her research will make a unique contribution to Austrian food history by exploring the dynamic 19th century forces, including industrialization and urbanization, that altered consumption patterns and shaped notions of gender, class, nationality and ethnicity.
Catalina Wedman, originally from Cartago, Costa Rica, is a 2020 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and minors in political science and global & international studies. She received a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship for Spain. Wedman also received a Charles B. Rangel Fellowship, which is funded through the U.S. State Department and provides support for a two-year master’s degree in an area of relevance to Foreign Service. She will begin her graduate program at Columbia University in Fall 2020, and take a hiatus to participate in the Fulbright program beginning in January 2021.
Azeez Baig, Leawood, is a 2020 graduate with bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and biology. He is an alternate for a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship for Spain.