Geneseo Students Capture Prestigious Fulbright, Gilman Awards

Graduating senior Hannah Hunter, Geneseo's latest Fulbright Award winner, will be going to Malaysia to teach in either a primary or secondary school.

GENESEO, N.Y. — Three SUNY Geneseo students have captured some of the most competitive grants or scholarships in the country with the recent presentation of a Fulbright Award and two Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships.

Graduating senior Hannah Hunter, a childhood education, special education major with a concentration in women and gender studies, and minor in Asian studies from Tully, N.Y., is among five Geneseo students to win a prestigious Fulbright Award in the past four years. Hunter received an English teaching assistantship to teach either in a primary or secondary school in Malaysia. She will provide assistance to teachers of English to non-native English-speakers. She also will serve as a cultural ambassador for the United States. Hunter will additionally be leading and organizing school related clubs and activities outside of the school day.

About 1,500 U.S. students receive Fulbrights each year, awarded only to students who have completed their undergraduate work. The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international exchange program, designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and people of other countries. Hunter says she is interested in attending graduate school for international education.

“Ever since I was a freshman in college, I have always had my eye on this incredible Fulbright opportunity,” said Hunter.  “My adviser, Dr. Linda Ware, really inspired me to go through with it and I am so happy that I did. I didn't think I was going to get it.  I applied thinking, ‘this program is exactly what I want to do, and if they choose me, it truly is meant to be.’ I am so thankful for the support and push Dr. Ware gave me throughout my years here at Geneseo, especially in terms of applying for the Fulbright.”

Two students received Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships: Teba Hasan, an international relations major from Rochester, N.Y., and Ariana Lippi, a double major in international relations and Spanish from North Salem, N.Y. They both will be studying in Uganda this summer.

“I think this is a great opportunity to acquaint ourselves with the world and gain a valuable experience that will better prepare us for our further endeavors,” said Hasan.

Lippa said cost concerns at first seemed to make an abroad internship out of reach but the Gilman has made it possible.

 “When I heard about the Gilman from my friend, and prior recipient, she encouraged me to go for it,” said Lippa. “I really wasn't confident that I would get it since I was competing with lots of other students around the country, but with the help of my friend and my Gilman adviser, I guess my essay turned out pretty good. I'm indescribably grateful for being granted this award.”

The Gilman Scholarship Program offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies abroad. Such study is intended to better prepare U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world. It’s the fourth year in a row that a Geneseo student has received a Gilman scholarship.

News release written by College Communications intern Jennifer Kim.

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