Vanderbilt Fulbright finalists and alternates announced for 2020-21

Vanderbilt University Kirkland Tower aerial photograph
(Vanderbilt University)

Twelve Vanderbilt students and alumni have been awarded funding to pursue graduate study, conduct research and teach English around the world through the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Program. The Career Center and Graduate School supported them through the application process, providing feedback and facilitating the internal nomination process for this highly competitive award.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program, founded in 1946, each year provides approximately 1,900 students, artists and early career professionals the opportunity to engage in international cultural exchange while gaining experience in their research field, academic pursuits or teaching skills in more than 160 countries. Fulbright awardees are chosen for their academic merit, ambassadorial abilities and leadership potential. This initiative, led by the U.S. State Department, has awarded more than 380,000 grants since its inception.

This year, 30 Vanderbilt faculty and staff met with and endorsed 50 candidates. Of those candidates, 31 advanced to the semi-finalist round of review. Twelve Vanderbilt students have been offered grants as Fulbright finalists. An additional eight students have been named alternates and may subsequently become grantees.

Fulbright recipients typically spend an academic year in their host countries, exploring the unique opportunities the award presents and engaging with the local community. Because of the current coronavirus pandemic, the majority of this year’s scholars are scheduled to depart after Jan. 1, 2021, for a six-month scholarship term. Those who will be studying at an international university may depart earlier, depending on federal travel guidelines and the host university’s operating status.

The following students have been named Fulbright grantees for the 2020-21 award cycle:

  • Evana Ahsan, M.Ed. in human development and counseling, Class of 2020 – South Korea, English teaching assistantship
  • Jessica Camenzuli, M.Ed. in learning and design, Class of 2020 – Malta, English teaching assistantship
  • Leah Field, Asian studies and political science, Class of 2020 – Taiwan, English teaching assistantship
  • Ryan Grawe, economics and political science, Class of 2020 – Brazil, English teaching assistantship
  • Mary Hanna, political science and medicine, health and society, Class of 2020 – Spain, English teaching assistantship
  • Maya Krause, Ph.D. candidate in anthropology, Class of 2022 – Peru, open study/research award
  • Aaron Niederman, engineering science, Class of 2020 – Taiwan, English teaching assistantship
  • Jackie Olson, German and law, Class of 2020 – Germany, English teaching assistantship
  • Kathryn Peters, Ph.D. candidate in anthropology, Class of 2022 – Paraguay, open study/research award
  • Olivia Rastatter, early childhood education, Class of 2020 – Belgium, English teaching assistantship
  • Amelia West, human and organizational development, Class of 2018 – South Africa, English teaching assistantship
  • Angela Ye, elementary education, Class of 2020 – Taiwan, English teaching assistantship

Vanderbilt’s Fulbright alternates are:

  • Caitlin Doherty, M.Ed. in special education, Class of 2019 – Cyprus, English teaching assistantship
  • Neha Gandra, English and neuroscience, Class of 2020 – Thailand, English teaching assistantship
  • Avi Gargye, chemical engineering, Class of 2020 – Taiwan, Cheng Kung University Award in Creative Industries Design or Energy Engineering
  • Richard Hall, Ph.D. candidate in leadership and policy studies, Class of 2022 – North Macedonia, open study/research award
  • CC Lutz, M.A. in human and organizational development, Class of 2021 – Greenland, English teaching assistantship
  • Adrienne Parks, medicine, health and society and Spanish, Class of 2020 – Spain, English teaching assistantship
  • Abby Perry, molecular and cellular biology and Russian, Class of 2020 – Russia, English teaching assistantship
  • Meredith Waites, human and organizational development, Class of 2019 – Rwanda, English teaching assistantship

Interested students are encouraged to contact Jackie Sheridan, associate director of Post-Baccalaureate Opportunities at to apply for the upcoming Fulbright Scholarship cycle. Other award opportunities may be found on the Career Center website. Faculty and staff are invited to recommend outstanding students or indicate their interest in serving on interview committees in 2020-21 by emailing Sheridan directly.