Editor’s note: this story was updated to reflect that on July 5th, 2023, a final result was received for Bosnia and Herzegovina, bringing Clemson’s total number of selected Fulbright students from four to five.
Three recent Clemson graduating seniors and two alumnae have been awarded prestigious Fulbright Scholarships that facilitate cultural exchange, learning, research and service opportunities between American students and communities across the globe.
I’d like to congratulate these students and alumnae for being awarded these highly competitive scholarships and for applying themselves to transform lives beyond our borders. We’re proud of their achievements and the impact they will be making in the world.ROBERT JONES, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS AND PROVOST
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and its 140 participating countries. Recipients are selected on their academic or professional achievements and demonstrated leadership potential in fields.
During the application process, students decide the country they would like to go to and if they plan to pursue graduate study, conduct independent research or teach English through an assistantship.
Four of Clemson’s grantees were awarded English teaching assistantships. The fifth is enrolling in a graduate degree program.
Honors graduate Elizabeth Marie Chiarovano (’23) was awarded a teaching assistantship in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A political science and religious studies major, she visited the region as part of a study abroad in the Western Balkans in the summer of 2022. The group visited five countries and met with high ranking government officials, non-government organizations and students. Chiarovano’s experience in Bosnia and Herzegovina in particular left a lasting impact – and sparked an interest in working in international law and foreign policy. She also participated in several leadership roles on campus, working as a residential assistant, serving as an active member of the University’s Student Government Freshman Council and Senate, and helping to plan the 2021-2022 Women in Leadership Conference. Given the award timing, she had already accepted an invitation to attend Yale Divinity School’s Master of Arts in Religion program with a concentration in Ethics this fall.
Carter Janse (’23) is an Honors graduate who majored in computer science with a minor in Spanish studies. He received an English teaching assistantship to return to Valencia, Spain, after working as a research assistant for the Polytechnic University of Valencia last summer. While he’s there, he hopes to explore opportunities for collaboration with the university’s Automatics and Industrial Informatics Research Institute. His goal is to combine his computer science background, teaching experience and Spanish proficiency to teach basic programming skills to Valencian students, including coordinating a hackathon at the end of the year. He also plans to engage in the Valencian Language Exchange program. Janse was president of the Clemson University Spanish Club and worked as an undergraduate teaching assistant for the School of Computing before graduating in three years.
Molly Sutton (’23) majored in political science with a minor in history. She received an English Teaching Assistantship in Serbia, where she traveled for a study abroad experience this past summer. During that trip, she attended meetings with government officials in Serbia and other former Yugoslav countries and also took courses at the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Political Science. These discussions and experiences inspired Sutton’s interest in how government actions, ethnic violence and major conflicts affect civilians. While in Serbia, Sutton plans to research the lingering effects of the Yugoslav wars on the country’s people and future generations. A licensed pilot, Sutton was a member of the Flying Club on Clemson’s campus, the Balkans Foundation and Silver Wings. Sutton also served as a teaching assistant for multiple political science courses and a research assistant for an investigation into foreign government misinformation campaigns on social media.
Kendra Gordillo (’21) was an Honors student and genetics major with a philosophy minor at Clemson. Her Fulbright/Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Award will help cover cost of living expenses associated with graduate study at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She plans to enroll in two master’s degree programs – the first in philosophy, bioethics and health, and the second in research in global health. A viola player, she will also audition for the university orchestra. Gordillo was the first-ever recipient of the Distinguished Ethics Scholar Award from the Rutland Institute for Ethics in 2021 for her work to promote ethics education on campus. Since graduating, she has worked as an English language assistant in Spain and a research assistant and scientific writer for nymbly, a healthcare technology service company. She currently works for High Lantern Group as a Summer Associate, helping with projects for the Global Coalition on Aging and the AMR (Antimicrobial Resistance) Industry Alliance.
Alianna Cezzane Pearson (’22) majored in Spanish with a wildlife and fisheries biology minor. She received a teaching assistantship in Argentina, where she studied abroad as a Gilman Scholar before her experience was cut short by COVID-19 in 2020. A cheerleading and gymnastics coach, Pearson plans to apply similar principles to language training – encouraging her students to master the fundamentals, reinforce foundational skills and practice. She also hopes to use her background in Latin dance to engage her students. She currently works as a professional tutor for high school students and volunteers as a Spanish interpreter with a legal aid society, helping people facing language barriers find needed support.
The National Screening Committee recommended three additional semifinalists to their selected countries for final selection. They are Gracie Boyce (Economics, ’23), Micah Jordan (Bioengineering, ’23), and Patrick Macalintal (Nursing, ’22).
Students interested in the Fulbright US Student Program or other nationally competitive programs should contact the Office of Major Fellowships at 864-656-9704 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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