Eight Drake students named Fulbright semi-finalists

Eight Drake University students were named semi-finalists for the 2019–2020 Fulbright U.S. Student Program. This marks a sharp increase in semi-finalists for Drake, which has been recognized as a top institutional producer of Fulbright recipients in the past. Drake has produced 35 Fulbright Students since 2000.

The Fulbright program is one of the most competitive international exchange programs in the nation. The program provides funds for students to teach or conduct research abroad.

“We’re very proud of our students’ accomplishments, and equally proud to have increased the number of candidates from Drake University recognized as semi-finalists,” said Karen Leroux, associate professor of history and the University’s coordinator for post-graduate scholarships. “Our students are competing against the country’s top candidates for an extraordinary international opportunity. This year’s record number of semi-finalists reflects the academic excellence Drake provides.”

Drake University’s Fulbright semi-finalists are as follows:

  • Allyson Miller, semi-finalist for an English Teaching Assistantship in Uruguay
  • Ashley Blazek, semi-finalist for an English Teaching Assistantship in Malaysia
  • Elena Hildebrandt, semi-finalist for an English Teaching Assistantship in Malaysia
  • Emma Muth, semi-finalist for an English Teaching Assistantship in Indonesia
  • Hallie O’Neill, semi-finalist for an English Teaching Assistantship in the Czech Republic
  • Karen Williams, semi-finalist for a Study/Research Grant at Ghent University in Belgium
  • Kelanie Crosswait, semi-finalist for an English Teaching Assistantship in the Palestinian Territories
  • Renee Kumon, semi-finalist for an English Teaching Assistantship in South Korea

According to Leroux, the Fulbright application process is extensive, and many of these candidates began working on their applications as early as last spring.

The eight semi-finalists have been recognized by the U.S. National Screening Committee as having the outstanding academic record, personal qualities, and educational experiences Fulbright seeks in potential award recipients.

If chosen as Fulbright finalists, students receive a federally funded grant and spend a year in their chosen country teaching English or conducting research. Finalists are chosen and notified in spring 2019.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments, host institutions, corporations, and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The Program operates in over 160 countries worldwide.

Visit the Fulbright website to learn more about the selection process and scholarship.