UofL has banner year for prestigious scholars University will likely again place among top institutions for Fulbrights

    L-R: Dr. Patricia Condon, Megan Seldon, Christian Brawner, Mackenzie Flynn, Jessica Eaton, Ariel Weaver, Chloe Zoeller, Rae Hodge, Dr. James Ramsey.


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Louisville today announced that 21 students and alumni have earned some of the world’s most prestigious scholarships. The scholars will head to destinations throughout Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

     “We repeatedly talk about our goal to be a premier, nationally recognized, metropolitan research institution and these results make it clear that we are achieving that goal,” said UofL President James Ramsey. “Our prestigious scholar program is a point of pride that showcases UofL’s many opportunities for student global engagement.”

     Thirteen scholars earned Fulbright awards, putting the university close to its all-time record of 14 in a single year and making it likely UofL will again place among the nation’s top public institutions for the prominent prize. Since 2003, UofL has had 102 Fulbright awardees, more than all other Kentucky public institutions combined.

     Patricia Condon, who heads the national and international scholarship program, said there were originally 30 Fulbright candidates for 2016. Of those, 21 were selected by the U.S. selection committee and recommended to various countries—a high success rate that earned UofL recognition from Fulbright award organizers.

     Besides the 13 who were ultimately selected for the award, two were declined, five were chosen as alternates and one is still waiting to hear.

     “By the end of the summer it’s quite likely we will end up matching or exceeding our record of 14 scholars,” Condon said. “Chances are good that at least one of those five alternates, or the individual still waiting to hear, will be named a Fulbright.”

     Those receiving U.S. Student Fulbright Awards are:

    • Christina Baker, Carlisle, graduating senior, political science, will teach in Estonia.
    • Christian Brawner, Glendale, graduating senior, anthropology, will teach in Jordan. He also earned a Critical Language Scholarship and will spend part of the summer in Morocco.
    • Hanna DeMarcus, Villa Hills, 2015 graduate, English and humanities, will teach in Belarus.
    • Jessi Dietrich, Louisville, graduating senior, economics, will teach in Malaysia.
    • Jessica Nelson Eaton, Louisville, third-year medical student, will conduct research on traumatic brain and spinal cord injury in sub-Saharan Africa in Malawi.
    • Mackenzie Flynn, Louisville, third-year medical student, will conduct research on mother-to-child HIV transmission in Kenya.
    • Rae Hodge, Bardstown, 2013 graduate, political journalism, will conduct research and study journalism at Cardiff University, United Kingdom.
    • Shelby Lawson, Bowling Green, 2014 graduate, economics and Spanish, will teach in Indonesia.
    • Megan Seldon, Louisville, graduating senior, English and humanities, will teach in Malaysia.
    • Ariel Weaver, Tulsa, Okla, graduate student, geography, will conduct research on conservation efforts in Namibia
    • Abigail Wittmer, Fort Mitchell, graduating senior, middle and secondary education, will teach in Spain.
    • Chloe Zoeller, Louisville, graduating senior, Spanish and political science, will teach in Colombia.
    • Private, California, graduate student, education, will teach in Brazil.

    Five students were selected as Critical Language Scholars, including Brawner, who is also a Fulbright. They are:

    • Jeremy Ball, Manchester, junior, political science and economics, will travel to Oman for immersion in Arabic.
    • Anna Cecile Pepper, Elizabethtown, sophomore, political science and history, will travel to Oman for immersion in Arabic.
    • April Willis, Elizabethtown, junior, anthropology, will travel to China for immersion in Chinese.
    • Tanner Wright, Louisville, sophomore, political science and history, will travel to Morocco for immersion in Arabic.

    The university previously announced that Hannah Wilson won Kentucky’s only Truman Scholarship, Conrad Smart won a Goldwater Scholarship, Young Choi won a Whitaker International Fellows Award and Brandt Coleman won a Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals.

    For more on the top scholars, contact Condon at 502-852-0024 or visit the scholar website.


    Cindy Hess
    Cindy Hess has more than 30 years of experience in communications, marketing and investor relations, including more than a decade at UofL. She is "sort of" retired but happy to come back to the Office of Communications and Marketing to help with special projects and assignments.