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Four Receive Fulbright UK Summer Institute Grants to Study Abroad This Summer
Four Syracuse University students have been named as student cultural ambassadors through the US-UK Fulbright Commission’s UK Summer Institute program.
They are Brittney Loper, a freshman dual major in marketing in the Whitman School of Management and television, radio and film in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications; Alaina Marra, a freshman student in the School of Architecture; Kevin Treadway, a freshman history and political science major in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs; and Janaisa Walker, a sophomore policy studies major in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School.
The Fulbright UK Summer Institutes are fully funded three- to four-week summer study programs for first- and second-year U.S. undergraduates. For 2018, the program is offering nine institutes, each focused on different disciplines and issues, at universities across the U.K. The Summer Institutes are made possible through generous donations from private individuals and through partnership with some of the top universities in the U.K. Participants are selected based on leadership skills, academic achievement, character, adaptability and ambassadorial qualities, as well as demonstrated interest in the U.K. and its culture. Applicants complete a written application and semifinalists are invited to interview over Skype with Fulbright selectors in the U.K. Selection is highly competitive.
Loper will study in Birmingham, England, in a program focused on film and the media.
“I’m still so ecstatic and amazed about this opportunity. I never thought that I would receive a nationally competitive scholarship, but my advisors in the Honors Program and the Center for Fellowship and Scholarship Advising (CFSA) helped me realize that it was possible. Now I am two months away from studying film and media in Birmingham,” Loper says. “I believe that my experience with the Fulbright Summer Institutes will not only teach me professional skills that I can apply to my degree, but will also give me cultural understanding, leadership and collaboration skills that I can apply every day. I am so grateful for this opportunity and I am eager to see how I will grow from it.”
Marra will engage in a program in Glasgow, Scotland, focused on technology, innovation and creativity. “I am extremely thankful for this opportunity given by the Fulbright UK Summer Institute,” she says. “Traveling abroad to Scotland this summer will satisfy my dream of being more globally aware in the world of architecture, as well as experiencing Scottish culture and meeting Scottish people, which I wouldn’t have the chance to do otherwise.
Treadway will travel to Wales to study Welsh identity and nationhood at Aberystwyth University. “I think the best way to describe how I feel about everything is a mix of incredible excitement and sheer astonishment,” he says. “When I’m in Wales, I plan to explore my ancestral heritage and to learn more about the contemporary social, economic and political issues facing the modern Welsh nation.” He continues, “I am extremely eager to talk with local people about their feelings on Welsh identity.”
Walker will study at the University of Westminster in England, in a program focused on developing leadership skills for a global age. She will choose from a broad range of classes in the fields of business, liberal arts, media, arts and design.
“The Fulbright Summer Institute at the University of Westminster will be a life-changing opportunity for me, because I have never had the opportunity to travel abroad or to explore art, media and culture to a great extent,” says Walker. “This program will give me the opportunity to open my mind and expand my creativity by exposing me to a wide range of cultural experiences in one of the most vibrant and diverse cities in the world. I love to challenge myself in new environments because there is no way to know what else I am interested in without exploring new places and opportunities. I look forward to enjoying the cultural immersion, gaining lifelong friends and learning new leadership skills.”
All four attended a CFSA information session in January about the Fulbright program and learned tips about how best to approach the application. “The Fulbright Summer Institutes are extraordinary opportunities for students to explore a particular topic or discipline in detail and to learn about Britain,” says Jolynn Parker, director of the CFSA. “Brittney, Alaina, Janaisa and Kevin were very strong candidates because they could articulate clear and compelling reasons for wanting to study in the U.K. in their applications. I’m absolutely delighted they’ve received these prestigious awards and I can’t wait to hear about the experiences they have this summer.”
The first two Syracuse students to receive Fulbright UK Summer Institute awards, Hannah Butler and Danielle Schaf, studied in Scotland in 2016 and England in 2017, respectively. They both assisted some of this year’s applicants with preparation for their interviews.
“Jolynn and the CFSA could not have been more helpful to me during the application process, as were Hannah and Danielle,” says Treadway. I am incredibly grateful to all of them, as well as to the Fulbright Commission, for this opportunity.”