Emma Monson ’22 (l) and Carisa Florendo ’22

Two St. Thomas Seniors Receive Fulbright Awards

Two St. Thomas seniors, Emma Monson ’22 and Carisa Florendo ’22, have earned the prestigious honor of being named a grantee from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

“When I first learned the news, I was in shock. I was in the middle of student teaching and just happened to check my email when the message came in,” Monson said. “Excitement quickly came after the initial shock, and I rushed to tell everyone. It still feels very surreal, but I cannot wait to start this new teaching journey!”

Monson, who is majoring in elementary education and STEM, will be teaching English in Taiwan during the 2022-23 academic year.

“It was a lot of work to apply for the scholarship and took months of waiting to hear the final result,” Florendo said. “A part of me did not believe it was true since I have been preparing myself for whatever result may come.”

Florendo, a music vocal education (K-12) major, will be teaching English in South Korea. Monson and Florendo will be traveling to their respective countries this summer to be placed in elementary/secondary/higher education institutions. In addition, Nadya Anderson ’20, an English and Spanish major, and Alli Preece ’21, a Spanish and political science major, were selected as alternates for the Argentina and Colombia, respectively, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program.

Tommies demonstrated tremendous interest in the Fulbright 2022-23 competition year. For the first time, 10 St. Thomas students submitted their applications to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Five were selected as semifinalists; among them, Jayde Hoppe ’22 in addition to Monson, Florendo, Anderson and Preece.

“We want to thank the collaboration of our St. Thomas faculty for participating in the Fulbright On-campus Committee. The faculty members are from different academic fields; they take the time to review applications, meet candidates and interview them; and discuss and provide suggestions to improve our candidates’ applications yearly,” Judith Dorin, St. Thomas’ director of prestigious international scholarships, said. “A special thanks to Dr. Johnathan Stoltz for his excellent work as chair of this committee for some years. His thorough and speedy work providing input to each applicant is invaluable and admirable.”

Last year, St. Thomas student Anna Strub ’21 received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award. St. Thomas supports and provides the guidance to interested students.

Current students and alumni interested in applying for Fulbright are encouraged to learn more by visiting OneStThomas.