Students headed around the world on Fulbrights

This year’s Fulbright Student Award winners (left to right) Rob Musci, Leigha Bohn, Moriah Kent and Karen Holcomb. Not shown: Kathrine Yunker.

Four Colorado State students will be spending next year researching and teaching in countries from Argentina to Italy on Fulbright U.S. Student Awards.

Leigha Bohn and Moriah Kent have been awarded Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship grants, while Rob Mucsi and Kathrine Yunker received Fulbrights to conduct research abroad for the 2015-16 academic year. Karen Holcomb was named an alternate to study at the University of Nottingham in England.

Bohn, who will graduate in May with a bachelor’s in anthropology, will spend eight months in Argentina helping train English teachers in a rural province. She became interested in the Fulbright ETA program while volunteering as an English tutor during her semester abroad in Buenos Aires.

Kent, a graduate student in the TEFL/TESL program, will spend 10 months teaching English at a Bulgarian secondary school. She chose to apply to Bulgaria because she wanted to gain experience in the European educational system and has long admired art and culture of the Balkan region.

Musci, who is pursing his master’s in health and exercise science, will spend 10 months conducting research with Dr. Stefania Maggi at the University of Padova in Venice, Italy. His project involves comparing the physical activity of older adults in Venice and neighboring Mestre, measuring levels of disability and leg strength. He chose those cities because while there are no motorized transport options in Venice other than water taxis, people can get around Mestre in both public buses and private cars.

Yunker, who received her bachelor’s in biomedical sciences as a University Honors student in December, has been accepted to study the public health problems of tainted milk in Kenya.

All the Fulbright awardees will be recognized at a reception in the Lory Student Center on April 29. Previous recipients and faculty Fulbright winners will be in attendance, as well as students and faculty from other countries who are studying at CSU on Fulbrights.

Cultural ambasadors


The Fulbright ETA program is an initiative that places grantees in English classrooms around the world where they serve as teaching assistants and cultural ambassadors for the United States.

“Studying abroad showed me how much there is to learn about the world,” Bohn said. “My time in Buenos Aires was just a stepping stone for gaining an understanding of Argentine culture.”

Upon her return, Bohn hopes to work with immigrants from Latin American countries.

Kent is ecstatic to have been selected for the Fulbright Program, she said.

“The Fulbright will allow me the opportunity to engage in the creation of a global community and act as an ambassador for the U.S. abroad, a step that is necessary for building a world culture of friendship, exchange and understanding,” she said.

Kent has a history of promoting positive global relations, prior to coming to CSU, she taught English to middle-school students in Japan as part of the Japan Exchange & Teaching (JET) program and volunteered as a relief aide/English tutor for Sri Lankan children displaced by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.

In addition to their experiences abroad, both Bohn and Kent have worked with English language learners through INTO CSU. Bohn has volunteered as a conversation partner and English tutor and Kent has taught English classes.

Nancy Berry, the director of Director of Pathway and English Language Programs, said she is thrilled that Leigha and Moriah have been selected for such a prestigious award.

“On behalf of INTO CSU, I offer them both my heartiest congratulations,” she said. “I strongly encourage any students interested in teaching English abroad to consider applying for the Fulbright ETA program.”

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program of the United States, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Recipients represent the U.S. as a cultural ambassador while overseas, helping to enhance mutual understanding between Americans and the people in their host country. More than 100,000 Fulbright U.S. Student Program alumni undertaken grants since the program began in 1948.

Melinda Clarke, who will receive her Ph.D. in Ecology in May, has been in Indonesia on a Fulbright for the 2014-15 academic year, investigating the impact of humans on resources and resources on humans. Her work has been to examine the relationships between human health and ecosystem health in and around the rapidly areas the impact the rainforest.

Graduating seniors and graduate students interested in applying for a Fulbright student award should contact Nancy Berry or Mary Swanson in TILT.