CSU students receive Fulbright honors

Hannah Hurlbut and Dave Atkins have received grants from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Two Colorado State University students have been recognized by the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

Hannah Hurlbut, a recent graduate of the College of Liberal Arts, and Dave Atkins, a recent graduate student in the Warner College of Natural Resources, have received grants from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Hurlbut and Atkins are among the more than 2,100 U.S. students selected by the Fulbright U.S. Student Program to study, conduct research or teach abroad.

“We are very proud of Hannah and Dave,” said CSU President Joyce McConnell. “The Fulbright is exciting because it offers exceptional students the opportunity to challenge themselves.  It is also a richly deserved recognition of Hannah and Dave’s hard work, passion for learning, and incredible potential.”

Mary Witlacil, a Ph.D. student in the College of Liberal Arts, and Joanna Luna, a recent graduate from the College of Health and Human Sciences, have been named Fulbright alternates who can be promoted if additional funding becomes available.

Hannah Hurlbut

Hannah Hurlbut
Hannah Hurlbut

Hurlbut, who double-majored in international studies and communications studies, received her Fulbright to pursue a master’s degree in international communication studies from Taiwan’s National Chengchi University.

As a member of CSU’s Honors Program, Hurlbut wrote her thesis on feminism identities in Chinese and American college students using podcast.

“I’ve always been interested in gender equality and women’s rights, specifically in Asia given my own background,” she said.

Hurlbut, who was born in mainland China, was adopted by a U.S. family at the age of 2 and raised in Colorado. She said attending CSU has kept her close to her roots while opening her eyes to different perspectives and world views.

“This is a time to be grateful in this time of uncertainty,” said Hurlbut who wants to work at the United Nations focusing on global communications. “This also has been a time for me to take a step back and see how far I’ve come and how unexpected opportunities in life can come your way.”

Dave Atkins

Dave Atkins
Dave Atkins

Atkins, who recently earned a master’s degree in forest science, received a grant to complete an independent study in Portugal examining pine wilt disease, an invasive forest pathogen caused by the insect-borne pinewood nematode.

Atkins, who studied the disease extensively at CSU, will attend the National Institute of Agrarian and Veterinary Sciences in Lisbon.

“I’m a big proponent of diversity inclusion and cultural enrichment so being part of the Fulbright program is a huge honor,” he said. “I’m really excited to go over there and see how another culture operates. I’m looking forward to training with the next generation of scientists.”

Atkins, who would like to conduct research and teach at a university, said CSU has played an important role in his career path, especially the mentorship and guidance of his advisers.

“Everybody has been incredibly supportive,” said Atkins, who was recently accepted into a Ph.D. program. “I encourage others to pursue these (Fulbright) opportunities because the more international collaboration we have, the better off we’ll be in the future.”

Fulbright U.S. Student Program

Since its inception, more than 390,000 people have participated in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, with approximately 8,000 grants annually awarded. CSU has had 16 participants since 2015.

According to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, the program team is closely monitoring the progression of COVID-19, taking all necessary steps to protect the health and well-being of grantees and staff.

Its website stated: “As this is an emerging situation, circumstances may change as additional information becomes available. As of today, selection notifications for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program are moving forward in preparation for the 2020-2021 academic year.”

Graduating CSU seniors, alumni and graduate students interested in applying for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program should contact Mary Swanson at mary.swanson@colostate.edu.