SMU Announces Student Fulbright Awards; Most Recipients Come from Simmons

Eight SMU students have been selected for Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards. Pablo Gonzales, Nadia Helmy, Frank Jackson, Liliana Mata, Brittany Rigg, Barrett Stout, Catherine Ticzon and Jennifer Trejo were awarded English Teaching Assistantships for the 2020-2021 academic year from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

These eight students are part of over 2,100 U.S. citizens who will study, conduct research, and teach abroad for the 2020-2021 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.  Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected in an open, merit-based competition that considers leadership potential, academic and/or professional achievement, and record of service.  As Fulbright alumni, their careers are enriched by joining a network of thousands of esteemed alumni, many of whom are leaders in their fields. Fulbright alumni include 60 Nobel Prize laureates, 88 Pulitzer Prize recipients, and 37 who have served as a head of state or government.

The largest number of recipients came from the Simmons School of Education, where many are completing Master in Education degrees. Pablo Gonzales, Nadia Helmy, Frank Jackson, Catherine Ticzon, and Jennifer Trejo were also Teach for America Corps members teaching in Dallas-Fort Worth public schools. Liliana Mata and Brittany Rigg completed both their undergraduate and graduate degrees at SMU. Barrett Stout, SMU’s only undergraduate to receive the award, double majored in History and Anthropology and interned at the Meadows Museum of Art. This cohort represents SMU’s largest and most diverse group of Fulbright awardees. They are scheduled to depart to Mexico, Spain, Colombia, Jordan, and Greece in January 2021. 

“This has been a banner year for SMU in terms of Fulbright recipients and credit is due to both our outstanding student applicants and the faculty and staff who provided them support and guidance through the rigorous application process. The international experiences made available through Fulbright awards will provide our students a life-changing opportunity to be ‘world changers,’” said Provost Elizabeth Loboa.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is administered at Southern Methodist University through the office of National Student Fellowships. “SMU has made great strides in the number of Fulbright applications, semi-finalists and awardees. I am excited to see the largest group of Fulbright awards in SMU’s history,” said Dr. Rachel Ball-Phillips, Director of National Student Fellowships and SMU’s Fulbright Program advisor.

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