Six Mizzou Students Earn Fulbright

MU adds to Fulbright success with six awardees along with one alternate

For the second-consecutive year, six University of Missouri students have been awarded the U.S. State Department’s Fulbright Scholarship for 2012-13, which will allow them to study, teach and conduct research in a variety of regions around the world.

The Fulbright program, which was created to increase mutual understanding among nations through cultural exchange and education, provides recent graduates with opportunities for personal and professional development as well as international experience through research and study abroad.

Students applying for a Fulbright Scholarship have two paths they can pursue. Four students from Missouri earned full research grants, in which students design their own project and work with professionals in that field within the host country to execute the proposed research.

“I feel incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to be part of such a dedicated community of scholars and incredibly grateful to my mentors at Mizzou and to everyone who has helped make this happen,” said Krysta Brown, who will study new media in Germany.

Brown, a native of West Plains, Mo., graduated in May with a degree in journalism and German.

Derek Frankhouser is another recent MU graduate who will travel to Germany. He graduated in December 2011 with a fine arts degree with an emphasis in drawing and printmaking. He also earned minors in art history and archaeology.

“As an artist responding to the influence of German culture on visual art and mechanical reproduction, I am grateful to be an extension of a program that strengthens global relationships and individual scholarship,” said Frankhouser, who will study printmaking and animation during his time in Germany.

Sheela Lal will study film in Sri Lanka. She graduated in May with a degree in statistics and international studies.

“I was shocked when I got the phone call offering me the grant,” said Lal, who is an alumna of Rock Bridge High School in Columbia, Mo. “I couldn’t believe that out of everyone who applied, both the U.S. Department of Science and the Sri Lanka Fulbright Commission felt my research proposal was prestigious. I’m very excited for this opportunity.”

Sarah Hirner earned her chemistry degree from Mizzou and was selected for a Fulbright award to travel to South Africa. However, Hirner has declined the grant and will instead pursue graduate studies in geology at the University of Colorado.

Another option of the program is to apply for an English Teaching Assistantship (ETA), in which students teach English at elementary or secondary schools or universities abroad. Teaching assistants, together with the principal teachers, conduct all or part of a class, typically for conversation practice. The assignment may vary, depending on a school’s needs and the assistant’s abilities.

“My ambition was to combine my love for and skill in teaching children with my life-long passion for French culture,” said Jaclyn Malke, a recipient of the France Government Teaching Assistantship, “It is with great pleasure that I look forward to this wonderful opportunity to teach English in France.”

Malke is from St. Louis and majored in elementary education and French at MU.

Paul Flo, who graduated from Missouri in May of 2010 with a degree in psychology, has earned an ETA in Malaysia. Allison Repking, who graduated in May, was selected as an alternate for an ETA to travel to Croatia.

“The Fulbright is a highly-competitive scholarship,” said Tim Parshall, director of the MU Fellowships Office. “Just applying for the scholarship is deserving of recognition because of the time and work each student must put into the process.

Mizzou had 10 finalists for Fulbright Awards this year.

“For those who are selected, it is a wonderful opportunity to travel to different parts of the world and interact with people from other cultures,” Parshall added.

The support from the Fellowships Office, along with faculty mentors across campus, has been vital as Mizzou continues to see significant gains in its Fulbright recipients. In recent years, the number of applicants and award honorees has continued to grow.

“This is truly a chance of a lifetime.” Brown said.

Frankhouser echoed Brown’s thoughts. “I do not accept this opportunity lightly,” he added.

The Fulbright program, created in 1946, is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government.