Alison Watkins
International Programs

Five students receive Fulbright Awards

Thu, 05/31/2018

LAWRENCE — Five University of Kansas students out of nine national semifinalists have been selected for prestigious Fulbright Awards for research, study or English teaching abroad for 2018-19, with one person declining the award. Notably, KU has three additional students with pending status as alternate Fulbright recipients.

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, 470 KU students, including this year’s awardees, have been selected for Fulbright awards.

The Office of International Programs coordinates applications for Fulbright grants.

“As one of the nation’s top Fulbright Scholar-producing universities, it is wonderful to see such success with Fulbright’s student programs. Our university works hard to prepare and empower students in their international endeavors," said Charles Bankart, associate vice provost for International Programs. "This year, under the leadership of KU’s Fulbright Program Director, Dr. Rachel Johnson, and the KU Faculty Fulbright Committee, the university had nine student Fulbright applicants advance to the national semifinalist stage of the competition — 29 percent of our total applicants."

Bankart said the number of students to have been offered Fulbright grants so far is a testament to the university's powerful commitment and efficacy in internationalization.

"I congratulate our students on this achievement and look forward to hearing updates on their work as Fulbrighters in the field," he said. "I also want to extend my deepest thanks to the faculty members who have served on this year’s committee, as well as to Dr. Johnson. Together, the efforts of our students, faculty and staff are ensuring that KU remains an institutional leader in international higher education.” 

“This year’s finalists, with academic backgrounds ranging from history and international studies to biology and geography, represent the depth and breadth of KU’s institutional commitment to sustaining a culture that supports all students in pursuing meaningful opportunities to engage internationally,” said Rachel Sherman Johnson, director of campus internationalization & fellowship programs.

Recipients are listed below:

Lauren Cassidy, Columbus, Kansas, is a 2018 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in global & international studies. She declined an award to be a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Germany in order to pursue a U.S. Teaching Assistant Award, which is offered as a separate opportunity through the Austrian Fulbright Commission.

Camille Delavaux, Pittstown, New Jersey, is a doctoral student in ecology & evolutionary biology. She completed a bachelor’s degree in earth and environmental science from Lehigh University and a master’s degree in environmental science from Yale University. She will examine the ecological and evolutionary legacies of the original native and human-mediated invasive plant colonization of the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Her project will include training two local students who will develop part of their undergraduate thesis research and creating reports and visitor pamphlets for Machalilla National Park and at the San Francisco Scientific Station in the Southern Andes.

Alana Holland, Mountain Home, Arkansas, is a doctoral student in history. She received a bachelor’s degree from Arkansas State University in history and a master’s degree in Russian, East European and Eurasian studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She will conduct research in Lithuania on the main question of her dissertation: Why and how did the postwar Soviet government pursue retribution for wartime crimes against Jews? Her plan of study focuses on the former NKVD/KGB archive of Soviet Lithuania. Holland will regularly present her research at Vilnius University and collaborate with the Jewish Cultural and Information Center.

Annette Jardon, Baldwin City, is a 2018 graduate with a master’s degree in education. She received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship for Poland.

Ruth Remmers, Lawrence, is a 2017 graduate with a master’s degree in geography. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism, a master’s degree in Russian, East European & Eurasian studies and a doctorate in computer science, all from KU. She will conduct survey and interview research to compare perceptions of the environment and tourism among diverse minority groups within the Altai Republic with those of the Russian majority. This research is important and innovative in uncovering the perspectives of small populations who retain their cultural heritage despite pressure to integrate into the larger society. She will work with colleagues at Gorno-Altaisk State University in Novosibirsk, Russia.


Garrett Farlow, Tecumseh, is a 2018 graduate with bachelor’s degrees in journalism, Slavic Language & literatures and political science. He applied to be an English Teaching Assistant in Russia.

Elise Fast, Wichita, is a 2018 graduate with a master’s degree in education. She applied to be an English Teaching Assistant in Colombia.

Joseph McConnell, Newton, is a 2018 graduate with bachelor’s degrees in film & media studies and Russian, East European & Eurasian studies. He applied to be an English Teaching Assistant in Ukraine.

The Fulbright Faculty Committee members:

  • Rafael Acosta, Spanish & Portuguese
  • Andrew Denning, history
  • Elizabeth MacGonagle, history
  • Emily Clark, Applied English Center
  • Naima Boussofara, African & African American studies
  • Marcellino Berardo, Applied English Center
  • Mary Klayder, English
  • Marie-Alice L'Heureux, architecture
  • Kim Swanson, French & Italian
  • Verónica Garibotto, Spanish & Portuguese
  • Peter Herlihy, geography & atmospheric science
  • Eduardo Rosa-Molinar, pharmacology & toxicology
  • Vitaly Chernetsky, Slavic languages & literatures
  • Ketty Wong, music
  • Stacey Vanderhurst, women, gender & sexuality studies.

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