Seventeen University of Iowa students and alumni were chosen from approximately 10,000 Fulbright applicants nationwide to represent the U.S. Department of State to teach English overseas and to undertake public health research and creative writing projects in 16 countries during the 2022-2023 academic year.
“Over the past year, these hard-working candidates have written countless draft essays, received hands-on mentorship from our knowledgeable Fulbright team, and excelled in high-stakes interviews with foreign embassies and overseas Fulbright commissions,” says Karen Wachsmuth, UI Fulbright Program Advisor. . “Their experiences at the University of Iowa have prepared them to join the prestigious worldwide Fulbright community that seeks world peace through mutual understanding.”
UI is consistently named one of the top Fulbright student-producing institutions nationally. Nearly 100 UI students have received awards in more than 30 different countries, supported by faculty and staff mentors with expertise in global regions and countries.
“The high number of winners this year is yet another testament to the courage and talent of our nominees,” said Russ Ganim, vice-rector and dean of international programs, who oversees the university’s Fulbright programs. “As we applaud their accomplishments, we also salute Fulbright Program Advisor Karen Wachsmuth, Fulbright Assistant Ari Natarina and the team of faculty mentors who guided our applicants through the submission process. Iowa’s continued success in winning the Fulbright Awards proves how far our institution has come in bouncing back from the pandemic.
The Fulbright Program is designed to increase understanding between people in the United States and other countries by providing participants with the opportunity to study, teach, conduct research, and help find solutions to shared international concerns. .
“Recent events remind us how fragile our peace and human rights are,” says Bill Reisinger, UI Fulbright faculty mentor and professor of political science. “The Fulbright program continues to be one of America’s best ways to respond to a complex world. Iowa’s impressive Fulbright laureates will not only have life-changing experiences and form lasting friendships, but will go on to strengthen American understanding of the world through careers in government service, the business sector, nonprofit organizations. nonprofit, research, health care and the arts. . The talent and dedication they have shown in winning this award gives us reason to look to the future with great hope.
Over the past year, these Fulbright finalists have been encouraged by advisors, nominated by faculty, and supported by those who have witnessed their academic dedication and service to the community.
Isabelle Davis, of LeClaire, Iowa, who will graduate in May 2022, credits her encouragement from the Unemployment Insurance community for helping her secure several scholarships while in Iowa.
“The support I received from faculty and staff led me to receive two Boren Fellowships and a Critical Language Scholarship,” says Davis. “Their encouragement gave me the confidence to apply for the Fulbright.”
In addition to support from mentors, Fulbright finalists also shared their gratitude to UI donors, such as the Stanley Foundation, who provide opportunities for students to undertake international research.
Adam Beaser, who will receive a master’s degree in fiction from Iowa in May 2022, also received a Stanley Prize for International Research in 2021, a grant he says played a significant role in his Fulbright success.
“The Stanley Prize was invaluable in helping me prepare for my Fulbright,” says Beaser. “It gave me the time and space to develop the project that would become my Fulbright application.”
For many students, the application process itself comes with its own rewards.
“If you’re even considering applying, do so,” says 2022-23 Fulbright Laureate Hannah Haack. “Not only will you connect with faculty and students on campus, but you will also discover what truly excites you and what experiences have made you who you are today.”
The Fulbright Competition is administered in Iowa through International Programs under the direction of Wachsmuth. Students interested in applying for the 2023-2024 Fulbright Competition should schedule an appointment to learn more about the application process. The deadline for the 2023-24 competition is September 1, 2022.
This year’s recipients include:
Tartil Ali, of Iowa City, Iowa, will receive a master’s degree in clinical anatomy from Iowa in May 2022. With her Fulbright Public Health Scholarship/Research in Morocco, she will conduct research to help address disparities in the prenatal care of women.
Adam Beaser, from New York, New York, will receive a master’s degree in fiction from Iowa in May 2022. Through his Fulbright Creative Writing Fellowship/Research in Hungary, he will research and write a novel that incorporates sections of the memoirs of his grandfather. about growing up as a Jewish prodigy violinist in Hungary and Romania during the Holocaust.
Greta Becker, of Dubuque, Iowa, will receive an MD from Iowa in May 2023. With her Fulbright Public Health Fellowship/Research in Vietnam, she will study how exposure to motorcycle emissions alters the system immunity and the subsequent risk of tuberculosis. infection in people living in Hanoi, the country’s capital.
Brittany Borghi, of Zelienople, Pennsylvania, earned an MFA in Nonfiction from Iowa in 2018. With her Fulbright Creative Writing Scholarship/Research in Italy, she will travel to the villages of his Italian ancestors to write about identity, belonging, loss and community
Andrea Childs, of North Liberty, Iowa, will receive a Bachelor of Arts in English and English Education from Iowa in May 2022. With her Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award in Bulgaria, she will teach English to high school students and host a writing club.
Anna Correa, of Clive, Iowa, will receive a Masters in Public Health from Iowa in May 2022. Through her Fulbright Public Health Scholarship/Research in India, she will explore the mental health landscape and the needs of the migrant worker community in India. Bengaluru.
Isabelle Davis, of LeClaire, Iowa, will receive a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from Iowa in May 2022. With her Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award in Turkey, she will teach English to college students and organize cultural exchanges online and in person. .
Sallie Fullerton, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, graduated with an MFA in Poetry from Iowa in May 2021. With her Fulbright Creative Writing Scholarship/Research in Canada, she will write a book of documentary poetry about Montreal’s changing lesbian social scene. .
Hannah Haack, from Williamsburg, Iowa, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a minor in German from Iowa in May 2021. With her Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award in Germany, she will teach English, provide interpretation and will spend time helping refugees.
Holly Harris, from Waterloo, Iowa, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Portuguese with a minor in Spanish from Iowa in December 2021. With her Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award in Brazil, she will teach English, do volunteering in a non-profit organization, and starting an American cultural club.
Mastura Ibnat, from West Des Moines, Iowa, will receive a Bachelor of Arts in English and International Studies from Iowa in May 2022. With her Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award in Taiwan, she will teach English and host a book club.
Michaeljulius Idani, from Atlanta, Georgia, will receive an MFA in Fiction from Iowa in May 2022. Through his Fulbright Creative Writing Scholarship/Research in Sierra Leone, he will work on a project focused on cultural resilience and the Les Krios.
Megan Lederman, from Bettendorf, Iowa, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in French, English, and Creative Writing from Iowa in May 2019. With her Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award in Vietnam, she will teach English culture and literature and Americans in secondary schools or universities.
Alia Mnayer, from Waterloo, Iowa, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing from Iowa in May 2021. With her Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award in Morocco, she will teach English and American culture and literature in a university in Morocco.
Sarah Nunez, from Iowa City, Iowa, will receive a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Iowa in May 2022. With her Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award in Mexico, she will teach English and volunteer with an organization that helps people with disabilities.
Tessa Reed, of Spirit Lake, Iowa, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Global Health Studies and Spanish from Iowa in December 2021. With her Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award in Spain, she will be teaching English in La Rioja and establish a program that provides assistance to refugees in the community.
McKenzie Toma, from Detroit, Michigan, will receive an MFA in Creative Writing from Iowa in May 2022. With her Fulbright Creative Writing Scholarship/Research in Romania, she will explore censorship of literature and queer art in the communist country. .
Additionally, seven semifinalists from Iowa have been named as alternates for 2022-23:
- Abbie Eastman, from Nevada, Iowa, will graduate from Iowa in 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Ethics and Public Policy.
- Drew Etienne, of Iowa City, Iowa, is graduating from Iowa in 2021 with a Master of Arts in Painting.
- Jasmine Graf, from Jersey City, New Jersey, graduated from Iowa in 2019 with a Master of Arts in Printmaking.
- Samantha Heuthorst, from Waterloo, Iowa, will graduate from Iowa in 2022 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management.
- Abigail Jordahl, of Ankeny, Iowa, will graduate from Iowa in 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Literature and Culture.
- Amelia Thoreson, of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, will graduate from Iowa in 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations.
- Ian Zwaschka, of Iowa City, Iowa, is graduating from Iowa in 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing.