UAB students, alumni selected for prestigious US Fulbright student program – News

The U.S. Fulbright Student Program offers grants to study, teach, and conduct research in more than 160 countries. Award selections are made on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as potential for service and leadership.

Written by: Karen Templeton
Media contact: Yvonne Taunton

Three University of Alabama Birmingham students and alumni have been selected to receive the Fulbright US Student Program Awards, and four other students have been appointed as alternates.

The U.S. Fulbright Student Program offers grants to study, teach, and conduct research in more than 160 countries. Award selections are made on the basis of the academic and professional achievement, as well as the service history and leadership potential in the respective fields of the applicants.

During their time with the US Fulbright Student Program, UAB Fellows will work, live with, and learn from people in their host countries. The objective of the program is to promote mutual understanding through academic engagement, cultural exchange and community engagement.

With international travel on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some 2019-20 recipients were allowed to defer their scholarships and, as a result, the 2020-2021 cycle was more competitive as fewer places were available. There were 11,728 applications submitted – a record high for the US student program and an 11.9% increase from the previous cycle. Over 2,200 prizes were offered.

“In a year of unprecedented uncertainty, it took courage and optimism to apply for an award like Fulbright,” said Michelle Cook, Ph.D., Acting Director of the National Scholarship Office and international UAB. “I am proud of how far these students have come in the process. UAB has a lot to celebrate. “

Fulbright recipients address critical global challenges in all disciplines while building relationships, knowledge, and leadership in support of long-term U.S. interests. Fulbright alumni have distinguished themselves in many fields, including 59 who have received the Nobel Prize, 84 who have received Pulitzer Prizes, and 37 who have served as heads of state or government.

Recipients include:

  • Parker Rose, philosophy, scholarship / research, Sweden
  • Garrett Sager, UAB Class of 2020, scholarship / research, Germany
  • Nitin Gharpure, public health, scholarship / research, Germany

The alternatives include:

  • Zahrah Abdulrauf, Individually Designed Major, English Teaching Assistant, Malaysia
  • Hassanatu Blake, Health Education / Promotion, Fulbright-Fogarty Fellowship in Public Health, Jamaica
  • Allie Haynes, UAB Class of 2020, English Teaching Assistant, Malta
  • Aleena Khan, Individually Designed Major Scholarship / Research, Netherlands

All recipients and three alternates are members or alumni of UAB Honors College.

“Our scholarship recipients have stood out in a highly competitive selection process and during an uncertain time,” said Pam Benoit, Ph.D., senior vice president of academic affairs and provost. “Their accomplishments speak volumes for their hard work and the unmatched support and opportunities at UAB.”

Since its inception in 1946 under a law introduced by the late United States Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright program has given more than 390,000 students, academics, teachers, artists and professionals from all walks of life and fields the opportunity to study, teach and lead research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to common international concerns. In the United States, the Institute of International Education supports the implementation of the Fulbright US Student Program on behalf of the United States Department of State, including holding an annual scholarship competition.

For more information on the Fulbright program, visit

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