UA Students Receive U.S. Fulbright Program Awards for 2022-23 – University of Alabama News


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Fulbright Program has selected 18 University of Alabama students for various awards for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Five AU students have received Fulbright Student Research Awards and 10 have won Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Awards. In addition, three students won Fulbright Summer Scholarships in Canada.

“The Fulbright program provides extraordinary opportunities for our students to deepen and expand the holistic learning experiences they have on campus or through study abroad upon graduation,” said Dr. Teresa Wise, Vice President of International Education and Global Outreach. “The time our students spend researching or teaching during their Fulbright year abroad has a lasting impact on their personal and professional lives.

“The intercultural dialogue and the daily experiences they share with the inhabitants of their host country contribute to building a better and more peaceful world for all of us. Congratulations to all of our winners and alternates.

Fulbright is the most prestigious international exchange program in the United States, providing opportunities for students, scholars, and professionals. The U.S. Department of State Fulbright Award provides one-year fellowships for independent study and research, as well as English teaching assistantships abroad. The highly competitive program selects approximately 1,500 winners from more than 11,000 applicants each year. UA has received national recognition as the top producing institution for American Fulbright students five times in recent years.

“Our Fulbright team is proud to present each of these honorees to the public,” said Dr. Beverly Hawk, director of global and community engagement at the Center for Community-Based Partnerships. “Their Fulbright Awards are opportunities for them to share their American culture and connect with people in their host communities.”

Fulbright Student Research Grant Recipients:

  • Mathew Ciesla, from Northport, received a Fulbright Prize in Cognitive Science for his research on the “Early Neural Correlates of Second Language Learning in Adults” at the University of Warsaw in Poland. He graduated in 2022 with an interdisciplinary degree in psycholinguistics and foreign languages ​​with studies in German and Polish.
  • Andrew Deton, of Auburn, Georgia, received a Fulbright Prize for his research on “The Czech Hussite Wars and the Rise of Modernity” at the Center for Medieval Studies in Prague and the Dissident Networks Project at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. A PhD student in history at UA, he is a Blount Scholars Fellow and has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree from UA.
  • Ihuoma Ezebuihe, of Washington, DC, received a Fulbright Award for his research on “Translation and Validation of the Michigan Diabetes Knowledge Test (MDKT) to Nigeria” at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, College of Medicine. She is a third-year doctoral student in nursing at UA’s Capstone College of Nursing. She holds a Masters in Public Health, a Masters in Community Health, and clinical doctorates in medicine and nursing practice.
  • Tegan Murrel, of Western Springs, Illinois, received a Fulbright Prize at the University of Oslo, Norway, for studying how trauma is passed down through the generations among immigrants. A graduate of UA summa cum laude in Mathematics with a minor in Creative Writing in 2021, she holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree.
  • Samuel Watson, by Hazel Green, received a Fulbright Award to pursue a Master of Arts in Korean Studies at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea. A 2022 Honors College Computer Science graduate with a minor in Korean Language, he now holds the distinction of having won four highly competitive national awards: the Gilman Scholarship Award, Boren Scholarship Award, Critical Language Scholarship Award, and Fulbright Award at the during his undergraduate years.

The Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Awards offer American students the opportunity to serve in an overseas English class, assist the teacher, and exchange culture with locals in the host country.

Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award recipients:

  • Judson Braly, from Fairhope, a 2022 history graduate with a minor in civic engagement, came to UA on a three-year Army ROTC National Scholarship (active duty) and will be commissioned as an Army Aviation Officer. He will teach English in Kenya.
  • Nicholas Hayes, from Long Valley, New Jersey, 2022 Honors College graduate summa cum laude with a BA in German with a minor in Interdisciplinary Linguistics and a BA in Mathematics with minors in Psychology and Physics, member of Phi Beta Kappa, has been selected to teach in Germany . Hayes is also one of 32 Americans this year to receive a Rhodes Scholarship to study at the University of Oxford in the UK. He is the 16th Rhodes Scholar in AU history.
  • Sarah Homoky, from Kingsport, Texas, is a 2021 graduate in Anthropology, Biology, and German, an Honors College Randall Research Fellow, and a member of the Delta Phi Alpha German Honor Society and the Lambda Alpha Anthropology Honor Society. She will teach in Germany.
  • Lauren L’Etang, of Northport, graduated summa cum laude Honors College in 2019 in Spanish and International Studies with a minor in Music. Member of Phi Beta Kappa, she will teach in Mexico.
  • John “Jack” Lombardo, of Schenectady, New York, was chosen to teach in Germany. A high school graduate and major in German and a member of the National Honor Society Phi Sigma Pi, he plans to pursue a career in teaching.
  • Marie Neubrander, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, earned a bachelor’s degree in math and computer science with a minor in economics. A graduate summa cum laude of UA Honors College, Randall Research Scholar and member of XXXI, she will teach in Taiwan.
  • Wesley ClayRichmond, of Cypress, Texas, who graduated summa cum laude in history with a minor in German in 2021, will teach English in Germany.
  • Chanler Dakota Smith, de Town Creek, an electrical engineering graduate in 2022 with a minor in math, will teach in Taiwan.
  • Bryan Winkler, from York, Pennsylvania, earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish with a minor in global and cultural perspectives, summa cum laude, as well as a master’s degree in Romance languages ​​and a major in Spanish literature. He was recognized by UA with the Distinguished Undergraduate Scholar Award and the George Griffen Brownell Sr. Award for Excellence in Spanish. He will teach in Spain.
  • Leona Yeager, of Northport, is a graduate of Honors College and a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. A member of New College, she holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies and interdisciplinary studies, summa cum laude, with a specialization in international relations in Asia and interdisciplinary health sciences. She will teach in Mongolia.

Additionally, four students have been granted alternate status in this year’s national competition and may have the opportunity to serve overseas if more funding becomes available or if a finalist is unable to participate. They are Makenna Bay (Israel), Castiel Lisko (Romania), Marco Pflanzen (Colombia) and Declan Smith (Ireland).

Three AU students have been awarded Fulbright Canada – MITACS Globalink internships for the summer of 2022. The Fulbright-MITACS Globalink is for US students to undertake advanced research projects in Canada.

Fulbright Award Recipients in Canada:

  • Abigail’s Enemiesfrom Rockford, Illinois, majoring in math and chemistry with a minor in global health and the Randall Research Scholars Program and a member of the UA Honors College, will contribute research in Quebec, Canada, titled “Exposure Monitoring to dietary toxins using mass spectrometry”.
  • Abbie Giuntafrom Onalaska, Wisconsin, majoring in French and biology with a minor in the Randall Research Scholars Program and member of the Honors College, will contribute research in New Brunswick, Canada, entitled “Territorial instruments in the context of local governance / Territorial policy instruments in the context of local governance.
  • Anna Kate Manchesterof Brentwood, Tennessee, majoring in history and political science with a minor in the Randall Research Scholars program and Fellow of Honors College, will contribute research in Ontario, Canada, entitled “Meaningful Stakeholder Engagement in Rich Communities Resources: A Case Study of the Global South and the Far North.

UA Fulbright Advisors Megan Legerski, Dr. Matthew Feminella, Dr. Beverly Hawk, and Dr. Lucy Kaufman assisted students through the application process to pass the National Fulbright Competition.

Students interested in applying to next year’s Fulbright program can find out more at and us.fulbrightonline.orgor email


Diane Kennedy-Jackson, AU Community Affairs Division,, 205-348-4480

The University of Alabama, part of the University of Alabama system, is the flagship university in the state. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA offers an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the largest institution of higher learning in the state, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.


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