Five Tigers receive Fulbright Awards

Maya Ganapathy, Caitlin Kelleher, Roselena Kristine Rodriguez, Amber Spriggs and Olivia Watson
Maya Ganapathy, Caitlin Kelleher, Roselena Kristine Rodriguez, Amber Spriggs and Olivia Watson

May 9, 2023

University of Missouri students studying topics including civil engineering, communication, elementary education and veterinary public health recently earned Fulbright scholarships.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is a prestigious program that provides funding for recent graduates, graduate students and young professionals to undertake research, study or teaching abroad. The program aims to promote cross-cultural exchange and mutual understanding between the U.S. and other countries.

To be eligible for the program, applicants must be U.S. citizens and hold a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent before the start of the grant. Applicants should also have proficiency in the language of the host country, where applicable. The application process is highly competitive and involves several stages, including submitting a project proposal, obtaining letters of recommendation and undergoing an interview.

Here are Mizzou’s 2023 Fulbright recipients.

Maya Ganapathy

Degree program: Master of Public Health in veterinary public health
Hometown: Portage, Michigan
Destination: Lombok, Indonesia (for fieldwork) and Bali, Indonesia (for sample analysis)

“I’m excited to go to Indonesia because it’s an opportunity to work towards public health and conservation initiatives. My project is to collect landing data and analyze heavy metal bioaccumulation in sharks and rays. I also plan to interview local fishermen and help implement a WASH initiative in the local school, so I’m also looking forward to integrating myself into the community. I’m also excited to go scuba diving and experience the reefs for myself.”

Caitlin Kelleher 

Degree program: Interdisciplinary studies
Hometown: Mount Laurel, New Jersey 
Destination: Mexico 

“I am eager to learn all about Mexican culture, teach university students and continue improving my Spanish skills!”

Roselena Kristine Rodriguez

Degree program: Elementary education (pursuing the MU Honors certificate)
Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri
Destination: Albania

“I’m extremely excited to be part of the first English-teaching Fulbright group in Albania. I’m looking forward to discovering more about their culture, taking part in traditions and exploring the beautiful country.”

Amber Spriggs

Degree program: Masters in civil engineering (water resources emphasis)
Hometown: Cleveland
Destination: Delft, Netherlands

“The Netherlands has a rich history of hydraulic engineering innovation, so I’m very excited to learn from their example in nature-based, sustainable flood management. I am also a huge fan of riding my bike, so I can’t wait to join the Dutch in their culture and bike everywhere while checking out all of their bike-friendly transportation infrastructure!”

Olivia Watson

Degree program: Doctoral candidate in communication studies
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Destination: Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg

“I am excited to complete my dissertation about family communication and resilience in families living in Luxembourg. Luxembourg is a highly diverse country, with 48% of the population being foreign-born. Therefore, it offers a unique context to study how resilience is conceptualized, storied and transmitted among family members of different cultures and through different languages, yet within the same geographic location.”

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