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Record Number of SLU Applicants Earn Fulbright Awards

Seven applicants from Saint Louis University have been selected to receive prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards for the 2017-2018 academic year from the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Additionally, two SLU applicants have been selected as alternates and have the potential to be promoted to finalist status if additional funding becomes available.



It’s a record-setting number of Fulbright awards for SLU: since the Fulbright Program’s inception in 1946, 78 SLU applicants — including this year’s awardees — have been offered awards.

“The Fulbright award is recognized worldwide for its support of the most significant research and outreach activities that advance global understandings,” said Nancy Brickhouse, Ph.D., University provost. “The success of our students and faculty in winning these awards is both a testament to their talent as well as to SLU's support in advancing their work. Congratulations to the recipients and in the words of St. Ignatius ‘Go forth and set the world on fire’."

Last September the University Endorsement Committee interviewed and endorsed 15 SLU applicants. Members of the committee carefully review each application and offer feedback during applicant interviews, making it a rewarding developmental experience for all applicants. In January, nine applicants were moved forward to semi-finalist status, and all nine of those applicants were selected as recipients or alternates for Fulbright awards.

  • Christopher Hart, a master’s student in American Studies, has been offered a research grant to China. Hart will be investigating China’s propaganda films from 1961-1969 to study how black power and the rhetoric of armed self-defense influenced China’s self-introduction to the world as a nuclear power.
  • Scott Hessel, a master’s student in English, has been offered an English Teaching Assistant grant to South Africa to “continue developing as a teacher and to experience the personal enrichment of cross-cultural interactions and relationships.”
  • Luella Loseille, a senior majoring in anthropology, has been selected as an alternate for an English Teaching Assistant grant in South Korea. Loseille has experience at SLU working with international students.
  • Beth Petitjean, a Ph.D. candidate in history, has been selected as an alternate for a research grant in Italy. Petitjean’s work “reconstructs and analyzes the use and organization of thermal baths in early modern Tuscany during the reign of the Medici Grand Dukes from 1537-1743.”
  • Renee Richter graduated from SLU in 2015 with degrees in public health and international studies. She has been offered an English Teaching Assistant grant to South Africa. As an undergraduate, Richter participated in a social justice program in South Africa. She is currently a third-grade teacher.
  • Alejandra Rios Gutierrez, a SLU senior majoring in economics, international studies, and international business, has been offered a binational internship in Mexico City. The program includes an internship with a Mexican-based company along with three to six courses taken at a local university.
  • Courtney Sciarratta, a master’s student in public health, had been offered a research grant in Argentina. The goal of Sciarratta’s project is to disrupt the spread of mosquito-borne diseases in the northern region in Argentina through a targeted public outreach to urban areas she identifies as at-risk.
  • Samuel Shreve, a senior studying public health, international studies and Italian, has been offered an English Teaching Assistant grant to Italy. Shreve said, “I hope to teach English to students while simultaneously bringing awareness to the sociopolitical relationships between Italians and refugees.”
  • Dzuliya Vasileva, a senior studying biomedical engineering, has been offered an English Teaching Assistant grant to Poland. Vasileva will be teaching university-level students in science and engineering.

SLU students will be among the more than 1,900 U.S. citizens who will study, conduct research, and teach abroad for the 2017-2018 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement as well as record of service and leadership potential in their respective fields.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program operates in more than 160 countries. Fulbright grants provide funding for round-trip travel, maintenance for one academic year, health and accident insurance, and where relevant, tuition.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is administered at Saint Louis University through Competitive Fellowships and Scholarships, which is housed in the University Honors Program, but serves all undergraduate students, graduate students and alumni who are interested in applying for competitive awards.

To learn more about the U.S. Fulbright Program or other nationally competitive fellowships and scholarships, contact Annie Rues Neidel at