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Students, Alumni Selected for Prestigious Fulbright Grants

Photo credit: Alyssa Vincent.

Six Humanities and Social Sciences students and alumni will teach or conduct research abroad after receiving prestigious Fulbright grants for the 2017-18 academic year. 

Seven NC State students and alums, in total, were selected as finalists for the Fulbright United States Student Program, the largest national exchange program for graduate study, advanced research and teaching worldwide. Since the program’s inception in 1946, 68 NC State students and alumni have received Fulbright grants, including 28 since 2012, said Tiffany Kershner, the director of NC State’s Fellowship Advising Office

Kershner said this year’s recipients devoted a lot of time to refining their applications, beginning last summer and writing 10-12 drafts of their essays. They had help along the way from Humanities and Social Sciences faculty and Fulbright alumni, she said. 

“For example, several Humanities and Social Sciences faculty have served on the Fulbright campus committee for several years, while others have provided feedback on student applications,” Kershner said. “Of course, we are grateful for the faculty in Foreign Languages and Literatures, who have evaluated numerous candidates’ foreign language abilities over the years. 

“We also have great support from recent Humanities and Social Sciences Fulbright student alumni who are willing and eager to mentor students throughout the application process, which may include speaking with students about their Fulbright experience and/or helping prepare candidates for their semi-finalist Skype interviews. Our Fulbright alumni are sometimes our best recruiters!”

Humanities and Social Sciences students and alums who were offered Fulbright teaching assistantships or research/study grants are:

English Teaching Assistantships

Amanda Eads — Jordan  

Eads earned bachelor’s degrees in English and middle eastern studies from NC State in 2012 and her master’s in sociolinguistics in December 2016. She has researched Arabic L2 Acquisition and spent two years teaching English as a Second Language in Australia. 

Amanda Eads.

Yvette LeBlanc — Thailand

LeBlanc is a senior majoring in English. She is a member of the University Scholars Program and has served as a College of Humanities and Social Sciences Ambassador. Yvette has a strong background in teaching, mentoring and tutoring students at the elementary and secondary school level. 

Yvette LeBlanc.

Soumya Nadabar — India

Nabadar is a senior majoring in international studies and economics. She has served as a peer educator for the NC State Women’s Center and has worked for University Recreation as a challenge course facilitator and outdoor trip leader. Nabadar spent the fall 2015 semester studying in Ecuador. 

Soumya Nadabar.

Travis Price — Uruguay 

Price is an MFA candidate in creative writing at NC State. He completed his bachelor’s degree in English and environmental studies from Dartmouth College in 2011. Price was a high school teacher for Teach for America in the Providence, Rhode Island, school district from 2011-15.

Travis Price.

Research/Study Grants

Alexander Kearney — Poland  

Kearney is a Benjamin Franklin Scholar double majoring in international studies and chemical engineering. He was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa in 2015. He studied abroad in Germany and has been a dancer in The Production Hip Hop Dance Crew since 2014. Kearney will study sustainable agriculture and international cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region at the University of Gdansk. 

Alexander Kearney.

Vishwas Rao — Canada 

Rao is a Park Scholar majoring in chemistry and minoring in music and Spanish. He is a 2016 Goldwater Scholar and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the University Honors Program. He has performed with the Raleigh Civic Chamber Orchestra and NC State Sangeet since 2014. Rao will study potential adjuvants for the inhibition of antiobiotic resistance enzymes at McMaster University in Ontario.  

Vishwas Rao. Photo by Ken Martin.