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13 from UAB are semifinalists for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program

  • February 08, 2021
Nine UAB students and four alumni are among the exceptional students vying for the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research abroad.
Written by: Karen Templeton
Media contact: Yvonne Taunton

trophy in front of blackboard with light ray effectNine UAB students and four alumni are among the exceptional students vying for the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research abroad.Thirteen University of Alabama at Birmingham students and alumni are semifinalists in this year’s Fulbright U.S. Student Program competition.

The Fulbright Program, the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the United States government, provides grants to study, teach and conduct research in more than 160 countries. Fulbright recipients are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement and a record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields. 

Students selected as finalists will work, live with and learn from the people in their host countries to promote mutual understanding through academic exchange and community engagement. 

“This is an exceptional group of students,” said Michelle Cook, Ph.D., interim director of UAB’s National and International Fellowships and Scholarships. “Being named a Fulbright semifinalist is a great achievement. We are looking forward to more good news as finalists are announced later this spring.” 

Nine students and four alumni were selected as semifinalists:

  • Zahrah Abdulrauf, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, Malaysia, philosophy, individually designed major, UAB Honors College
  • Hassanatu Blake, Fulbright-Fogarty Fellowship in Public Health, Jamaica, health education and promotion
  • Allyson Ferguson, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, Andorra, biomedical sciences, Honors College
  • Nitin Gharpure, Fulbright Study/Research, Germany, public health, Honors College
  • Wendy Jiang, Fulbright Study/Research, Egypt, philosophy, Master of Public Health program, Honors College
  • Aleena Khan, Fulbright Study, the Netherlands, individually designed major, Honors College
  • Mary Anne Powell, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, Spain, public health, foreign languages (Spanish), Honors College
  • Parker Rose, Fulbright Study/Research, Sweden, philosophy, Honors College
  • Demetrius Smith, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, Laos, psychology
  • Allie Haynes, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, Malta, UAB alumna, economics, Honors College
  • Emma McLean, Fulbright Study, United Kingdom, UAB alumna, anthropology
  • Garrett Sager, Fulbright Study/Research, Germany, UAB alumnus, neuroscience, physics, Honors College
  • Olivia Watts, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, Malta, UAB alumna, kinesiology

“It is no surprise that our students stand out in the application process,” said UAB Provost Pam Benoit, Ph.D. “That they have made it this far in the process speaks volumes about their talent as well as the incredible support from our faculty and the National and International Scholarships and Fellowships team.” 

Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given more than 390,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and professionals of all backgrounds and fields the opportunity to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. In the United States, the Institute of International Education supports the implementation of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program on behalf of the U.S. Department of State, including conducting an annual competition for the scholarships.     

For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit