Eight students to teach, study overseas with Fulbright grants

Clockwise, from top left: Carly Nasehi, Jennifer Ervin, Lulio
Vargas-Cohen and Heather Wakefield

From Argentina to Russia, eight Florida State University students will be traveling to locations all over the world after winning prized and highly competitive Fulbright grants this year.

"These eight young people are just a small sample of the extraordinarily talented student body that we have here at Florida State," said T.K. Wetherell, president of the university. "While their success is mainly due to their own hard work, credit must also be given to the dedicated faculty and staff who have mentored and supported them."

Four of the students received Fulbright Full Grants, which will allow them to study and/or conduct research in a foreign country for an academic year. They are:

Michael Douma — A doctoral student in history, Douma, of Grandville, Mich., will be going to the Netherlands to study Dutch immigration patterns and mindset.

Jason Hobratschk — A doctoral student in musicology, Hobratschk, of Portland, Ore., will be going to Germany to conduct research on Werner Egk, a German composer during the Nazi era.

Victoria Penziner — A doctoral student in Middle East history, Penziner, of Boca Raton, Fla., will be going to the United Arab Emirates to research environmental policy and attitudes over the past 200 years.
Heather Wakefield — A master’s student in information studies, Wakefield, of Daytona Beach, Fla., will be going to the nation of Georgia and working with that country’s National Library to implement activities and more access for children.

Another four Florida State students received Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships, which will allow them to be placed in schools or universities in foreign countries and work to improve their students’ language abilities and knowledge of the United States. They are:

Jennifer Ervin — A graduate student in English education, Ervin, of Tallahassee, Fla., plans to travel to Vietnam.

Carly Nasehi — A recent graduate in international affairs and religion, Nasehi, of Orlando, Fla., is going to Germany. (In addition to the Fulbright, she has received two other major academic awards this year. Visit this link to read about them.)

Travis Smith — A recent graduate in international affairs and Russian, Smith, of Tallahassee, intends to travel to Russia.

Lulio Vargas-Cohen — A recent graduate in international affairs, Vargas-Cohen, of Delray Beach, Fla., is going to Spain.

In addition, two Florida State students were selected as alternates:

Matthew Brown — A recent graduate in literature and Spanish, Brown, of Lakeland, Fla., was selected as an alternate to Argentina.

Caroline Connolly — A recent graduate in mass media studies, Connolly, of Newburyport, Mass., was selected as an alternate to Spain.

"Fulbrights are life-changing opportunities," said Meredith Simpson, the interim director of Florida State’s Office of National Fellowships, which helps students pursue nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships. "These eight students will represent both Florida State and the United States in the best possible light. We are very proud of them."

The Fulbright recipients are only the latest Florida State students to have earned major scholarships and fellowships with assistance from the Office of National Fellowships.