The University of St. Thomas is pleased to announce Julia Wickham has received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award in Study/Research for the 2020-21 academic year from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Wickham, a senior double major in political science and history, is one of more than 2,100 U.S. citizens who will conduct a study research abroad for the 2020-21 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as their record of service and leadership potential in their respective fields.

Wickham will explore the role of young Namibians in the dynamic political landscape. The research is meant to compliment the national situation and look into in avenues in which young urban Namibians are participating to understand why there is voter apathy among the youth.

“I became interested in applying for a Fulbright scholarship to do this research after a semester in South Africa and Namibia in spring 2019 studying nation building, globalization and decolonization,” Wickham said. “There, I was able to connect with local artists, organizers and educators who work tremendously hard to build up their communities, and I knew I wanted to engage with their stories more.”

“Julia’s project stood out from the beginning because of her ability to combine the analytical skills she developed in her coursework with her study abroad experience in Namibia,” said Dr. Tim Lynch, assistant professor of political science and Wickham’s adviser for her Fulbright application. “It was clear to me that she had the passion and understanding to make a strong case for her project. I’m really excited that she has this opportunity and can’t wait to see the results of her work.”

The scholarship is for nine months, and Wickham will work with a professor at the University of Namibia to carry out her research. Due to COVID-19, the U.S. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has issued a statement saying U.S. Fulbright scholars will be able to begin their exchange after Jan. 1, 2021.

“This is an incredible opportunity, and I am so excited for the work ahead,” Wickham said. “I am also very grateful for the support I have received from professors and classmates while at St. Thomas; I have continuously felt encouraged and challenged to grow these last four years.”

Fulbright U.S. Student Program

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is administered at the University of St. Thomas through the Office of Global Learning and Strategy – Director of Prestigious International Scholarships.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. 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.

Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given more than 390,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals of all backgrounds and fields the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Fulbrighters address critical global challenges in all disciplines while building relationships, knowledge and leadership in support of the long-term interests of the United States. Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in many fields, including 59 who have been awarded the Nobel Prize, 84 who have received Pulitzer Prizes, and 37 who have served as a head of state or government.

In the United States, the Institute of International Education supports the implementation of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program on behalf of the U.S. Department of State, including conducting an annual competition for the scholarships.

For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit http://eca.state.gov/fulbright.

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