Six Ohio University students, five alumni and a professor have been selected as recipients for the Fulbright Program, through which they will work to promote international, educational, and cultural exchange in host countries across South America, Europe, Africa, and North America.

The scholars include students Ryanne Morr, Hannah Posedel and Claire Ramsey and alumni Abby Hearne, Sue Ryu, Andrew Steinke and Dakota Tackett, who were selected for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program; students Rhea Lanier, Maya Meade, Kennedy Rasberry and alum Nile Harris, who were selected for Fulbright Canada’s post-COVID-19 Challenge; and professor of political science Myra Waterbury, who will spend four months in Budapest at the Minority Studies Institute at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

“These truly exceptional students will be working toward building relationships on an international level, while they are learning more in their areas of study through new, cultural experiences as part of the Fulbright Program,” Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis said. “We are very proud to have so many students, as well as alumni and a professor, able to participate in such a prestigious and important program that elevates both their and OHIO’s global reach.”

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is one of the most competitive academic exchange programs globally. The program fully funds U.S. students as they research, develop creative projects, and/or teach English abroad, all while dedicating part of their time to building greater understanding between the United States and host countries.

The Fulbright Canada Program is a bi-national, treaty-based, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization with a mandate to identify the best and brightest minds in both the U.S. and Canada and engage them in residential academic exchange. As part of its 30th anniversary, Fulbright Canada is hosting the Post-COVID Challenge, which will provide participants with an opportunity to present solutions to current crises. Lanier, Meade, Rasberry and Harris will work together on a proposal for making medical school curricula more inclusive as a means of battling racial disparities in healthcare in both the U.S. and Canada.

Ryanne Morr, a senior majoring in French education, from Lebanon, Ohio, is the first OHIO student to receive a grant to travel to Cote d’Ivoire in Africa through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, where she will be an English teaching assistant.

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to serve as an ambassador in Cote d’Ivoire,” she said. “I look forward to taking opportunities to get involved with the local community as well. I hope to make an impact teaching English, but am positive that my students will teach me just as much as they learn from me.”

Hannah Posedel, a senior majoring in Spanish education, from Lakewood, Ohio, will travel to Colombia to be an English teaching assistant.

“I have spent four years working towards this moment,” she said. “Now that it is here, I know that I will be extremely humbled by my experience teaching in Colombia. I welcome that. I hope I can make way for cultural exchanges between our countries. I invite and look forward to the transformations that will change the way I see and move in this world. I’m truly lost for words when I think about receiving this award and cannot articulate all the emotions involved in looking forward to this experience.”

Claire Ramsey, an educational administration doctoral candidate specializing in comparative and international educational leadership, from Bridgeport, West Virginia, is the first OHIO student to receive a grant to travel to Finland through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. She will research rural teacher self-perceptions as global citizens.

“I am honored to be selected for this prestigious award and eager for the opportunity to conduct research in the Finnish education system through the perception of its rural educators,” she said. “I would like to specifically thank Dr. Chris Lewis, director of Ohio University’s Office of Nationally Competitive Awards; Dr. Emmanuel Jean-Francois, associate professor of Comparative and International Education at OHIO; and my husband, family, friends, and colleagues for their ongoing support and encouragement through this process.”

Sue Ryu is a 2020 graduate of the Honors Tutorial College who studied economics and anthropology. She is from Athens, Ohio, and will travel to Brazil to research perceptions of political corruption.

“I’m overjoyed to join the Fulbright community and to have this opportunity to start a passion project researching corruption and ethics,” she said. “I’m even more excited to do so through a return to Brazil, a country that has welcomed me warmly in the past and one in which I hope to continue furthering the U.S.-Brazilian culture exchange. ONCA and my recommenders made the process easy, so I encourage everyone to pursue these opportunities through OHIO.”

Andrew Steinke is a 2018 graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences who studied Spanish and linguistics. He is from Lebanon, Ohio, and will travel to Brazil to be an English teaching assistant.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to continue coaching and developing young adults in the field of education,” he said. “The Brazil ETA, which emphasizes training future English teachers, will build on my last two years of service as an AmeriCorps member at City Year Columbus. In addition to instruction in core language content, I am eager to share what I have learned about youth development and engaging communities to support students’ success.”

Dakota Tackett is a 2020 graduate of the Patton College of Education, where he studied integrated social studies education. He is from Chillicothe, Ohio, and will travel to the Czech Republic to be an English teaching assistant. He is the second recipient in OHIO history to go to this country.

“As a first-generation college student from rural Appalachia, I am beyond excited to have won a Fulbright award,” he said. “I look forward to broadening the cultural horizons of both myself and my students in the Czech Republic. Upon return to the U.S. I will pass this experience on in future classrooms, stressing the importance of intercultural diversity in a world which is becoming increasingly interconnected.”

Maya Meade is a junior studying journalism in the Scripps College of Communication and minoring in political science. She is from Oxford, Ohio, and will be working with her Fulbright Canada team to design a new curriculum for students in med school that will educate students on racism in medical education and teach students how to better treat patients of color.

“Being named a Fulbright scholar is an incredible opportunity,” she said. “I am so excited to see how far my team can go in the process and I hope we can formulate a new curriculum that will change medical education forever. This topic is crucial to the health and well-being of minorities in America and could change the lives of many.”

Abby Hearne is a 2021 graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences, where she studied biology. She is from North Canton, Ohio and was accepted as an English teaching assistant in Uzbekistan. Hearne is the first ever Ohio University student/alum to go to Uzbekistan via the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

Five students — Connor Beeman, Emma Hage, Maya Holcomb, Zachary Perie and Lauren Santucci — were also named alternates to the program. Beeman is an alternate for a grant to the United Kingdom, where he would pursue a master’s in creative writing at the University of Manchester; Hage is an alternate for an English teaching assistant position in Bosnia and Herzegovina; Holcomb is an alternate for an English teaching assistant in Malaysia; Perie is an alternate for an English teaching assistantship in South Korea; and Santucci is an alternate for a photography grant in Kuwait.

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