A 12th UCF graduate has been selected for this academic year’s Fulbright award, setting the university’s new single-year record.

Joining the program is Carolyn Mitchell ’19, who has a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and a TEFL certificate for teaching English as a foreign language.

There now have been 57 Knights to participate through the years in the travel-abroad program.

The students are scheduled to leave this month for 10 different countries – from Germany to South Korea to Israel – to work on research projects or teach English.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is sponsored by the State Department to promote international goodwill through the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture and science.

“This is a testament to the caliber of our students and the quality of education offered at UCF,” says Morgan Bauer, director of UCF’s’ Office of Prestigious Awards, which advises students through the application process. “These students will not only serve as student cultural ambassadors for the United States abroad, but they will also be representing UCF at top universities across the world.

‘We have already been recognized as a top public research institution nationally but now, through programs such as Fulbright, we are emerging as a top public research institution globally.’  —  Morgan Bauer

“We have already been recognized as a top public research institution nationally but now, through programs such as Fulbright, we are emerging as a top public research institution globally.”

Here are this year’s UCF Fulbright fellows, who are scheduled to begin their studies abroad in Spring 2021:

Emily Bom ’20 of West Palm Beach, Florida, will travel to Bulgaria. “I will be an English teaching assistant working at a high school teaching English classes as well as running after-school programs, such as debate teams or sports clubs, that promote mutual cultural exchange.”

Aubri Cherub ’19 of Tampa will travel to the Kinmen Islands between Taiwan and mainland China. “I will be an English teaching assistant and represent the U.S. to increase mutual understanding abroad. I also will share a diverse range of American literature and films to unpack some of the rich themes and cultural significance. In return, I will engage with locals by speaking Mandarin outside of the classroom and being immersed in the local way of life.”

Hunter Coolican ’20 of Orlando will travel to Israel. “I will be studying security and diplomacy at Tel Aviv University to prepare for a lifelong career in the U.S. Space Force.”

Nicholas Cox of Tampa, will travel to Spain as part of his doctoral program. “I will be working at a research institute called ICFO (The Institute of Photonic Sciences) in Barcelona. My goal is to study the dynamics of electrons in solids using a technique called attosecond transient absorption spectroscopy. This technique makes it possible to track the behavior of an electron on timescales of one billionth of one billionth of a second.”

Joshua Forer of Miami will travel to France as part of his doctoral program. “The purpose of my Fulbright grant is to pursue my doctoral research in molecular physics at the University of Bordeaux, and maybe complete a joint Ph.D. in physics between UCF and the University of Bordeaux.”

Jenika Katz ’19MA of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, will travel to Scotland. “I will be earning my Ph.D. at the business school in the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. My topic of study is ‘reduction of hospitality employee turnover in migrant worker populations through employee development and sociocultural immersion.’”

Khadejah Khan ’20 of London and Kissimmee, Florida, will travel to Malaysia. “I will be working as an English teaching assistant with students inside and outside of the classroom to improve their English language skills. I aim to share my passion for writing and storytelling by working with budding Malay writers, and hoping to learn more about Malay literature while introducing diverse multicultural American writers to Malay literati.”

Carolyn Mitchell ’19 of Niceville, Florida, will travel to Tashkent, Uzbekistan. “I will be an English teaching assistant at the University of Uzbek Language and Literature in the capitol where I’ll be instructing Uzbek students who wish to become translators. My secondary role is to work with the Department of Tourism to help establish English proficiency in professionals within the tourism and outdoor recreation sectors.”

Rayner Seavey ’19 of Safety Harbor, Florida, will travel to South Korea. “I am very excited to have the opportunity to work with secondary school students in South Korea helping them to expand their knowledge of the English language as well as sharing American traditions and culture while at the same time deepening my understanding of Korean history, culture and language.”

Zachary Stein ’20 of Oviedo, Florida, will travel to Germany. “I will be conducting research on capturing and understanding the detrimental effects of sand and volcanic ash on high temperature ceramic coatings found within aircraft engines at the German Aerospace Center in Cologne. Additionally, I will be experiencing and contributing to the exchange of the various cultures present in Cologne amongst the students and scientists coming from all around the world.”

Irene Tanner ’20 of Fort Myers, Florida, will travel to Germany. “I will be conducting an independent research project at the University of Lubeck. I will be using artificial intelligence to automatically detect lesions in CT scans of the brains of stroke patients.”

Abigail Weisse ’20 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will travel to Spain. “I will be an English teaching assistant helping in classrooms, conducting writing workshops and tutoring students at the University of Málaga in Málaga. While there, I hope to implement a program to assist Spanish university students in applying to graduate school in the United States in order to reciprocate the cross-cultural exchange between our two countries.”

To apply to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, a student must be a U.S. Citizen and have at least a bachelor’s degree before the start of the grant. Visit the Fulbright website for full details. The program welcomes all majors. Interested students should contact UCF’s Office of Prestigious Awards to set up an appointment. Direct all emails to opa@ucf.edu.