Category: Fulbright

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

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

Students interested in applying for next year’s Fulbright program can learn more at and, or by sending an email to

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.


UA Students Win 15 Fulbright Awards for 2017-2018

Photos depicting 2017 Fulbright Winners

TUSCALOOSA — For the 2017–2018 competition period, 15 University of Alabama students have been selected as Fulbright award winners, with the possibility of one more to be named later. This year’s total sets a record number of awardees for UA in the prestigious international exchange program.

The highly competitive Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study and research projects or for English-teaching assistantships. More than 11,000 applicants compete for approximately 1,500 awards each year. The program, sponsored by the U.S. State Department, is the largest U.S. international exchange program, offering opportunity for students, scholars and professionals.

Ten 2017 graduates received Fulbright Awards to serve as English teaching assistants overseas for the 2017–2018 academic year. They are:

Ruth Bishop of Shreveport, Louisiana, who holds bachelor’s degrees in biology and Spanish and a master’s in business administration, will teach in Colombia.

Erica Boden of Mason, Ohio, a Commerce and Business Administration graduate with majors in finance and economics and a master’s in finance as a University Scholar, will teach in Bulgaria.

Benjamin “Benjie” Canady of Bell Buckle, Tennessee, a graduate in international studies with a minor in Japanese, will teach in South Korea.

Kelsey Daugherty of Vacaville, California, a graduate in journalism with minors in German and business, will teach in Germany.

Brittany Groves of Decatur, Georgia, a graduate in history and German with a minor in international studies, will teach in Germany.

Jackson Knappen of Overland Park, Kansas, a graduate in biology and Spanish, will teach in Spain.

Julia Quan of Huntsville, Alabama, a New College student and a Blount Undergraduate Fellow with a major in social advocacy, will teach in Macedonia.

Ann Varnedoe of Thomasville, Georgia, a graduate in psychology and African American studies with a minor in Spanish, will teach in Spain.

Sarah Dylan Walker of Fort Mill, South Carolina, a graduate in journalism and political science, will teach in Macau.

Emily Zapinski, of Southlake, Texas, a graduate in business management and Spanish. She will teach in Malaysia.

Five University of Alabama students and alumni received Fulbright Awards for research and study during the 2017–2018 academic year. They are:

Kathryn “Katie” Cater of Salisbury, North Carolina, will conduct research on bacteriophage therapy for treatment of antibiotic-resistant infections in Poland. She is a University Scholar who will complete her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology in 2017.

Jonathan Joyner from Hellertown, Pennsylvania, will conduct a study in Sri Lanka on its recent civil war. He is a Blount Scholar, a 2017 graduate in international studies with a minor in French, and a commissioned officer in the United States Army.

Alexandra LeViness of Houston, Texas, will conduct research at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Greifswald, Germany. She is a 2017 graduate in physics and mathematics with minors in German and Russian.

Charlotte Sheridan of Vienna, Virginia, will conduct research in environmental studies in Jordan. She is a 2017 graduate with a major in environmental engineering and a minor in Arabic. She was a member of the University Fellows Experience program.

Kevin Ryan Williams of Slocomb, Alabama, will travel to the United Kingdom to pursue a master’s in classical acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art as recipient of the John Wood LAMDA Award in Classical Acting. He is a 2015 graduate with a double major in theatre and film.

“Faculty, international advisers, and fellow students celebrate the achievement of these outstanding scholars,” said Dr. Beverly Hawk, UA Fulbright program adviser and director of global and community engagement in the Center for Community-Based Partnerships. “Through their individual community engagement activities, these graduates will contribute to mutual understanding across the world and bring home memories that will last a lifetime.”

Students interested in applying for next year’s Fulbright competition can learn more from the Capstone International Center, 135 B.B. Comer Hall, and

UA representatives spoke to 85 visiting Fulbright Scholars at the National Fulbright Enrichment Seminar


(Left to right) Jacquelyn Shipe (CEO, Global Ties Alabama), Annette Philipot (Program Consultant, GTA), Davis Jackson (UA Honors College 57 Miles Program), and Dr. Beverly Hawk (UA Fulbright Program Advisor, Center for Community-Based Partnerships).


Last week, Global Ties Alabama hosted the 2016 Fulbright Enrichment Seminar with 82 Fulbright visiting scholars from 35 countries in Montgomery. The Seminar’s theme was “The New South: Visions, Voices and Change Agents”. Our Scholars on Friday, December enjoyed dinner at 18 homes and experienced authentic southern hospitality and engaged in dialogue aimed at mutual understanding. University of Alabama representatives spoke to 85 visiting Fulbright Scholars at the National Fulbright Enrichment Seminar, The New South: Visions, Voices and Change Agents held At Alabama State University in Montgomery, Dec 2-4, 2016.