Six students will spend one year abroad promoting intercultural understanding and knowledge exchange.
Six Texas Tech University students have been selected as Fulbright finalists for the 2022-23 academic year, while three students were named semi-finalists. The six finalists will travel to Uzbekistan, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Norway and Canada.
“With six finalists and three semi-finalists, this is a record year for Fulbright Students at Texas Tech,” said Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec. “These students have undergone a rigorous selection process and are among the top academic achievers in the nation. During their year abroad, they will serve as exceptional ambassadors for the university and the U.S. We wish them all the best and could not be prouder of this tremendous accomplishment.”
One of the Fulbright Students will be teaching English, while the other five will be conducting research in their respective disciplines.
“Our Fulbright Students are clearly exceptional,” said Ronald Hendrick, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs. “Our faculty, who serve as mentors for these students, consistently collaborate to help them achieve. The support our Texas Tech students receive from their faculty mentors is best in class, and one of the factors that helps our students stand apart from their peers.”
The following were named Fulbright Students:
- Aaron Szczesny, a graduating senior in the College of Arts & Sciences and the Honors College, will teach English in Uzbekistan.
- Anne Wharton, a doctoral student in the J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts, will conduct interdisciplinary fine arts research in Trinidad and Tobago.
- Brook McClurg, a doctoral student in the College of Arts & Sciences' Department of English, will conduct creative writing research in Mexico.
- Jennifer Robertson, also a doctoral student in the Department of English, will conduct literature research in Norway.
- Celine Garcia, a doctoral student in the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering, will conduct chemical engineering research in Canada.
- Samantha Manz, a master's student in the College of Arts & Sciences' Department of History, will conduct research Canada.
“The Fulbright Fellowship is the most highly recognized fellowship to support international education and research,” said Mark Sheridan, dean of the Graduate School at Texas Tech. “The award is a tremendous honor that recognizes the academic accomplishments of these students as well as their promise as teachers and researchers.”
Three students were named semi-finalists: Diego Martinez and JoHanna Haiduk, both master's students in the Department of History, and Gabriella Ghandour, who graduated with her bachelor's degree in political science from the College of Arts & Sciences and the Honors College in December.
“We are fortunate to have earned a record number of student Fulbright awards this year, and I know we are all incredibly proud of these students' hard work and achievements,” said Wendoli Flores, director of the Office of Prestigious External Student Awards. “They are deserving of this high honor. I am thankful for the partnership with Louisa Hope-Weeks, associate dean of the Graduate School and professor of chemistry, as together we aim to identify and support more students pursuing Fulbright. We also owe much gratitude to the Honors College, the Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Fellowships, and numerous faculty and staff across campus for their selfless and tireless support of our Fulbright student applicants.”
Aliza Wong, interim dean of the Honors College, expressed gratitude to Flores for mentoring this year's Fulbright winners.
“We are so grateful to Wendoli Flores for her incredible work in mentoring undergraduate and graduate students through the varied, rigorous processes of application,” Wong said. “She not only advises, reads and manages the university interviews; she keeps the students all on track, ensures they understand the requirements and gives them confidence in their work. Whatever the outcome, these students have gained valuable experience in working on their dossiers. We are so proud of all of them for representing Texas Tech.”
The Fulbright Program was created to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Fulbright is active in more than 160 countries worldwide and partners with participating governments, host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the U.S.
“The dedication of students and faculty at Texas Tech to continually strive to be the best in their fields of academic study is truly inspiring,” Hope-Weeks said. “This year's Fulbright finalists and semi-finalists embody what it truly means to be an academic in an international environment.”