An Appalachian State University senior and three university alumni have been named Fulbright U.S. Student Program finalists for the 2019–20 academic year — a record-breaking number for the university.

Prior to these recipients, only five Appalachian students have received a Fulbright since the program’s beginning in 1946.

Finalists were selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as their record of service and leadership potential in their respective fields. The following statistics illustrate the level of Fulbright competition in 2018–19:

  • Over 10,000 applicants.
  • 700-plus institutions participated.
  • 2,100 grants awarded.
  • 140 countries offering opportunities for research, study and/or teaching.

Appalachian’s Fulbright Student finalists:

  • Finalist: Megan Holt-Smith ’15 ’16.
    Degree: B.A. in Spanish, M.A. in romance languages with concentration in Spanish college teaching.
    Hometown: Mount Airy.
    Award: Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Award to Germany.
  • Finalist: John Kennedy ’16.
    Degree: B.A. in sustainable development.
    Hometown: High Point.
    Award: Fulbright ETA Award to Mongolia.
  • Finalist: Emma Labovitz ’18.
    Degree: B.A. in political science, B.A. in global studies.
    Hometown: Salisbury.
    Award: Fulbright Study/Research Award to the Netherlands.
  • Finalist: Caroline Webb.
    Major: psychology, minor in communication sciences and disorders.
    Hometown: Raleigh.
    Award: Fulbright ETA Award to Timor-Leste.

“I extend a heartfelt congratulations to Megan, John, Emma and Caroline — our four successful Fulbright students,” said Dr. Darrell Kruger, Appalachian’s provost and executive vice chancellor. “This experience will enrich their lives and the trajectory of their professional and personal lives.”

Additionally, Kruger thanked the Appalachian faculty and staff “who have invested in our students to enable them to reach this milestone. The investment we have made in prestigious scholarships and Fulbright, in particular, is paying dividends.”

Through grants awarded by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, Holt-Smith, Kennedy, Labovitz and Webb will spend the 2019–20 academic year living with, working alongside and learning from the people of their host countries.

Article written by Joanie Andruss, courtesy of Appalachian State University