UAB sees record number of students selected for Fulbright Scholar Program

By Tiffany Westry Womack

UAB News

From left: Anthonia Carter, Charles Coleman, Emily Jennings, Brendan Rice and Brenna Nye (UAB photo)
From left: Anthonia Carter, Charles Coleman, Emily Jennings, Brendan Rice and Brenna Nye (UAB photo)

Five University of Alabama at Birmingham students have been named to an elite group that includes heads of state, CEOs and Nobel Prize winners. Fulbright United States Student Program grants have been awarded to Anthonia Carter, Charles Coleman, Emily Jennings, Brenna Nye and Brendan Rice by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

The students are among 1,900 selected in the United States who will teach English, conduct research or provide expertise abroad for the 2016-2017 academic year.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, and is designed to build relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries that are needed to solve global challenges. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement as well as a record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields.

“These students and their academic pursuits reflect UAB’s commitment to learning and dedication to improving our local and global society,” said UAB President Ray L. Watts. “Their experiences while studying, teaching and conducting research abroad will help prepare them for dynamic careers and leadership roles is their fields.”

Carter has been awarded the Fulbright Study/Research grant to pursue a master’s degree in multidisciplinary innovation at Northumbria University in the United Kingdom. Carter earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree in mathematics at UAB in 2015 before obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2016. Carter’s mixed-media drawings bridge the gap between humanities and science. She equates art to math, and by combining the fields she creates visual solutions that suggest problem-solving methods alongside personal, visual narratives that touch universal themes. Her goal is to one day open a youth-focused transdisciplinary community center.

Coleman, a senior majoring in international studies in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences, has been awarded the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program grant to Israel. Coleman’s passion for conflict resolution and teaching recently led him to Israel to study the intricacies of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and diplomacy, and human rights initiatives. As a Fulbright student, he will study at the College of Sakhnin in Northern Israel, where he will work alongside the chair of the English department. Coleman will also pursue his project “Screen-writing: Bridging the gap between American and Israeli Culture.” He is a member of the UAB Honors College Global and Community Leadership Honors Program. His goal is to create films related to conflict resolution around the world and to pursue a career with the U.S. State Department as a foreign service officer.

Jennings, a senior majoring in neuroscience in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been awarded the Fulbright Study/Research grant to the Netherlands. Jennings will pursue a Master of Neuroscience degree at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. As an undergraduate research assistant in the lab of Thomas van Groen, Ph.D., and Inga Kadish, Ph.D., she has studied Alzheimer’s disease and aging. She plans to attend medical school and pursue a career as a neurosurgeon specializing in pediatric neurology. Jennings is a member of the UAB Honors College studying a Personalized Curriculum.

Nye, a senior majoring in biology in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences, was awarded the Fulbright Study/Research grant to Estonia. While abroad, Nye will conduct genetics research at the University of Tartu. She is a member of the UAB Honors College Science and Technology Honors Program, works in the research lab of Adam Wende, Ph.D., and serves as a resident assistant and athletic tutor. Nye completed the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduates program at the University of Iowa and received Honorable Mention for the Goldwater Scholarship in 2016.

Rice, a 2012 graduate, has been awarded the Fulbright Study/Research grant to Germany. He will pursue a Master of Science degree in sustainable international agriculture at the University of Göttingen. After graduating from UAB with a Bachelor of Arts degree in international studies, Rice worked for the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization in Sierra Leone and Italy. He is living and working in Uganda with smallholder farmers to promote food security. Rice is also an alumnus of the UAB Honors College Global Community Leadership Honors program.

Hriday Bhambhvani, a senior mathematics and neuroscience major was selected as an alternate. Bhambhvani is in the UAB Honors College University Honors Program. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers fellowships for graduating college seniors, graduate students, young professionals and artists. More than 160 countries participate worldwide. Those selected spend six months to one year abroad. This year, a total of eight UAB students were named semifinalists for the program.

The UAB Office of National and International Fellowships and Scholarships assists students in preparing competitive applications for prestigious awards such as the Fulbright Scholar Program, Rhodes, Goldwater and Truman Scholarships, National Science Foundation research fellowships and many more. Contact for more information.