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Biology professor Kevin Hovel and Fulbright winner Lee Reeve Biology professor Kevin Hovel and Fulbright winner Lee Reeve

11 Students Awarded Fulbrights

SDSU is once again a top Fulbright-producing university with 11 student awards for 2013-2014.

Updated 4:45 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013

As of June 26, Erica Johnson, '13, became the 12th Aztec to win a Fulbright award for 2013-14. The master of fine arts graduate will teach English in Brazil.

Eleven San Diego State University students have received Fulbright awards for 2013-2014, tying the record number awarded to SDSU students in 2011.

The students, five of whom will receive undergraduate or graduate degrees from SDSU this month, are spending their Fulbright year in places as far-flung as Russia, Macau, Brazil and Benin.

Additionally, three SDSU faculty members are among the most recent cohort of Fulbright Scholars awarded grants to teach and conduct research abroad.

Geography department chair Stuart Aitken is headed to Slovenia; Professor Emeritus Bonnie K. Scott will go to Pakistan; and journalism and media studies professor Noah Arceneaux travels to India in 2013-2014.

"My heartiest congratulations to our Fulbright scholars,” said SDSU President Elliot Hirshman. “For our students, their year as a Fulbright scholar will be a transformational experience. For our faculty members, the fellowship will be an extraordinary opportunity to advance their research programs.

“The success of our students and faculty members in this year's competition is a testament to the quality of our international programs. I am especially grateful to Pat Huckle, who mentors our students as they compete for these prestigious grants."

A select group

SDSU students and young alumni have received 60 Fulbright grants since 2005, including 10 for the 2010-2011 academic year and 11 for the 2011-2012 academic year.

The 11 Aztecs who received awards for 2013-2014 are a mix of recent graduates and current undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D. students. Not all applicants have been notified at this time, and SDSU may receive additional awards.

Last year, only 39 U.S. universities had 10 or more students and recent alumni with Fulbrights grants.

Patricia Huckle, emeritus professor of women’s studies, is a former Fulbright Scholar and adviser for SDSU’s Fulbright program.

“The Fulbright grants provide a life-changing experience in another country,” Huckle said. “Because we have an emphasis on transnational experiences at SDSU, many students have studied briefly in other countries and are hungry for more.”

On four continents

SDSU’s current crop of Fulbrights will teach and study on four continents.

  • Jessica Antonel, a 2013 degree candidate in the Graduate School of Public Health, will use techniques developed during her Peace Corps experience in Cameroon to conduct air quality assessments in the tiny African country of Benin.
  • Ryan Driscoll, who earned a master’s in ecology in 2012, will study the role of a certain species of krill in the Antarctic food web. His Hamburg-based project is a collaboration between two German research institutes and the U.S. NOAA Antarctic Ecosystem Research Division located in La Jolla.
  • Elizabeth Kennedy, a Ph.D. candidate in geography in SDSU’s joint program with UC Santa Barbara, will expand her research on unaccompanied child migrants while living in El Salvador.
  • Naomi Ramirez, a 2013 master’s degree candidate in Latin American Studies, will research the impacts of a growing Muslim population in northern Baja California’s largely Catholic-based society.
  • Lee D. Reeve, who will receive a master’s degree in ecology this month, is headed to Denmark’s Aarhus University to study the effects of climate change on Greenland halibut in the North Atlantic.

Six more SDSU students and alumni have received awards to teach English in countries that participate in the Fulbright program: Sarah Bedrouni (Morocco); Lauren Farrington (Germany); Abril Jimenez (Brazil); Nicholas Noel (Russia); Claudia Santana (Colombia); and Quetzalli Serrano-Campos (Macau).

About the Fulbright program

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. About 1,600 U.S. students, 4,000 foreign students, 1,200 U.S. scholars and 900 visiting scholars receive awards annually.

Named for U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright, the program was founded in 1946 to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and of other countries. Currently, the Fulbright programs operates in more than 155 countries.

The application for 2014-2015 Fulbright grants opened May 1. For more information, visit SDSU’s Office of International Programs.