UA Graduates Win 15 Fulbright Awards for 2017-2018

UA Graduates Win 15 Fulbright Awards for 2017-2018

TUSCALOOSA — For the 2017–2018 competition period, 15 University of Alabama students have been selected for Fulbright Awards. This year’s total sets a record number of awardees for UA in the international exchange program.

“Congratulations to UA’s 2017–18 Fulbright winners,” said Dr. Teresa E. Wise, associate provost for international education and global outreach. “Globally focused academic opportunities and study abroad experiences help our students develop into world citizens who foster international understanding through programs like Fulbright.”

The highly competitive Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study and research projects or for English-teaching assistantships.

More than 11,000 applicants compete for approximately 1,500 awards each year. Sponsored by the U.S. State Department, Fulbright is the largest U.S. international exchange program, offering opportunity for students, scholars and professionals.

Nine 2017 graduates received Fulbright Awards to serve as English teaching assistants overseas for the 2017–2018 academic year. They are:

  • Ruth Bishop, of Shreveport, Louisiana, who holds bachelor’s degrees in biology and Spanish and a master’s in business administration. She will teach in Colombia.
  • Erica Boden, of Mason, Ohio, a Culverhouse College of Commerce graduate, with majors in finance and economics and a master’s in finance as a University Scholar. She will teach in Bulgaria.
  • Benjamin “Benjie” Canady, of Bell Buckle, Tennessee, a graduate in international studies with a minor in Japanese. He will teach in South Korea.
  • Kelsey Daugherty, of Vacaville, California, a graduate in journalism with minors in German and business. She will teach in Germany.
  • Brittany Groves, of Decatur, Georgia, a graduate in history and German with a minor in international studies. She will teach in Germany.
  • Jackson Knappen, of Overland Park, Kansas, a graduate in biology and Spanish. He will teach in Spain.
  • Julia Quan, of Huntsville, a New College graduate and a Blount Undergraduate Fellow with a major in social advocacy. She will teach in Macedonia.
  • Ann Varnedoe, of Thomasville, Georgia, a graduate in psychology and African American studies with a minor in Spanish. She will teach in Spain.
  • Sarah Dylan Walker, of Fort Mill, South Carolina, a graduate in journalism and political science. She will teach in Macau.
  • Emily Zapinski, of Southlake, Texas, a graduate in business management and Spanish. She will teach in Malaysia.

Five University of Alabama students and alumni received Fulbright Awards for research and study during the 2017–2018 academic year. They are:

  • Kathryn “Katie” Cater, of Salisbury, North Carolina, will conduct research on bacteriophage therapy for treatment of antibiotic-resistant infections in Poland. She is a University Scholar who will complete her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology in 2017.
  • Jonathan Joyner, of Hellertown, Pennsylvania, will conduct a study in Sri Lanka on its recent civil war. He is a Blount Scholar, a 2017 graduate in international studies with a minor in French, and a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army.
  • Alexandra LeViness, of Houston, will conduct research at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Greifswald, Germany. She is a 2017 graduate in physics and mathematics with minors in German and Russian.
  • Charlotte Sheridan, of Vienna, Virginia, will conduct research in environmental studies in Jordan. She is a 2017 graduate with a major in environmental engineering and a minor in Arabic. She was a member of the University Fellows Experience program.
  • Kevin Ryan Williams, of Slocomb, will travel to the United Kingdom to pursue a master’s in classical acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art as recipient of the John Wood LAMDA Award in Classical Acting. He is a 2015 graduate with a double major in theatre and film.

“Faculty, international advisers, and fellow students celebrate the achievement of these outstanding scholars,” said Dr. Beverly Hawk, UA Fulbright program adviser and director of global and community engagement in the Center for Community-Based Partnerships. “Through their individual community engagement activities, these graduates will contribute to mutual understanding across the world and bring home memories that will last a lifetime.”

Students interested in applying for next year’s Fulbright competition can learn more from the Capstone International Center, 135 B.B. Comer Hall, and


Richard LeComte, media relations,, 205/348-3782


Dr. Teresa E. Wise,, 205/348.5256; Dr. Beverly Hawk,, 205/348-7392