WKU alumna Hannah Banks awarded Fulbright US Student Grant
- Thursday, March 23rd, 2023
Hannah Banks, a 2020 graduate in Anthropology, is WKU’s first Fulbright grantee of the 2023-24 award year. Hannah will use her Fulbright award to fund a master’s degree program in global health at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VUA) beginning this fall, studying patient experiences of chronic illness. Current students and recent graduates interested in learning about the broad range of Fulbright-funded opportunities to spend a year abroad after graduation are encouraged to register for an info session on April 4 at 5pm CDT. Final results are announced country by country; WKU’s seven remaining semi-finalists will be notified in the coming weeks.
Hannah credits her success to faculty and staff mentors at WKU. “The continued support from professors in the Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology has been instrumental,” she says, “and I’m so happy to have worked with both Lindsey Houchin and Melinda Grimsley [on postgraduate fellowship applications] in the Office of Scholar Development.”
While an undergraduate, Hannah undertook three unique experiences in multiple disciplinary fields that helped pave the way toward her Fulbright project: working as an archaeology field technician at Mammoth Cave National Park, participating in an archaeology field school in Mongolia, and completing an independent research project on autoimmune disease. After graduation in 2020, she remained in touch with Drs. Applegate, Houle, and Hudepohl. While completing an AmeriCorps VISTA placement in public health in California, she began applying for fellowships to fund graduate study abroad. Named an alternate in the Fulbright competition last year, Hannah’s patience and persistence in re-applying was rewarded this year.
Following completion of her master’s program at VUA, Hannah hopes to work for a global nonprofit organization doing program design, implementation, or evaluation.
About the Fulbright Program: The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States 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, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments, host institutions, corporations, and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The Program operates in over 160 countries worldwide.
About the Office of Scholar Development: The Office of Scholar Development mentors students applying for national scholarships to fund “academic extras” such as study abroad, research, professional experience, and more. From first drafts to final submissions with multiple revisions in between, OSD helps students make more possible. By conceptualizing and revising the stories they tell in application essays and interviews, students better understand their strengths, interests, and purpose—and explore multiple possible pathways to that work.
Contact: Melinda Grimsley (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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