By Darla Shelden, City Sentinel Reporter —
STILLWATER, OK — Two Oklahoma State University students have received Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards for the 2021-2022 academic year. The award is presented by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.
Kayla Dunn and Jason Wolfe are the OSU recipients. Dunn will teach English in La Rioja, Spain, while Wolfe will study at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, Hungary.
“Kayla and Jason are outstanding additions to Oklahoma State’s long list of Fulbright Award winners,” said OSU President Burns Hargis. “OSU is committed to providing students an educational experience that prepares them to make an impact anywhere in the world. The Fulbright award is the ultimate recognition of that pursuit.”
Dunn and Wolfe are among more than 2,100 U.S. citizens who will study, conduct research and teach abroad for the 2021-2022 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. They are 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 heads of state or government. The first OSU student to win a Fulbright was in 1950, and 48 OSU students since have been awarded a Fulbright award to study in 28 different countries.
Dunn, an Honors College multimedia journalism and Spanish major from Stillwater, Oklahoma, said she hopes her work as an English teaching assistant will help her learn about Spanish culture, improve her facility in the language and create lasting relationships.
A recipient of the Bailey Family Memorial Scholarship, Dunn is currently studying abroad in Spain. Previously at OSU, she served as editor in chief for the O’Colly and a senator for the Student Government Association. In summer 2019, she interned for NBC News in Arizona, covering conflicts on the Arizona/Mexico border.
“I’ve volunteered with children seeking asylum, written for local publications, served in student government, and studied language,” Dunn said. “The Fulbright feels like the epitome of these passions. It requires people to leave their comfort zones, immerse in a foreign culture, share language, work in education and forge mutual understanding.”
Wolfe is a music performance major in the Greenwood School of Music from Woodlands, Texas.
“I have always wanted to travel the world and perform music at the same time,” Wolfe said. “I actually heard about the program through a current Fulbrighter and friend at OSU, Noah Mennenga.
Mennenga received a Fulbright to study in Switzerland in 2019.
Wolfe is the second student in the Greenwood School of Music to receive a Fulbright award in the last two years. Wolfe is a prized trombone player who has received many performance awards and was a member of the OSU Symphony Orchestra, OSU Wind Ensemble and the OSU Cowboy Marching Band.
“There are so many faculty members to thank for not only letting me learn from their expertise, but also having them want to invest into me,” Wolfe said.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is administered at Oklahoma State University through the School of Global Studies and Partnerships.
Cara Menasco Eubanks serves as the Fulbright Program advisor and Fulbright Scholar liaison to assist students and faculty with finding Fulbright opportunities and the application process.
“I congratulate these students for these prestigious awards,” said Dr. Randy Kluver, associate provost and dean of the School of Global Studies and Partnerships. “The Fulbright program is recognized around the world for academic excellence and leadership, and we are very proud of these students who have furthered OSU’s legacy through this critical program.”
More information about the Fulbright program at OSU is available here.
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to forge lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, counter misunderstandings and help people and nations work together toward common goals.
Since its establishment in 1946, the Fulbright Program has enabled more than 390,000 students, scholars, artists, teachers, and professionals of all backgrounds to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and find solutions for shared international concerns.
For more information. visit eca.state.gov/fulbright.