College of Arts and Letters

2019 CAL Fulbright Semifinalists

by Ciara Brennan ('17)


SUMMARY: Seventeen students from the College of Arts and Letters were chosen as 2019 Fulbright Semifinalists.

This year, 26 JMU students and alumni were chosen as 2019 Fulbright Semifinalists. Of those honored, 17 are from the College of Arts and Letters.

According to the official website, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program is, "the largest U.S. exchange program offering opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide." The most popular program applied to by JMU students is the English Teaching Assistant Program. 

Final decisions will be announced in May. Congratulations to our Semifinalist Dukes! 

Emily_H.jpgEmily Hadfield - French

Minor(s): Honors

Fulbright Applied for: ETA in Estonia

What skills have you learned in your humanities education that you will take with you?

I have spent countless hours studying Francophone culture and language which has helped me gain deeper insights into how to objectively view another culture. I have also learned how complex a culture is and about the many different factors that contribute to its uniqueness. My education in the humanities has taught me cultural humility and appreciation.

Katie_L.jpgKatie Lese - Alumna and SCOM Faculty

Fulbright Applied for: ETA in Netherlands

What skills have you learned in your education that you have taken with you?

I am grateful for an education in communication because you develop the critical thinking skills that allow you to interrogate the “why” of human behavior. I often think when people are asked who problem-solvers are, they immediately think engineering or business students; I think Arts & Letters students are the problem-solvers of the world because they ask the questions that dig deeper into questioning social structures, cultural norms, and interpersonal communication that can lead to better solutions for society.

Isabelle_H.jpgIsabelle Hoagland - Justice Studies

Minor(s): Spanish

Fulbright Applied for: ETA in Mexico

Why did you choose to pursue your major and what skills will you take with you?

I chose Global Justice Studies because I have always been drawn to learning about other cultures, and I felt that this major would equip me with the knowledge and skillset to think critically about complex global issues. I wanted a major that focused on human rights and contemporary global injustices, which is exactly what Justice Studies has provided me. I have gained so many applicable skills from my education in Justice Studies, including the ability to problem-solve and critically analyze complex situations. Thanks to my humanities education, I think about things with a global perspective, which is valuable in any career.

Emma_L_final.jpgEmma Laney - Spanish; Communication Studies

Fulbright Applied for: ETA in Argentina

Is there a particular faculty member at JMU that inspires you, and why? 

A professor that inspires me is Tomás Regalado-López. I have taken 3 courses with him, and his passion about Latin America always inspires me to keep learning about and appreciating other cultures, especially those that are in Spanish-speaking countries. [During my sophomore year,] I wasn't sure if I had made the right decision to major in Spanish, but he made learning the language, while learning about Latin American civilization, short stories, and poetry, so much fun that I decided to stick with it and pursue more opportunities to further my language acquisition: a decision that has opened up the world for me, and I will always be thankful for that.

Kayla_G_final.jpgKayla Gwaltney - Communication Studies

Minor(s): Political Communication

Fulbright Applied for: ETA in Malaysia

If chosen as a Fulbright Winner, how do you wish to "Be the Change"?

I believe that education is absolutely the key to equality and a child’s fate is largely determined by the quality of the education they receive in their early years and beyond. By using the experiences and lessons I would learn in Malaysia, and then the subsequent experience through my position with Teach For America that I would complete on return, I would plan to fight for educational equality first in America through legislation and then perhaps internationally as well.

Tricey_S_final.jpgTricey Splan - English

Minor(s): Pre-Professional Secondary Education, Honors

Fulbright Applied for: Community-Based Combined Grant in Austria

If are chosen as a Fulbright Winner, what will your program entail?

If I receive the Fulbright, my program will have three main components. Firstly, I will be in Graz, Austria working part time as an English teaching assistant in a classroom. I will also do research with Caritas-Graz in their programs for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) to gain an understanding of their best practices and ways they could be applied in American schools and programs for individuals with IDDs. Lastly, I will take several credits of coursework focusing on education and diversity through a university in Graz. 

Back to Top

Published: Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Last Updated: Saturday, January 2, 2021

Related Articles