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KU announces student Fulbright award winners

Thu, 07/18/2013

LAWRENCE — Five University of Kansas students received prestigious Fulbright awards for research, study or English teaching as an assistant abroad for the 2013-14 academic year.

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 people of other countries. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

The U.S. Student Fulbright program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide. 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, 443 KU students, including this year’s awardees, have been awarded Fulbrights.

The Office of International Programs coordinates applications for Fulbright grants.

Jamie Branch, Topeka, graduated in May 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering. She has received a Fulbright grant to New Zealand, where she will work within a biomechanics research group at the University of Auckland, evaluating the kinematics and kinetics that affect the knee joint in individuals with cerebral palsy. This will prepare Branch with the background and experience to apply similar analysis to persons with Down syndrome later in her graduate career. Branch has additionally been awarded a Whitaker Fellowship, which supports international work in the area of bioengineering and related fields. See a video about Branch's work here.

Chelsea Hochstetler, of Topeka, graduated in December 2012 with a Bachelor of General Studies in anthropology and a minor in global and international studies. She has received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant award for Indonesia. Hochstetler has been both a conversation leader and a student teaching assistant in the Applied English Center at KU. She also has completed coursework in Spanish, French and Latin as an undergraduate. In addition to her Fulbright teaching assignment, her community volunteer project will allow her use topics related to American culture to assist adult residents at her assigned Indonesia location in learning basic English.

Olivia Jamandre, Evanston, Ill., is pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in piano performance in the School of Music at KU. She has received a Fulbright grant to study composer Jean Sibelius’ piano music at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland. Jamandre will study under Erik Tawaststjerna, taking classes at the academy and examining original manuscripts of compositions. She will in particular research the influence of folk music in Sibelius’ piano work and intends to share that knowledge with the American public. Jamandre holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Texas at San Antonio and a master’s degree from Northwestern University.

Alison Miller, Arlington Heights, Ill., is pursuing a Doctorate in History of Art. She has received a Fulbright grant to Japan, where she will research the political significance of the image of Empress Teimei in a variety of visual materials. Miller will focus on issues of gender and class, and she plans to conduct her investigations at the Research Library of Tobunken, at National Research Institute of Cultural Properties, Tokyo. She will also visit several other galleries and shrines and spend the second half of the grant period investigating her subject in the Archives of the Imperial Household Agency.

Eileen Remley, Miltonvale, graduated in May 2012 with the Bachelor of Arts in English and in global and international studies. She has been selected for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant award in Turkey. Remley’s focus is on global understanding through international experiences, which involve exchanging ideas and establishing cooperative relationships. As an undergraduate, she studied for one semester at University of Costa Rica, residing with a host family. After Remley graduated, she taught English in Spain. While an ETA in Turkey, she plans also to volunteer as an English conversation leader in a local school, acquiring familiarity with the educational system and sharing knowledge of American culture through group activities.

In addition to these students, six more have been designated as alternates for Fulbright grants:

  • Kelsey Adkins, Overland Park, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and in global and international studies in December 2011. She is an alternate for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Brazil.
  • Drew Burks, Fort Worth, Texas, is a doctoral student in eastern European history. He is an alternate for a Fulbright research grant in Poland.
  • Audrey Peterson, St. George, graduated in May 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian languages and cultures and in Spanish. She is an alternate for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Colombia.
  • Sheridan Stewart, Belton, Mo., graduated in May 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology. He is an alternate for study and research in Luxembourg.
  • David Trimbach, Chicago, is a doctoral student in geography. He is an alternate for research in Estonia.
  • Kristopher Velasco, Louisville, Kan., graduated in May 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and in sociology. He is an alternate for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Turkey.


Wanna Skype? Chancellor gets creative to surprise Truman winner. See it here: http://bit.ly/1awodaa
Rock Chalk! Junior Ashlie Koehn named KU's 18th Truman Scholar
Ashlie Koehn, a University of Kansas junior from Burns studying in Kyrgyzstan, interrupted helping her host family prepare dinner to make a Skype call on Monday evening.

.@NYTimes columnist @WCRhoden will speak at a symposium about race and sports April 23. http://t.co/UiKA9MYNv0 http://t.co/PHwCOHqcfD
Wanna Skype? Chancellor gets creative to surprise Truman winner From KU News Service: http://bit.ly/1awodaa Ashlie Koehn, a University of Kansas junior from Burns studying in Kyrgyzstan, interrupted helping her host family prepare dinner to make a Skype call on Monday evening. To her surprise, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little was on the other end of the call letting Koehn know she had been named a 2015 Harry S. Truman Scholar. Koehn is the 18th KU student to be named a Truman Scholar and the only 2015 recipient from the state of Kansas. Earlier this month, she was also named a 2015 Udall Scholar. And in spite of a distance of more than 10,800 kilometers and 11 time zones, Koehn’s thrill from hearing the news from the chancellor came through loud and clear. “Ashlie’s experience at KU epitomizes a quality undergraduate experience. She challenged herself in her coursework, exposed herself to different research opportunities, studied abroad in Germany, Switzerland and Kyrgyzstan, and participated in both student government and community service projects,” Gray-Little said. “This is quite a year for Ashlie. Her hard work is a wonderful reflection on her and also a great reflection on the university, and we all congratulate her.” Each new Truman Scholar receives up to $30,000 for graduate study. Scholars also receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and special internship opportunities within the federal government. Koehn, a member of KU’s nationally recognized University Honors Program, is majoring in environmental studies, economics and international studies. Her goal after earning her KU degree is to pursue a master’s degree in economics at either the London School of Economics or the University of Reading, with a focus on the economics of climate change. In 2014, she received KU’s Newman Civic Engagement Award for her work establishing the Coalition against Slavery and Trafficking. Her involvement with the issue was sparked by Hannah Britton, associate professor of political science and women, gender, and sexuality studies, who hosted national conference on contemporary slavery at KU three years ago. “Ashlie and I met several times to think about what KU students could contribute to the issue of slavery and human trafficking, and the result was her founding of KU CAST,” Britton said. “After a year as president, Ashlie successfully handed the organization over to the next student leader. She demonstrated her strong leadership qualities by setting a unique goal and then pursuing it with her sense of passion, engagement and dedication. No matter the country or context, her leadership strength is evident in her coursework, her public service and her work experiences.” The University Honors Program works with a campus committee to select KU’s nominees for the Truman Scholarship and supports them during the application process. Anne Wallen, assistant director of national fellowships and scholarships, noted it was an amazing ruse to pull off the surprise. Originally, the call was set up to be between Wallen and Koehn. “I was totally not prepared to be greeted by Chancellor Gray-Little, but it was an amazing surprise for sure,” Koehn said. “As a first-generation student, it took time to learn the collegiate system, but my parents taught me to be resourceful and independent from a young age and KU and the Kansas Air National Guard have provided me with the opportunities to drive me into the future, both at graduate school and in my career. I plan to use the Truman Scholarship to pursue a career as an environmental economist helping to shape future trade agreements and leverage action on important international environmental issues, particularly concerning climate change.” Koehn also had a surprise of her own for the chancellor — the meal she was helping to prepare was not exactly typical Kansas dinner fare. On the menu with her host family in Kyrgyzstan on Monday was a traditional Kyrgyz meal called Beshbarmak, or “five fingers,” because you eat it with your hands. The dish is made of horse and sheep and was being prepared as a birthday celebration for Koehn’s host mom. Chancellor Gray-Little, as she signed off from Skype, made sure to encourage Koehn to enjoy her Beshbarmak. Koehn is the daughter of Rodney and Carolyn Koehn of Burns. She graduated from Fredric Remington High School in Moundridge. She is an active member of the Kansas Air National Guard and currently on leave while studying abroad in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. She is a member of the KU Global Scholars Program and a past member of the Student Senate. In addition to being named a 2015 Truman and Udall scholar, she was named a 2014 Boren Scholar and Gilman Scholar and in 2013 was named the Kansas Air National Guard Airman of the Year.


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
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Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
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