UofL scholars earn prestigious international study awards
A group of UofL students and alumni will head to destinations across the globe as winners of competitive academic scholarships, President James Ramsey announced May 7.
“Announcing these scholarships is one of the best parts of my job,” Ramsey said. “It reaffirms that our students are just as talented and getting the same academic enrichment opportunities as those at the nation’s most elite institutions.”
Seven scholars earned U.S. Student Fulbright Awards. UofL has had 75 Fulbrights since 2003, more than all other Kentucky colleges combined. Of the seven awardees, one will conduct independent research and six will teach English during their time abroad. Here are this year’s Fulbright recipients. Click their names to read more.
Graduating senior and philosophy major Clayton Coleman of Allentown, Pa., will teach in Cyprus.
“The Fulbright is undoubtedly one of the greatest things I have ever achieved in my short life. This award is a significant result of my academic, athletic and personal pursuits. It brings me great pleasure to be able to share this success with my professors, mentors, family and friends,” Coleman said.
Graduating senior and political science major Meagan Floyd of Louisville will teach in Malaysia.
“The Fulbright award will allow me to deploy the skills and passions that I honed at the UofL. I am tremendously proud, both personally as the award recipient and collectively as a member of the stunning academic community at the University of Louisville,” Floyd said.
Graduating senior and elementary education major Olivia Kaiser of Louisville, will teach in Korea.
Kaiser will live with a host family teach at a school in South Korea. She will begin the program in July.
“As a Fulbright Scholar, I will act as a cultural ambassador for the United States. My role will be to learn about Korean culture while also sharing my own experiences of American culture. The goal of the scholarship is to teach English, while promoting the bond of people from different cultures by working together to build positive relationships within the community,” Kaiser said of the scholarship.
Irma Kocer, a 2012 graduate and marketing major from Versailles, Ky., will teach in Bulgaria.
Kocer, who is working at Space Camp Turkey in Izmir, Turkey, will spend September to June in Bulgaria teaching English and American culture at a secondary language school in Bulgaria.
“I see the ETA as an exchange of cultures, not simply a unilateral teaching effort stemming from me. I learned the English language at a young age and know that it offers a portal of communication and builds the groundwork for global understanding,” Kocer said of receiving the award.
Graduating senior and accountancy major Jonathan Sevy of Midway, Ky., will teach in Macau.
Sevy will provide assistance to English teachers of non-native English speakers in a university setting in Macau (China).
“Studying at the University of Louisville, I learned the most valuable tool one can attain is language. It allows us to relate to people, address challenges, and explore our world. In Macau I will strive to help others gain this priceless tool, while advancing my own abilities to communicate effectively,” Sevy said.
Graduating senior and Spanish, Latin American and Latino studies and political science major Rosslyn Steinmetz of Louisville will conduct research in Paraguay.
Steinmetz will live for 10 months in Asunción, Paraguay, and will study history at the Universidad Nacional de Asunción and take courses in Guaraní to better understand the dynamics of rural politics. She also will research and analyze the development of the roles and perceptions of women in leadership in Paraguay’s national legislature from 1992 to the present.
“I am so honored to have been selected for a Fulbright grant. This grant enables me to start my post-graduate career doing research that I love in an area of the world that has captured my heart. I cannot wait to get started,” Steinmetz said.
Meagan Thurmond, a 2012 graduate and anthopology and sociology major from Louisville, will be assigned to a Turkish university as an English teaching assistant.
“Receiving this award has been the biggest accomplishment of my life. I am so thrilled to have been chosen from such a large pool of worthy candidates. This award will undoubtedly give me the confidence to challenge myself in the future,” Thurmond said.
Another four students who earned prominent awards for international study are:
Junior and Spanish and anthropology major Kristen Connors of Louisville, will travel to Brazil as a David L. Boren scholar.
As part of the program, she will enroll as an international exchange student at the Universidade Estadual Paulista in São Paulo, Brazil for the fall of 2013 and study social sciences. In spring 2014, she will attend the Universidade Federal da Bahia to participate in its public health program.
“Receiving the Boren Scholarship is such an honor. This award allows me to pursue another language and begin research that I will continue throughout graduate school and my professional career. I am so grateful for the opportunities I have had at UofL,” Connors said.
Post-baccalaureate student Brett Covell of Skaneateles, N.Y., will travel to Oman as a Boren scholar.
Covell will participate in an intensive Arabic language program at the Center for International Learning in Muscat, Oman.
“As a soldier in Iraq, I often found myself staring across the concertina wire fence that separated our base from the Iraqi populace, wondering what life was like in the nearby Arabic villages. The Boren gives me the chance to return to the Middle East as a scholar to finally answer those questions,” Covell said.
Graduating senior and anthropology major Amanda Yee of Greenwood, Ind., will spend a year in England pursuing a master’s degree as a Mary Churchill Humphrey Memorial Scholarship winner.
Yee will use the award to attend the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London and work toward a master”s degree in social anthropology.
“Receiving the Mary Churchill Humphrey Scholarship means that I will be able to continue my combined studies of anthropology and Arabic, which I started at UofL , at the graduate level. I’m absolutely thrilled at this opportunity to pursue a master’s in the UK — an opportunity not possible without this award,” Yee said.
She also is awaiting final word on a Fulbright award to conduct research in Jordan.
Graduating senior and political science major Michael Zeller of Louisville, will spend two years in Europe earning a master’s degree as part of an Erasmus Mundus scholarship.
Zeller is the first UofL student to receive this prestigious award. He will pursue a master’s degree in political science and Russian, Central and Eastern European studies. Zeller will spend the first year of the program at the University of Glasgow and the second year at the Corvinus University in Budapest.
“The Erasmus Mundus Scholarship is a great honor that will allow me to continue my studies of civil society and democratization in the post-Soviet space and around the world. I greatly appreciate the highly capable and distinguished faculty and staff of the University of Louisville, without whom I would not have won this award,” Zeller said.