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The Graduate College is pleased to announce that three graduate students are semi-finalists in the 2018-2019 Fulbright U.S. Student Program competition! Semi-finalists have been reviewed in the U.S. by the National Screening Committees and have been forwarded to the host country for final review. The students will find out in the coming months if they are selected as Fulbright grantees. We wish them the best as they move toward final selection status.

Graduate Student Samantha Aguirre

Samantha Aguirre
M.S.C.J., Criminal Justice
Fulbright Program: English Teaching Assistant, Czech Republic
Texas State Faculty Member: Dr. Donna Vandiver

Samantha graduated with a B.A. in psychology and criminal justice from The University of Texas at El Paso in 2011. In addition to her selection as a Fulbright semi-finalist, she was also chosen to be one of 40 people in the country to take part in the United Nations Young Professional Programme (YPP) exams. With a background in teaching — she taught math for two years in Title I schools in Austin, TX — she looks forward to teaching abroad at schools where she can gain a global perspective to pedagogical practices. As for her future plans, she will continue to study criminal justice as a doctoral student at Texas State. She is thankful for the Fulbright campus committee members, Dr. Valentina Glajar and Dr. Andrea Hilkovitz, for helping her rework her application to showcase the experiences and qualities that make her a competitive Fulbright applicant. Special thanks to Dr. Donna Vandiver, Samantha’s study abroad professor who supports her love of travel, for her continued encouragement and recommendation to the program.

Patrick Funderburg in front of the Iwo Jima Memorial

Patrick Funderburg
M.F.A., Creative Writing
Fulbright Program: English Teaching Assistant, France
Texas State Faculty Member: Drs. Peter Golato and Carole Martin from Modern Languages and Mr. Jason Coates and Dr. Kathryn Ledbetter from English

Patrick, a former Marine and veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, overhead a conversation in French while deployed and, captivated by its cadence, decided to pursue French academically, eventually graduating with a B.A. in English and French from Texas State. Now, as a first-year student in the M.F.A. program, he's searching between the lines for the minds behind them: his Fulbright Statement of Grant Purpose proposes to develop novel opportunities for English-language learners to read, comprehend, and analyze Southwestern short stories and other American fictions that share common images and themes in French and American culture. Additionally, he would like to emphasize writing not only as a means of building their capacity with the written English word but also as an opportunity to discover a Texan or American perspective through the creative exploration of character, setting, and theme. He plans to infuse his thesis narrative with the experiences and perspectives gained by time in France should he receive the Fulbright award.

Doctoral student Meagan Hoff

Meagan Hoff
Ph.D., Developmental Education
Fulbright Program: Fulbright Research Grant, Rwanda
Texas State Faculty Members: Drs. Lori Assaf, Jodi Holschuh, Sonya Armstrong, and Emily Summers

Meagan graduated with a B.A. in languages, literatures, and cultures from Colorado State University. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Benin from 2007–2009, after which she earned her M.A. in cross-cultural and international education at Bowling Green State University as a Coverdell Fellow. Meagan’s goal is to develop college readiness indicators for a college preparatory program in a refugee camp in Rwanda. Her research project will explore students’ understandings of literacy and education, as well as the skills and strategies —often acquired outside of formal schooling— that serve them in the degree program. After completing her Ph.D. program, Meagan hopes to continue researching education for international refugee populations. Meagan is appreciative of the support provided by Texas State, which ranges from helping with countless rounds of application revisions to offering encouragement and guidance.

Students who are interested in applying for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program are encouraged to attend our Shop Talk featuring this award on April 17 for more information about the application process and timeline.  

The accomplishments listed here represent only a small portion of what the graduate community at Texas State has discovered, created, and innovated. If you have an achievement that you would like to share, please contact us!

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