Recent UAB graduate Grace Benton, 21, has won a $5,000 Phi Kappa Phi fellowship.
Only one recipient per regional chapter is nominated for the award, and from those about 70 students are selected by the national Phi Kappa Phi organization, says Nelleke Bak, director of national and international scholarships at UAB. This year a record number of applications were submitted, she says.
Benton graduated from UAB in May 2011 with a degree in international studies and foreign languages. A University Honors Scholar, Benton received numerous honors while at UAB including a scholars’ award, a Bryant-Jordan scholar-athlete award and induction into the Alpha Lambda Delta, Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Iota Rho (International Studies) honor societies.
In 2008, she participated in the Tunisian Community Center Study-Abroad Scholarship program as an English language fellow for the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education. She conducted discussion groups with Tunisian students at the language village in Nabeul and lived with local scholars to better facilitate the cultural and linguistic exchange.
In 2010, Benton was selected as UAB’s first William Jefferson Clinton Scholar and spent the spring semester at American University in Dubai. At UAB, she was an international mentor and a foreign-language ambassador.
This spring Benton also was awarded a prestigious Fulbright English Teaching assistantship in Jordan. Although offered a half-tuition scholarship by the University of Chicago and a full tuition scholarship by the University of Texas at Austin to enroll for a master’s degree in Middle Eastern studies, Benton chose to take up her Fulbright scholarship in Jordan for 2011-12. Ultimately, her goal is to teach and develop cultural exchange programs for Americans to study in the Levant region.
Her parents are Paul Benton and Martha Daughdrill of Lottie, Ala.