Speed School alumnus and Goldwater Scholar Patrick McClure (left) works with Fulbright candidate Kyle Vuong during a scholarship workshop.

A dozen UofL students and alumni are in the homestretch as they vie for a prestigious 2017-2018 Fulbright scholarship.

The scholars have reached semifinalist status, which means they have been recommended to their host countries by a Fulbright screening committee and their chances of getting the award are high. That’s according to Patricia Condon, who heads the national and international scholarship program at UofL.

“To be named a semifinalist is a tremendous and resume-changing accomplishment,” Condon said. “Most of the candidates will know by the end of May whether they have been selected.”

In 2016, UofL had 15 Fulbright scholars, a record that earned the institution a place on the Chronicle of Higher Education’s list of top producers for the esteemed prize. Since 2003 UofL has produced 104 Fulbright scholars, more than all other Kentucky public colleges combined.

UofL has been on the top producer list four times in the last 10 years and has the highest success rate among research institutions.

The semifinalists for 2017-2018 are shown below, organized by type of award.

English teaching assistant scholarship:

  • Perrin Bailey, Frankfort, senior liberal studies major; Cyprus
  • Jeremy Ball, Manchester, senior political science and economics major; Malaysia
  • Dzemila Bilanovic, Louisville, anthropology alumna; Germany
  • Alex Stewart, Louisville, senior biology major; Poland
  • Kara Stivers, Louisville, political science alumna; Georgia
  • Hannah Touchton, Ashland, social work alumna; Malaysia
  • James Logan Zechella, Alexandria, senior biology and Spanish major; Columbia

Graduate student and research scholarship:

  • Kristen Connors, Louisville, anthropology and Spanish alumna and nursing graduate student; United Kingdom-England
  • Philip Dennison, Louisville, political science and French alumnus; Kazakhstan
  • Jordan Maiden, Dickson, Tennessee, national resource management and policy alumnus; Malawi
  • Vicki Searl, Rineyville, music performance graduate student; United Kingdom-Wales
  • Hung Ryan Vuong, New Albany, Indiana, senior biochemistry major; Switzerland

“The Fulbright is an incredible opportunity to not only share in other cultures, but to also share my culture with others,” said 2015 alumna Kara Stivers, who has applied for a Fulbright teaching position in the Republic of Georgia. “I look forward to the friendships I will develop and the exchange of ideas.”