Two Georgia College graduates land 2020 Fulbright scholarships

Milledgeville, GA, May 11, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Two recent graduates—Madison Graham of Louisville, Georgia, and Amara Tennessee of Roswell, Georgia—have been named Fulbright finalists, joining three other Georgia College students to receive the prestigious scholarship in recent years.

One award constitutes the university’s first Fulbright for a music major and the other to a South American country. A third graduate from Buford, Georgia, was chosen as a Fulbright alternate.

“These students represent the best and brightest at Georgia College, mentored by our amazing faculty and staff. It’s a true testament of their excellence that they’ve been recognized as Fulbright finalists,” said Dr. Costas Spirou, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) announced it “will delay the start of several components of the 2020-2021 Fulbright U.S. Student Program until after January 1, 2021.” Revised starting dates depend on travel warnings and restrictions being reduced by then.

Georgia College’s 2020 Fulbright recipients and alternate are:

  • Music graduate Madison Graham of Louisville will do an English Teaching Assistantship in the Czech Republic. He hopes to volunteer at a Basic Art School there, which is the primary venue for art education in the Czech school system. He also plans to join a Czech performing ensemble and explore the country’s rich culture. After getting a master’s degree, Graham wants to work in arts education.
  • Amara Tennessee of Roswell has double degrees in public health and world languages. She’ll do an English Teaching Assistantship in Columbia, hosting a program on health behavior and attitudes. In the future, Tennessee hopes to work in global health, reducing the incidence of chronic disease through health education and programming.
  • Laura Swarner of Buford has double degrees in English and theatre. As an alternate, she could do an English Teaching Assistantship in Bulgaria. She’s passionate about storytelling and hopes to use it a tool for language development. Swarner also hopes to get her master’s in scenic design and work as an artist telling stories that “help shift perspectives.”

This year, Georgia College had its biggest turnout of Fulbright applications ever, 15. Nine were named semi-finalists, a record number for the university, said Anna Whiteside, assistant director of the Honors Program and coordinator of Georgia College’s National Scholarships Office.

“All of our candidates this year worked very hard on their applications for this competitive program,” Whiteside said, “and I am very excited that, once again, Georgia College students will be representing the United States in the Fulbright Program.”

Selection for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program is rigorous. They receive about 12,000 applications a year. In the U.S., about 1,900 grants are awarded annually in all fields of study in over 140 countries. More than 360,000 Fulbright recipients have participated in the program since its inception in 1946. 

In addition to the two Fulbright finalists and alternate—another recent graduate was honored with Germany’s equivalent to the Fulbright. Math and physics graduate Cain Gantt of Johns Creek, Georgia, received a German Academic Exchange Service (DADD) to pursue his graduate degree at the Universität Hamburg.

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Georgia College music graduate Madison Graham of Louisville, Georgia, received an English Teaching Assistantship to the Czech Republic. Georgia College public health and world languages graduate Amara Tennessee of Roswell, Georgia, received an English Teaching Assistantship to Columbia.