UA Students Receive U.S. Fulbright Program Awards for 2022-2023

From UA News | May 18th, 2022

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The Fulbright Program has selected 18 University of Alabama students for various awards for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Five UA students received Fulbright Student Research Awards and 10 won Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Awards. In addition, three students won Fulbright Summer Study Awards to Canada.

“The Fulbright Program offers extraordinary opportunities for our students to deepen and expand the global learning experiences that they have on campus or through study abroad after they graduate,” said Dr. Teresa Wise, associate provost of international education and global outreach. “Our students’ time researching or teaching during their Fulbright year abroad has lasting impacts on their personal and professional lives.

“The cross-cultural dialogue and daily experiences that they share with the people of their host country help to build a better and a more peaceful world for us all. 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 has received national recognition as a Top Producing Institution for Fulbright U.S. Students five times in recent years.

“Our Fulbright team is proud to introduce each of these honorees to the public,” said Dr. Beverly Hawk, director of global and community engagement at the Center for Community-Based Partnerships. “Their Fulbright Awards are opportunities for them to share their U.S. culture and build ties with the people in their host communities.”

Fulbright Student Research Award recipients:

  • Mathew Cieśla, of Northport, received a Fulbright Award in cognitive science to research “Early Neural Correlates of Adult Second Language Learning” at the University of Warsaw in Poland. He is a 2022 graduate with an interdisciplinary degree in psycholinguistics and foreign languages with studies in German and Polish.
  • Andrew Deaton, of Auburn, Georgia, received a Fulbright Award to research “The Czech Hussite Wars and the Rise of Modernity” at the Centre for Medieval Studies in Prague and the Dissident Networks Project at Masaryk University, Brno, in the Czech Republic. A doctoral candidate in history at UA, he is a Blount Scholars Fellow and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree from UA.
  • Ihuoma Ezebuihe, of Washington, D.C., received a Fulbright Award to research “Translation and Validation of the Michigan Diabetes Knowledge Test (MDKT) in Nigeria” at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, College of Medicine. She is a third-year doctoral student in nursing science in UA’s Capstone College of Nursing. She holds a master’s degree in public health, master’s degree in community health and clinical doctorates in medicine and nursing practice.
  • Tegan Murrell, of Western Springs, Illinois, received a Fulbright Award to the University of Oslo, Norway, to study how trauma has passed across the generations among immigrants. A 2021 UA summa cum laude graduate in mathematics with a minor in creative writing, she holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
  • Samuel Watson, of Hazel Green, received a Fulbright Award to pursue a Master of Arts degree in Korean Studies at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea. A 2022 Honors College graduate in computer science with a minor in Korean language, he now holds the distinction of winning four highly competitive national awards: the Gilman Scholarship Award, Boren Scholarship Award, Critical Language Scholarship Award and Fulbright Award during his undergraduate years.

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:

  • Judson Braly, of Fairhope, a 2022 graduate in history with a minor in civic engagement, came to UA on an Army ROTC Three-Year (Active Duty) National Scholarship and will be commissioned as an Army aviation officer. He will teach English in Kenya.
  • Nicholas Hayes, of Long Valley, New Jersey, a 2022 summa cum laude Honors College graduate with a bachelor’s degree in German with a minor in interdisciplinary linguistics and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with minors in psychology and physics, Phi Beta Kappa member, has been selected to teach in Germany. Hayes is also one of 32 Americans this year to receive a Rhodes Scholarship for study at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. He is the 16th Rhodes Scholar in UA history.
  • Sarah Homoky, of Kingsport, Texas, is a 2021 graduate in anthropology, biology and German, an Honors College Randall Research Scholar, and member of Delta Phi Alpha German Honor Society and Lambda Alpha Anthropology Honor Society. She will teach in Germany.
  • Lauren L’Etang, of Northport, is a 2019 summa cum laude Honors College graduate in Spanish and international studies with a minor in music. A Phi Beta Kappa member, she will teach in Mexico.
  • John “Jack” Lombardo, of Schenectady, New York, was selected to teach in Germany. A secondary education and German major and member of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Society, he plans to pursue a career in education.
  • Marie Neubrander, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science with a minor in economics. A summa cum laude UA Honors College graduate, Randall Research Scholar and member of The XXXI, she will teach in Taiwan.
  • Wesley Clay Richmond, of Cypress, Texas, a 2021 summa cum laude graduate in history with a minor in German, will teach English in Germany.
  • Channler Dakota Smith, of Town Creek, a 2022 graduate in electrical engineering with a minor in math, will teach in Taiwan.
  • Bryan Winkler, of York, Pennsylvania, earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish with a minor in global and cultural perspectives, summa cum laude, as well as a master’s degree in romance languages and a specialty in Spanish literature. He was recognized by UA with the Distinguished Undergraduate Scholar Award and George Griffen Brownell Sr. Award for excellence in Spanish. He will teach in Spain.
  • Leona Yeager, of Northport, is an Honors College graduate and member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. A member of New College, she holds bachelor’s degrees in international studies and interdisciplinary studies, summa cum laude, with a focus on international relations in Asia and interdisciplinary health sciences. She will teach in Mongolia.

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 Makenna Berry (Israel), Castiel Lisko (Romania), Marco Pflanzen (Colombia) and Declan Smith(Ireland).

Three UA students were awarded Fulbright Canada – MITACS Globalink Internships for summer 2022. The Fulbright-MITACS Globalink is intended for U.S. students to undertake advanced research projects in Canada.

Fulbright Award to Canada recipients:

  • Abigail Foes, of Rockford, Illinois, majoring in mathematics and chemistry with a minor in global health and the Randall Research Scholars Program and member of the UA Honors College, will be contributing to research in Quebec, Canada, titled “Monitoring exposure to food toxins using mass spectrometry.”
  • Abbie Giunta, of Onalaska, Wisconsin, majoring in French and biology with a minor in the Randall Research Scholars Program and member of the Honors College, will be contributing to research in New Brunswick, Canada, titled “Les instruments territoriaux en contexte de gouvernance locale / Territorial policy instruments in local governance context.”
  • Anna Kate Manchester, of Brentwood, Tennessee, majoring in history and political science with a minor in the Randall Research Scholars Program and member of the Honors College, will be contributing to research in Ontario, Canada, titled “Meaningful Stakeholder Engagement in Resource-Rich Communities: A Study of Global South and High North Cases.”

UA Fulbright advisers Megan Legerski, Dr. Matthew Feminella, Dr. Beverly Hawk and Dr. Lucy Kaufman aided students through the applications process for success in the national Fulbright competition.

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


Diane Kennedy-Jackson, UA Division of Community Affairs,, 205-348-4480

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.