Office of University Communications & Marketing

Eleven UNA Students and Alumni Submit Fulbright Applications

Oct. 30, 2019



FLORENCE, AL Eleven students and alumni from the University of North Alabama have submitted their applications to the US Student Fulbright Program. In 2018, UNA had a record- setting four awardees, and this year’s applicants represent a unique and diverse group of students from different majors and colleges.

The Fulbright program for students provides full funding from the U.S. State Department to pursue research, enroll in graduate school, or teach English abroad for a year.

Dr. Matthew Price, as the Director of Premier National and International Awards, works with all UNA students and alumni who apply for a Fulbright grant. He said this year’s applicant pool reflects the breadth of UNA’s commitment to global exchange and student success.

“This is a diverse group, with majors from engineering technology and math, to entertainment industry and education,” Price said. “It’s a testament to the strength of both UNA’s programs and the student body that we continue to have a large applicant pool.”

Applying for a Fulbright award takes time, energy, and support. Each application is crafted beginning in June and submitted in October. Applicants work long hours, fine tuning their applications, attending a writing retreat, working one-on-one with Dr. Price, and sitting for campus evaluations. This year, more than 25 UNA faculty and staff served as the support structure for applicants, either writing recommendations or serving on evaluation committees.

“Each application reflects not only the dedication of the applicant but also the commitment of the campus community to helping UNA’s students achieve international recognition,” Dr. Price said. “At the end of each application cycle, I am always blown away by the campus community’s enthusiasm and dedication to our applicants.”

The students and alumni listed below are this year’s applicants, along with the country to which they applied, and the assignment:

  • Leah Buck will graduate in 2020 with a degree in Biology; she has applied to travel to Spain on an English Teaching Assistantship.
  • Margaret Carpenter will graduate in 2020 with a degree in English; she has applied to travel to Brazil on an English Teaching Assistantship.
  • Emerson Chambers graduated in 2019 with a degree in Entertainment Industry; she has applied to travel to Malta on an English Teaching Assistantship.
  • Elisa Coker will graduate in December with a Master’s in Education; she has applied to travel to Indonesia on an English Teaching Assistantship.
  • Candice Fawcett graduated in 2019 with a Master’s in English; she has applied to travel to Greece on an English Teaching Assistantship.
  • Maria Kerstiens will graduate in 2020 with a Secondary Education degree; she has applied to travel to Malaysia on an English Teaching Assistantship.
  • Kelley Presley will graduate in 2020 with a Secondary Education degree; she has applied to travel to Malaysia on an English Teaching Assistantship.
  • Alexia Sales will graduate in December with a degree in Engineering Technology; she has applied to travel to South Korea on an English Teaching Assistantship.
  • Brandon Sanders will graduate in December with a degree in Computer Information Systems; he applied to travel to South Korea on an English Teaching Assistantship.
  • Kolby Thrasher will graduate in December with a degree in Math; he applied to travel to Spain on an English Teaching Assistantship.
  • Hayden Wilkes will graduate in 2020 with a double major in Geographic Information Systems and Spanish; he applied to travel to Columbia on an English Teaching Assistantship.

A total

of 38 UNA students and alumni, including this year’s submissions, have applied for Fulbright grants during the past four years.

“With four awardees last year, the student body is beginning to recognize that awards like Fulbright are looking for them; they want our students to apply and win,” he said.

About The University of North Alabama

The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs through the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Human Sciences, and the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions. Occupying a 130-acre campus in a residential section of Florence, Alabama, UNA is located within a four-city area that also includes Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia. UNA Athletics, a renowned collegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I’s ASUN Big South Conference. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age, or national origin. For more: www.una.edu and www.una.edu/unaworks/