UNA’s Department of Foreign Languages Produces Two 2023-24 Fulbright Recipients, Additional Premier Award Winners
May. 25, 2023
FLORENCE, AL – Elizabeth “Ellie” Talbot and Eleanor “Ellie” Thompson, both University of North Alabama graduates from the Department of Foreign Languages, have received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. These awards represent the 13th and 14th Fulbright Scholars from UNA.
- Talbot, a Spanish commerce major, Digital Marketing minor, with a certificate in TESOL, will be spending the 2023-2024 year in Mexico teaching English. Her future plans include teaching English abroad.
- Thompson, a German and History/Secondary Education major, will spend the 2023-2024 year in Germany teaching English. While in Germany, she plans to obtain a TESOL certificate to teach English as a second language. Her future plans include an MA in German or in English as a Second Language.
In addition to the Fulbright Scholars, the Department of Foreign Languages has consistently produced winners of other premier awards, including:
- James Wiegmann, Goethe Sommer Akademie in Bremin, with travel sponsored by the Goethe Institut;
- Ethan Sowash, Phi Sigma Iota Foreign Language Society scholarship to teach German to adults;
- Kristina Williams, winner of a teaching assistant program in France; and
- John Hall, winner of a Japanese Exchange and a teaching program grant.
“The Department of Foreign Languages is thrilled to have outstanding language students who consistently win Fulbright, TAPIF, and other premier awards,” said Dr. Claudia Vance, Chair of the Department. “We work with Dr. Matthew Price, Director of the Center for Premier Awards, to mentor language students throughout the rigorous application process typical of these awards. His expertise, our talented faculty members, and our experiential learning opportunities prepare our students well.”
Vance said a number of upper-level students participate in the University’s education abroad programs and others work in internships that provide a variety of interpreting opportunities.
“They also teach languages to children and other adults and participate in simulations,” she said. “We realize that the experiences our students have here at UNA are precisely the experiences that Fulbright and other premier awards look for in excellent candidates. We are proud to attract the brightest students to Foreign Languages, and we look forward to continuing to give students rich experiential learning experiences.”
Talbot and Thompson were selected as part of an open, merit-based competition that considers leadership potential, academic and/or professional achievement, and record of service. The Fulbright program is the U.S. government’s flagship international education exchange program and is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world.
Dr. Price has been working with students for several years on their application process, and he said the Department of Foreign Languages is consistent in producing viable candidates who are “natural leaders and ambassadors.”
“They thrive in unfamiliar situations,” he said. “They can work across language and cultural barriers, and they have a deep abiding desire to make the world more connected. What we’ve seen over the last few years is that the evaluation committees for prestigious awards are taking notice of this fact, too. It is a very exciting time in the Department.”
The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program.
About The University of North Alabama
The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering credential, certificate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs in the colleges of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering; Business and Technology; Education and Human Sciences; and the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions. The first-choice University for more than 10,000 on-campus and online students, UNA is on a bucolic campus in Florence, Alabama, part of the historic and vibrant Shoals region. Lions Athletics, a renowned collegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I’s ASUN Conference. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age, or national origin. For more: www.una.edu and www.una.edu/unaworks/