By Clara Turnage
University of Mississippi
Eight University of Mississippi students have earned Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards, the most ever in university history.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program partners students with universities and schools from more than 140 nations around the globe to promote international study and cross-cultural dialogue. The selective program is available to seniors, graduate and doctoral students from the United States.
Ole Miss students have garnered 59 Fulbright awards since the program began in 1946, said Vivian Ibrahim, director of the Office of National Scholarship Advisement.
“This is huge,” Ibrahim said. “This is the most Fulbrights we’ve ever had, and the students are just fantastic. I can’t tell you how excited I am for them.”
This year’s recipients are:
- Manuel Campbell, a biochemistry major from Jackson
- Edith Marie Green, an international studies major from Oxford
- Mikayla Jordan, an education major from Hattiesburg
- Alyssa Langlois, an international studies major from New Orleans
- Rabria Moore, a journalism and political science major from Durant
- Sydney Rester, a biomedical engineering major from Oxford
- Emily Wang, an international studies major from Randolph, New Jersey
- Savannah Whittemore, a law school student from Grenada
Moore received a Fulbright ETA award to teach in Zambia. This award will help her better understand different education models in other countries, one of her areas of interest, Moore said.
“My goal is to get a sense of how other education systems work, what their policies are and what their failures are,” she said. “I want to learn about other systems so we can make our education system better.”
Three students – Green, Jordan and Rester – received Fulbright ETA awards to teach English in Germany.
Whittemore, who spent last summer interning in Germany as the university’s first student accepted into the German American Exchange program, will return to Germany to continue her research on the history of the First Amendment, hate speech and genocide as a part of her Fulbright Research Award.
Campbell, who also has a minor in Korean, will be traveling to South Korea on a Fulbright ETA award.
“I was at work when I found out, and I jumped out of my chair and started running around and telling all the deans and everyone,” he said. “I don’t think I sat down for 30 minutes.”
Langlois received a Fulbright ETA award to teach in Switzerland. She is among the first students ever to participate in the Switzerland award, which began this year.
Wang received a Fulbright Study Award to attend university in the Netherlands.
Along with the eight awardees, the university also has two alternates – Jilkiah Bryant, a public health and health sciences major from Macon, and Londyn Lorenz, a recent graduate with degrees in Arabic and international studies from Perryville, Missouri – and a Fulbright U.K. Summer Institute awardee, Benson Le.
The summer institute award is available for first-year or sophomore students who have little or no experience traveling outside the U.S. Le, a freshman computer science major from Starkville, will spend one month this summer studying at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.
Along with promoting cross-cultural exchange, these awards put the university well on its way to becoming a top Fulbright Award-producing institution, Ibrahim said. Each year, the U.S. Department of State names institutions across the United States who have the highest number of accepted applicants to the Fulbright U.S. Student and Fulbright U.S. Scholar Programs.
Although Ole Miss hasn’t yet earned this distinction, Ibrahim said she believes it could be on the horizon.
“This is just an incredible group,” she said. “I think it says something about making these awards attainable and accessible to students.”