Category: International Main

UA selected to receive the IIE American Passport Project Grant


The University of Alabama (UA) has been selected by the Institute of International Education (IIE) to receive an IIE American Passport Project grant that will enable up to 25 UA students to obtain a U.S. passport and support their study abroad journeys. In this third year of the program, IIE awarded 48 institutions in the IIENetwork for this opportunity, which will help up to 1,200 Pell-eligible, U.S. students obtain their U.S. passports and start their study abroad journey. “A passport is the first thing that opens up their world to the possibility of study abroad,” said Courtney Temple, IIE Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer

As a key initiative under IIE’s newly launched Center for Access and Equity, the IIE American Passport Project represents IIE’s commitment to create access to international education opportunities and enable equity. For this program, IIE is removing an initial financial barrier for many – the cost of a U.S. passport; thereby, helping to increase diversity and inclusion of students studying abroad. Through the IIE American Passport Project, IIE aims to empower 10,000 U.S. students with their passports by the end of this decade.

In addition, the grant is intended to support the IIENetwork, IIE’s global membership association, in assisting students from their respective campuses to go abroad who would otherwise not participate in an international experience as part of their college education. The program prioritizes first-year students, with limited financial means, for whom this may be their first passport and makes global learning abroad a greater possibility with an earlier start. The awarded institutions will couple the grant funding with their engagement and outreach, advising, programming, and additional support for the students they have identified for this program.

The IIE Passport Project will be managed by Capstone International Center, Education Abroad (EA) office. EA will launch applications for free passports on their website ( at the start of the Fall semester!

UA Students Receive U.S. Fulbright Program Awards for 2023-2024

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The Fulbright Program has selected 13 University of Alabama students for various awards for the 2023-2024 academic year.

“UA’s 2023-24 Fulbright winners will venture out and have adventures in seven different countries on multiple continents,” said Dr. Teresa Wise, associate provost of international education and global outreach. “As they research, work, teach, learn and play across countries, cultures, perspectives and languages, we wish them the very best. We know that they will build on their UA experiences to help advance the Fulbright mission of promoting mutual understanding among all peoples of the world and that they will grow both personally and professionally. Congratulations to all our winners and alternates.”

Fulbright is the most prestigious United States international exchange program, offering opportunities for students, scholars and professionals. The Fulbright Award of the U.S. Department of State offers one-year grants for independent study and research, and for English teaching assistantships overseas. The highly competitive program selects approximately 1,500 award recipients from more than 11,000 applicants each year.

UA was recognized as a Top Producing Institution for Fulbright U.S. Student Awards for the sixth time in eight years in February.

Fulbright Student Research Award recipient:

Caleb Ranum, of Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho, received a Fulbright award to research “People and Plants of the Early Iron Age in the Middle Danube Region” at Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Slovakia. He is a second-year doctoral student in the department of anthropology, focusing on archaeology. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Pacific Lutheran University and master’s degree from UA.

Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Awards offer U.S. students the opportunity to serve in an English classroom overseas, assisting the teacher and exchanging culture with the people of the host country.

Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award recipients:

Jacob Camden, of Lafayette, Louisiana, will serve as an English teaching assistant in Germany. He is a major in philosophy, English and Spanish, with minors in German and world literature and liberal arts through the Blount Scholars Program. He is a resident of UA’s German House and 2023 recipient of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award.

Katherine Dansereau, of Knoxville, Tennessee, is a 2023 Honors College summa cum laude graduate in public health education and promotion with a minor in the Blount Scholars Program, as well as a master’s in health education promotion. They are a member of Mortar Board, the Carl A. Elliott Society and Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society and was selected to teach English in Cambodia.

Rose Doskey, of Marrero, Louisiana, is a 2023 Honors College graduate and member of Eta Sigma Phi Classics Honor Society and Delta Phi Alpha German Honor Society. As a member of New College, they hold a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a depth study in language, culture and society with a minor in theatre. They will teach in Germany.

Austin Gregory, of Muscle Shoals, was an alternative masters in elementary education student before deciding to pursue law. He has been accepted and plans to attend the UA School of Law in fall 2024. Gregory was a 2021 summa cum laude graduate from the University of North Alabama where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in communication studies. He will teach in Taiwan.

Emma Kenny, of Montgomery, graduated summa cum laude with her bachelor’s degree in political science and history with a legal history concentration in May. She is a member of the Blackburn Institute, Andrew Goodman Foundation’s UA Vote Everywhere, Anderson Society and The XXXI. She will teach in Kosovo.

Madelyn Kloske, of Huntsville, earned her master’s degree in applied linguistics/teaching English as a second language in 2023 and is a former student-athlete on the women’s rowing team. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida. She was selected to teach English in Spain.

Vanessa Lent, of Green Bay, Wisconsin, is a graduate student in Spanish literature and graduate teaching assistant in the 100-200 level of Spanish. A 2022 summa cum laude UA Honors College graduate, she earned her bachelor’s degree in biology with minors in Spanish and Blount Scholars liberal arts. She will serve as the graduate teaching assistant for UA’s study abroad program in Colombia this summer. She will teach English in Costa Rica in the fall.

John “Jack” Lombardo, of Niskayuna, New York, is a secondary education and German major, and member of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Society. He plans to pursue a career in education. He was selected to teach English in Germany.

Austin Lynch, of Carmel, Indiana, is a 2023 graduate in German and mechanical engineering. He hopes to begin a career in the energy industry from his Fulbright appointment. He will teach English in Germany.

Claire Maurer, of Redmond, Washington, is a 2023 summa cum laude Honors College graduate in psychology with minors in anthropology and criminal justice. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa honor society. She was selected to teach English in the Slovak Republic.

Marie Moore, of New Lenox, Illinois, is a 2023 Honors College summa cum laude graduate in secondary education and Spanish. She was a member of Mortar Board and the Carl A. Elliott Society. She was selected to teach English in Spain.

Riley VanMeter, of Holland, Michigan, is a 2023 summa cum laude graduate with bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and international studies with a minor in Italian language and literature, as well as a master’s degree in romance linguistics. He is a recipient of the Spanish program’s award for outstanding teaching by a graduate student and student-athlete on the men’s swim team. He was selected to teach English in Spain.

Additionally, four students were awarded alternate status in this year’s national competition and may have the opportunity to serve abroad if more funding becomes available or if a finalist is unable to participate. They are Sydney Del Rosario (Spain), Christine Thompson (Belgium), Lydia Fantoni (Bulgaria) and Colleen Rhein (South Korea).

Students with an interest in applying for next year’s Fulbright program can learn more at and, or email

United Way of West Alabama Day of Action

Last Friday, three groups of volunteers showed up to help the United Way of West Alabama give back to the community! This year, we built raised gardens at Flatwoods Elementary, spruced up the exterior of Hospice of West Alabama and prepped Myrtlewood Elementary’ s cafeteria for a summer renovation project!


Five UA Faculty Receive Fulbright Awards

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Five University of Alabama faculty members have received Fulbright awards for educators to teach and research around the globe.

Dr. Deepa Das Acevedo, associate professor of law, received a Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowship and will travel to Bengaluru, India, where she will be a visiting faculty member at the National Law School of India University. She will teach and conduct fieldwork starting in January 2024.

Dr. Ellen Csikai, professor of social work, received a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award and will travel to Murcia, Spain, to teach and conduct research at the Universidad de Murcia. She will teach in the areas of health and gerontology, specifically in palliative and end-of-life care in courses at all social work program levels, post-masters training, across campus and the community. Her research is expected to have implications for social work and gerontological practice as well as in policy advocacy to improve the lives of caregivers of seriously ill older adults in both the U.S. and Spain.

Dr. Prasad Gogineni, professor of electrical and computer engineering, received a Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship Award and will travel to Kanpur, India, where he will conduct research to design and develop airborne sensors for large-scale characterization of snow and ice in the Himalayas in collaboration with faculty and students at the Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur. The project will also involve collaboration with the Indian National Center for Polar and Oceans Research. Gogineni will travel to India in August.

Dr. Bryan Koronkiewicz, associate professor of Spanish linguistics, received a Fulbright Scholar Award and will travel to Murcia, Spain, to teach and research linguistics at the Universidad de Murcia. He will teach two graduate courses and assist with supervising graduate students on the use of linguistic methods in their research projects. His proposed research project is an experimental study on intra-sentential Spanish-English code-switching, the linguistic phenomenon that occurs when bilinguals mix elements from both of their languages in the same utterance.

Dr. Eric Weisbard, professor of American studies, received the Fulbright-Uppsala University Distinguished Scholar in American Studies and will travel to Uppsala, Sweden, where he will teach and research at Uppsala University. His courses will introduce Swedish undergraduates and graduate students to American studies as a field and to popular music studies as a part of American studies.

The UA Capstone International Center offers guidance to students and faculty on a variety of prestigious international awards including Fulbright Awards. The Capstone International Center website provides information for faculty members to learn about Fulbright awards as well as students interested in Fulbright and other awards.

Contact: Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications,, 205-348-8325

Dr. Deepa Das Acevedo
Dr. Ellen Csikai
Dr. Prasad Gogineni
Dr. Bryan Koronkiewicz
Dr. Eric Weisbard


UA Alum Caroline Yuk Named 2023 Luce Scholar

From Honors College News | April 17th, 2023

Caroline Yuk (B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies, UA’21) has been named a 2023 Luce Scholar. Established in 1974, the Luce Scholars Program offers early-career leaders year-long immersive, professional experiences in Asia, providing stipends, language training, and individualized professional placements. Mary Caroline Yuk recently graduated from The University of Alabama as the Catherine J. Randall awardee, which recognizes the single top scholar based on academic record and scholarly endeavor. She has established interests in hearing healthcare disparities and gerontology, as well as neurobiology and biochemistry. Her work with Dr. Marcia Hay-McCutcheon on a rural mobile audiology clinic, Hear Here Alabama, inspired the first children’s hearing education program in Alabama and secured grants for further accessibility efforts, including a $2.1 million grant to fund community health workers and a hearing aid delivery program. At University of Alabama, Caroline conducted research with Dr. Rebecca Allen into the effectiveness of art therapy on Alzheimer’s Disease and analyzed a hearing screen tool to assess mild cognitive impairment in a geriatric population, and rural and urban healthcare differences. She also conducted biochemistry research into antibiotic resistance in Dr. Jack Dunkle’s Lab. Afterwards, Caroline conducted neuroscience research at University of Michigan’s Kresge Hearing Research Institute in Dr. Gabriel Corfas‘ lab, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Dr. Yuri Agrawal’s lab, and Harvard Medical School in Dr. Lisa Goodrich’s Lab. As the first deaf Marshall Scholar and University of Alabama’s first in over 40 years, Caroline has received the MSc in Neuroscience from University of Oxford, where she worked on research relating functional connectivity and heart rate variability with Dr. Miriam Klein-Flugge, as well as corticofugal projections’ role in spatial hearing with Dr. Victoria Bajo, Dr. Fernando Nodal, and Dr. Andy King. She is currently working with Dr. Sarah Hogan to analyze and create a profile of deaf children’s sensory integration difficulties at Auditory Verbal UK, a charity that provides subsidized language training for deaf babies from low-income families. She is now pursuing a second MSc in Medical Anthropology at University of Oxford and plans to focus on deaf populations’ access and perspective on medicine. 

ELI Welcomes Fulbright Students

This spring and summer the English Language Institute (ELI) is hosting 14 Fulbright Long-Term English students. These scholars study 20 hours of intensive English per week, as well as learn about US society and graduate school culture through seminars and courses.

The scholars will continue studying at the The University of Alabama’s ELI program through August. Many of the scholars will then join graduate programs in the United States.

The scholars represent 12 countries: Angola, Argentina, Bahrain, Burma, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Panama, and South Korea. The ELI is pleased to partner with Fulbright to host and support these students.

ELI Students Join Tuscaloosa’s Sakura Festival

ELI Students Performing at Sakura Festival

Japanese students from the English Language Institute (ELI) at The University of Alabama joined the Tuscaloosa Sister Cities 37th annual Sakura (Cherry Blossom) Festival this spring.

The students led activities highlighting Japanese culture, such as writing names in Japanese, origami demonstrations, traditional dancing, and “fishing” for toys with children.

The ELI students from Japan enjoyed the festivities and said that they enjoyed interacting with the children most of all.

The Sakura Festival is held in Tuscaloosa each year to celebrate the return of spring and Japanese culture.

ELI Students at Sakura Festival

ELI Students at Sakura Festival

ELI Students Performing at Sakura Festival

ELI Students Performing at Sakura Festival

Turkey Earthquake Relief

In the aftermath of the Turkey-Syria earthquake, the UA Turkish Student Association and several departments on campus, have put together an event to raise awareness and support for the victims. The event will look at the current conditions in Turkey as well as discuss how we can support community members who have been affected. The students have also compiled a list of organizations taking donations in order to provide relief directly to Turkey.

Invited speakers include Dr. Mesut Yavuz, Associate Professor of Operations Management, Dr. Ibrahim Cemen, Professor of Geology, M. Zeki Gungordu, Turkish Language Trainer, Critical Languages Center, and Dr. Noor Chazal Aswad, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Studies. Dr. Waleed Hazbun, Political Science, and Dr. Cheryl Toman, Modern Languages and Classics, will be moderating.

The event HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED TO Tuesday, February 28, 2023 at 6:00 pm in the Yellowhammer Room of Gorgas Library.

Organized by: The Chambers Professorship in Middle Eastern Studies; The Departments of Political Science, Modern Languages & Classics, Geological Sciences, and Communication Studies; Office of Global and Community Engagement; The Turkish Student Association; Capstone International Center; The Aronov Chair for Judaic Studies; Department of Political Science.

Click here to see the official event page.

The Turkish Students Association supports the Bridge To Türkiye “Türkiye Earthquake Relief Fund.” You can donate at:

For additional recommendations for sending aid to Turkey and Syria, see:

Unable to attend the event? Scan the QR code or click the image below for links to donate.

UA Named a Student Fulbright Top Producer

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama has been recognized as a Top Producing Institution for Fulbright U.S. Student Awards for the sixth time in eight years. 

Fifteen UA students received Fulbright Award offers in the 2022-2023 cohort.

“The University of Alabama is proud to be honored as a Fulbright Top Producer yet again, a designation that speaks to the ambition and aptitude of our students and the caliber of our faculty,” said UA President Stuart R. Bell. “We’re grateful for the influence of the Capstone International Center and the leadership of Dr. Teresa Wise and her staff in preparing the next generation of global leaders.”

Fulbright is the most prestigious United States international exchange program, offering opportunities for students, scholars and professionals. The Fulbright Award of the U.S. Department of State offers one-year grants for independent study and research, and for English teaching assistantships overseas. The highly competitive program selects approximately 1,500 award recipients from more than 11,000 applicants each year.

“Our recognition as a Fulbright Top Producer for student programs is an honor for both UA and for our students,” said Dr. Teresa Wise, associate provost of international education and global outreach. “UA is educating top-quality students who develop both the passion and the skills to transform and impact communities in the U.S. and around the world. As they embark on the unique Fulbright opportunity to teach, learn, research, and grow both personally and professionally, we are enormously proud of each of them.”

The UA students who received Fulbright Award offers in this year’s national competition are: Judson Braly (Kenya), Mathew Cieśla (Poland), Andrew Deaton (Czech Republic), Ihuoma Ezebuihe (Nigeria), Nicholas Hayes (Germany), Sarah Homoky (Germany), Lauren L’Etang (Mexico), John “Jack” Lombardo (Germany), Tegan Murrell (Norway), Marie Neubrander (Taiwan), Wesley Clay Richmond (Germany), Channler Dakota Smith (Taiwan), Samuel Watson (South Korea), Bryan Winkler (Spain) and Leona Yeager (Mongolia).

In addition, Abigail Foes, Abbie Giunta and Anna Kate Manchester were awarded Fulbright Canada – MITACS Globalink Internships for summer 2022. The Fulbright-MITACS Globalink supports U.S. students who undertake advanced research projects in Canada.

Students with an interest in applying for next year’s Fulbright program can learn more at and UA Fulbright advisers Paige Booth, Dr. Matthew Feminella, Dr. Lucy Kaufman and Megan Legerski, can be reached at

Contact: Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications,, 205-348-8325