Four University of Nebraska-Lincoln students and alumni have earned Fulbright awards for the 2017-18 academic year, while two others have been chosen as alternates.
The Fulbright Program, established in 1946 and funded by the U.S. Department of State, is designed to foster understanding between the United States and other countries. The U.S. Student Fulbright program gives recent graduates, graduate students and young professionals the opportunity to conduct research, study or teach in one of 160 designated countries. Recipients are awarded the Fulbright on the basis of academic and professional achievement as well as their potential for leadership.
There are two types of the nationally competitive award: the research/study award, which supports students working on a project in a foreign country; and the English Teaching Assistantship award, which places recent graduates in classrooms abroad to provide assistance to local English language teachers. The students are also cultural ambassadors for the United States.
The Fulbright winners from the university are:
Taylor Bolam – An Elkhorn native, the economics major with German and Russian minors is set to graduate in May. He will return to Russia, where he once studied, for his Fulbright ETA. He plans to start a film and music club, create a writing exchange and volunteer at an organization for underprivileged children while there.
Vince Moran – Moran, of Scottsbluff, is a 2014 graduate who had majors of English, history and film studies. He will teach English in Mexico. He also plans to start a film club there.
Grace Solem-Pfeifer – Solem-Pfeifer, of Omaha, graduated in May 2016 with majors of global studies, classical languages, Latin American studies and Spanish. She will travel to Cyprus for her Fulbright ETA. She said she also would like to work with the refugee community in the island nation.
Layla Younis – A Lincoln resident who is originally from Iraq, Younis graduated in August 2016 with majors of English and journalism. She will teach English in Bahrain. She also plans to create a literary magazine or newsletter while there.
Emma deVries and Griffith Swidler, both of Lincoln, have been named alternates. This status indicates that a candidate could be offered an award if additional funding becomes available. DeVries is an alternate to complete a master’s program in museum studies at the University of Leicester in England. She graduated in May 2016 with art and anthropology majors and a business minor. Swidler is an alternate for a Fulbright ETA to Thailand. He is an ethnic studies major with minors in English, French and human rights who is set to graduate in May.