Four St. Thomas students are semifinalists for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program this year: seniors Makaio Goods (English), Anna Strub (English and Spanish) and Kara Reardon '20 (biology and Spanish), and Emilia Fredrickson '20 (digital media arts). Goods, Strub and Fredrickson applied to teach English in Ecuador, Spain and Argentina, respectively; Reardon applied to do a research project in Bogota, Colombia.
The 2021-22 year has been the most competitive year that Fulbright had, with 11,700 applications.
"The students/applicants work very hard, and we are proud of their effort," Judith Dorin, St. Thomas' director of prestigious international scholarships, said. "I also appreciate very much the assistance of the faculty advisers and the campus committee without whom we would not have made it so far."
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs.
"I am so grateful to have been selected as a semifinalist for a Fulbright research opportunity in Bogota, Colombia," Reardon said. "I have learned a lot in the application process and already made amazing connections with researchers doing great work in sustainable agriculture and soil sciences."
A candidate will submit a Statement of Grant Purpose defining activities to take place during one academic year in a participating country outside the U.S.
"I am so thankful to have been named a semifinalist for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and to be a part of such a respected network of students and scholars," Fredrickson said. "The prospect of teaching English in Argentina is especially exciting for me because it presents the opportunity to share the beauty of the language learning experience and to build meaningful international connections."
During their grants, Fulbrighters will meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences. The program facilitates cultural exchange through direct interaction on an individual basis in the classroom, field, home, and in routine tasks, allowing the grantee to gain an appreciation of others’ viewpoints and beliefs, the way they do things, and the way they think. Through engagement in the community, the individual will interact with their hosts on a one-to-one basis in an atmosphere of openness, academic integrity, and intellectual freedom, thereby promoting mutual understanding.
"I am honored to have reached the semifinalist stage for the Fulbright 2021-22 English Teaching Assistant Program in Ecuador," Goods said. "I would like to thank Dr. Susan Callaway, Hoang Bui, Dr. Lucia Pawlowski, Dr. Todd Lawrence, Johnny Allen (JK Movement), Dr. Jeanne Flaherty-Gonzalez, Dr. Judith Dorin and Dr. Laura Bru along with the St. Thomas Fulbright faculty members for all their help throughout the application process."
The St. Thomas faculty recognize the potential in students and work closely with them on their applications.
"I am so grateful for all the support I have received from St. Thomas faculty and staff through the Fulbright application process," said Strub. "Just applying for the grant has been a wonderful learning experience and has allowed me to reflect on my four years at St. Thomas."
Current students and alumni interested in applying for Fulbright are encouraged to learn more by visiting OneStThomas.