2020-21 Fulbright Scholars from the University of Louisville.
2020-21 Fulbright Scholars from the University of Louisville.

Editor’s note: Since this initial news was announced in July, UofL has added another Fulbright Scholar in alumnus Alex McGrath, bringing this year’s total to 22 students. Twelve of those Cardinals were selected for the U.S. Student Fulbright Program. 

Alex McGrath, May 2020 graduate and Fulbright winner
Alex McGrath, May 2020 graduate and Fulbright winner

McGrath graduated in May 2020 with degrees in English and philosophy and will be an English Teaching Assistant in Spain. The Louisville native also plans to explore the local music scene and offer music lessons during his time overseas.  

The original story published in July is below.

The University of Louisville continues its strong showing in national and international scholarships and fellowships with 21 students receiving offers to attend prestigious programs around the globe.

This year’s batch includes 11 Cardinals selected for the U.S. Student Fulbright Program, the third year in a row UofL has racked up Fulbright offers in the double digits.

“I continue to be amazed at the number of prestigious scholars produced by this university each and every year,” said UofL President Neeli Bendapudi. “Nothing makes me more proud than seeing our students achieve such great honors and knowing that our faculty and staff are so supportive of their efforts.”

With individual country programs in flux due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some offers might be curtailed or postponed, and some alternates typically receive offers to join the program, so numbers won’t be finalized until later this calendar year. At any rate, officials expect that, including this year, more than 140 UofL alums will have received Fulbrights since 2003–more than all other Kentucky public institutions combined.

“We’re so proud to see UofL’s incredible students earning recognition and pursuing exciting opportunities,” said Bethany Smith, fellowships coordinator with the Office of National and International Scholarships, “and as always, a key part of the process has been the involvement of faculty and staff who recommend and mentor students and serve as campus interviewers.”

“The performances of our students and alumni stack up against those of many top-tier schools, including those in the Ivy League and at other highly-ranked public flagships,” said Charlie Leonard of the Office of National and International Scholarships.

Students and alumni earned other prestigious, competitive awards this cycle. All are noted below.

Fulbright Awards

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers research, study and teaching opportunities in more than 140 countries to recent graduates and graduate students. Administered in the U.S. by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Fulbright program was established in 1946 to promote international goodwill through education and cultural exchange.

Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships (ETA)

  • Alison Buchelt graduated this spring with a degree in education. She has been selected to work in Spain as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. She is originally from Lisle, Illinois.
  • Evan Clark, a McConnell Scholar from Owensboro, Kentucky, graduated this spring with an individualized major concentrating on international relations, Spanish, history, political science and linguistics. He was selected for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Spain next year.
  • Danielle Graves, of Louisville, has been selected as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant for the Czech Republic. She is a member of the Brown Fellows Program and graduated this spring with majors in biochemistry and political science.
  • Megan Lenahan earned degrees in art and Latin American & Latino Studies in 2018. She is from Louisville and was selected as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Costa Rica.
  • Travis Ray, a member of UofL’s Guaranteed Entrance to Medical School (GEMS) program, graduated this spring with majors in biology and Spanish. He was selected for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Spain. He is from Shepherdsville, Kentucky.
  • Jared Thomas is a UofL 2020 graduate from Elizabethtown, Kentucky. A McConnell Scholar majoring in political science, he received a Fulbright offer to teach English in Malaysia.
  • Niara Wakaba was selected to teach English as a Fulbright ETA in Jordan. She is from Louisville and was a Muhammad Ali Scholar and Porter Scholar at UofL. She earned her degree in political science in 2019.

 Fulbright Research/Graduate Study Awards

  • Nana Ama Bullock is working toward a doctorate in public health at UofL and has been selected for a Fulbright-Fogarty Public Health Fellowship to do research in Ghana. She grew up in Accra, Ghana and Chicago.
  • Kasey Golding graduated from UofL in 2018 with a degree in political science. She was a Jones Scholar, Honors Scholar and 2017 English Speaking Union Scholarship recipient and will travel to Hungary next year to study international relations. She is from Tampa, Florida.
  • Lucy Kurtz, of Owensboro, Kentucky, received her bachelor’s in bioengineering this spring and has been selected for a Fulbright research award for Canada.
  • Naethan Mundkur graduated in May 2018 with a degree in chemical engineering. He received a Fulbright research award to conduct research in the field in the United Arab Emirates.

Boren Scholarship

The Boren Awards, sponsored by the U.S. National Security Education Program (NSEP), provide undergraduate and graduate students in all fields of study with funding for up to one year of immersive study abroad in languages and regions of interest to U.S. national security.

  • Celia Cusick, a McConnell Scholar who graduated this spring with a degree in philosophy, has been selected for a Boren Scholarship to study the Croatian language in Croatia next year.
  • Brittany Lowe will spend next year studying Swahili in Tanzania as a Boren Scholar. She is originally from Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and graduated from UofL this spring with degrees in economics and marketing.
  • Madeline McCloud, a junior Grawemeyer Scholar majoring in chemistry and psychology, has been awarded a Boren Scholarship to study Mandarin in Taiwan. She is from Worthington, Kentucky.

Critical Language Scholarship

The CLS program provides opportunities for overseas language and cultural immersion for students interested in critical languages that are essential to the United States’ engagement with the world.

Rotary Global Grant

Rotary Global Grants support humanitarian work, scholarships and vocational training projects aimed at building international relationships, promoting peace and improving lives.

  • Elshadai Smith-Mensah, of Ashland, Kentucky, earned her BS in business administration and marketing in 2019. She will pursue a master’s in social innovation and entrepreneurship at London School of Economics.

English-Speaking Union KY Branch Summer Scholarship

The English-Speaking Union is a nonprofit educational service organization. Its summer study abroad scholarships for college juniors and Kentucky teachers are intended to promote the advancement of knowledge in an expanding global community.

  • Sabrina Collins is a junior Grawemeyer Scholar and political science major from Morning View, Kentucky. She was selected to study history, politics and society at Oxford.
  • Abby Posey is a junior Martin Luther King Scholar majoring in history and Pan-African Studies. She is from Clarksville, Indiana, and has received an ESU Scholarship to study history at Cambridge.

Moore Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program

The Moore Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program is a paid summer fellowship designed to foster the entrance of talented students from diverse backgrounds within the humanities, social sciences and fine arts into academia.

  • Sidney Garner is a rising senior majoring in women, gender and sexuality studies and Pan-African Studies, with a minor in social change. A Louisville native, Sidney was selected to spend the summer researching racial representation in contemporary television.

Mary Churchill Humphrey Scholarship

The University of Louisville Centenary Memorial Scholarship enables graduates of the College of Arts & Sciences to pursue advanced study in the United Kingdom.

  • Meagan Floyd graduated from UofL in 2013 with degrees in political science and social change. During her time at UofL, the Louisville native was a McConnell Scholar who received a 2013-2014 Fulbright ETA to Malaysia. She will pursue a degree in politics of conflict, rights and justice at SOAS University of London.

2020 NASA DEVELOP Program

DEVELOP address environmental and public policy issues through interdisciplinary research projects.

  • Laura Krauser graduated in May 2020 with a master’s degree in geography and geosciences. She earned a research opportunity with the NASA DEVELOP program.

More information about UofL’s prestigious scholars is available online here.  

John Karman, III
John Karman joined the Office of Communications and Marketing in 2014 after a 20-plus year career as a Louisville journalist. He has served as director of media relations since 2015. In that role, he answers reporters’ inquiries and is the university’s main spokesperson. John was a reporter for Business First of Louisville from 1999 to 2013. There, he won numerous awards from the Louisville chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists and American City Business Journals, parent company to Business First. John can die happy after seeing the Chicago Cubs win the 2016 World Series, although he would also enjoy another title.