NC State Ties Its Record of Seven Fulbright Recipients for 2017

For the second year in a row, seven NC State students and alumni have received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. These individuals will receive funding to either conduct research or support the teaching of English in their host country for up to a year.

Amanda Eads ‘12,‘16, Alexander Kearney, Yvette LeBlanc, Andrew Maurer, Soumya Nadabar ’16, Travis Price, and Vishwas Rao are among over 1,900 U.S. citizens who will conduct research, teach English, and provide expertise abroad for the 2017-2018 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program (Fulbright Program). Mary Amron Lee ’16 is an Alternate for the award and may later be selected to receive a grant.

Fulbright Program awards are open to undergraduate and graduate students and alumni of all ages, and recipients are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement as well as record of service and leadership potential in their respective fields. Diversity in backgrounds and interests is encouraged, and prior experience abroad is not required.

The Fulbright Program, now celebrating its 70th anniversary, is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Over 370,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists have used the award to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Since 1946, 68 individuals affiliated with NC State have received Fulbright Program grants, including 28 since 2012. This year’s applicant pool represented several colleges: Engineering, Humanities and Social Sciences, Agriculture and Life Sciences, Sciences, Natural Resources, Education, Design, and Management.

“We work with undergraduate and graduate students in all majors, as well as alumni, in their applications for major fellowships such as the Fulbright Program,” said Tiffany Kershner, adjunct teaching assistant professor of anthropology and director of NC State’s Fellowship Advising Office. “All of our candidates devoted significant time to refining their applications; many began in late spring and wrote 10-12 essay drafts during the summer for our fall semester campus deadline. Most importantly, all of them are eager to learn about and engage with their host country in addition to their stated grant interests.”

English Teaching Assistantships (ETAs)
Amanda Eads—Jordan
Amanda completed her undergraduate degrees in English and Middle Eastern studies from NC State in 2012 and her M.A. in sociolinguistics from NC State in December 2016. As an undergraduate, she was a member of the University Scholars Program. Amanda has researched Arabic L2 Acquisition and spent 2 years teaching ESL in Australia.

Yvette LeBlanc—Thailand
Yvette will graduate in May 2017 with an bachelor’s degree in English. She is a member of the University Scholars Program and has served as a College of Humanities and Social Sciences Ambassador. Yvette has a strong background in teaching, mentoring and tutoring students at the elementary and secondary school level and participated in the Students Advocating for Youth (SAY) Village for three years.

Soumya Nadabar—India
Soumya earned undergraduate degrees in international studies and economics in December 2016 as an Alexander Hamilton Scholar. She has served as a Peer Educator for the NC State Women’s Center and has worked for University Recreation as a Challenge Course Facilitator and Outdoor Trip Leader. Soumya is a member of the University Scholars Program and spent the 2015 fall semester studying in Ecuador.

Travis Price—Uruguay
Travis is a May 2017 MFA candidate in creative writing and was a finalist for both the 2015 James Hurst Prize for Fiction and the 2016 NCSU Prize for Short Fiction. He completed his undergraduate studies in English and environmental studies from Dartmouth College in 2011. Travis worked as a high school teacher for Teach for America in the Providence (Rhode Island) School District from 2011-2015.

Mary Amron Lee—Italy (Alternate)
Amron graduated summa cum laude in May 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in design studies and a minor in Italian studies. Amron served as the President of the Italian Club for two years and studied abroad in South Africa in the summer of 2015; she also completed an internship in the education department of the North Carolina Museum of Art.

Open Research/Study Grants
Alexander Kearney—Poland
Alexander is a Benjamin Franklin Scholar who will earn undergraduate degrees in international studies and chemical engineering in May 2017. He was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa in 2015. He studied abroad in Germany and has been a dancer in The Production Hip Hop Dance Crew since 2014.
Project Title: Sustainable Agriculture and International Cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region
Country Affiliation: Dr. Piotr Stepnowski, University of Gdansk

Andrew Maurer—Antigua
Andrew is currently pursuing his MS in zoology at NC State. He received his undergraduate degree with High Honors in environmental studies and Spanish from Eckerd College in 2012. Andrew is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and was also a 2017 recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
Project Title: Sea Turtle Conservation in the Face of Climate Change in Antigua and Barbuda
Country Affiliation: Principal Hyram Forde at Antigua State College; Dr. Helena Jeffery Brown from the Department of Environment and Dr. Seth Stapleton from the Jumby Bay Hawksbill Project.

Vishwas Rao—Canada
Vishwas is a Park Scholar who will earn an undergraduate degree in May 2017 in chemistry, with minors in music and Spanish. He is a 2016 Goldwater Scholar and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the University Honors Program. He has performed with the Raleigh Civic Chamber Orchestra and NCSU Sangeet since 2014.
Project Title: Identifying Potential Adjuvants for the Inhibition of Antibiotic Resistance Enzymes
Country Affiliation: Dr. Gerard Wright, McMaster University

The 2016-17 Fulbright Program campus selection committee members included the following (campus units in parentheses):
Kristine Alpi (NCSU Libraries), Kyle Bunds (parks, recreation & tourism), Natalie Bunds (biological sciences), Jay Cheng (biological and agricultural engineering), José Cisneros (director of CALS Global Initiatives; horticultural science), Fred Cubbage (forestry & environmental resources), Jillian De Gezelle (plant and microbial biology), Ronald Fodor (marine, earth, and atmospheric sciences), Jillian Haeseler (foreign languages and literatures), Kimberly Livingston (poultry science), Patricia Marshall (teacher education & learning sciences), Ilin Misaras (assistant director, Global Training Initiative), Eric Money (associate director, Center for Geospatial Analytics), Seth Murray (director, international studies; anthropology), Steven Peretti, (chemical and biomolecular engineering), Ruie Pritchard (instruction & counselor education), Robert Sandruck (director of Global Programs for Poole College of Management), Karen Tharrington (foreign languages & literatures), and Tim Wallace (anthropology).

The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program, which operates in over 160 countries worldwide.

About us:
The Fellowship Advising Office (FAO) helps NC State’s undergraduate students, graduate students, and alums learn of and apply for nationally competitive and prestigious awards. These awards fund a wide range of opportunities, and many are connected to undergraduate and graduate degree programs or internships, overseas opportunities, and independent projects.