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Three UCM Students Named Semifinalists for Fulbright Award

By Jeff Murphy, May 5, 2021

University of Central Missouri

WARRENSBURG, MO – Demonstrating  the University of Central Missouri’s commitment to providing opportunities for individuals to gain a worldly perspective, three students have been named semifinalists in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards.


The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments, host institutions, corporations, and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in over 160 countries worldwide.


UCM students who were notified recently that they have been selected as semi-finalists are Moeryae “Sunny” Smith, Brittani Slinkard, and Jaggard Williams.
Smith is a professional photography major, graphics minor, and international studies minor from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, who applied to Malaysia for the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program (ETA). Slinkard is a modern languages major from Fenton, Missouri, who applied to Germany for the Fulbright ETA. Williams, a UCM student from Centerview, Missouri, is majoring in political science and theatre and also has a communication minor. He applied to Israel for the Fulbright Study/Research Grant.


The English Teaching Assistant Program enables individuals to experience working as a teaching assistant for English teachers in participating foreign countries. While they help teach English language, they serve as U.S. cultural ambassadors working with students in classrooms that range from kindergarten to the university level.


Students who apply for Study research award soften work with advisers at foreign universities, and they design their own projects. Approximately 140 different countries participate in this awards program, which also includes opportunities for applicants who are interested in creative and performing arts.
Michael Makara, assistant professor of political science at UCM, said Fulbright will notify semi-finalists of their status. Those selected as finalists will receive grants. 


He noted that if a college or university has at least three finalists, Fulbright identifies the institution as a “top-producing institution.”  
Learn more about the Fulbright Program by checking out


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