University announces six Fulbright grant winners
The University of South Carolina will be represented abroad by six Fulbright Scholars conducting research and serving as English teaching assistants. This year’s six Fulbright recipients are Matthew Thomas Caine, Emilee L. Duck, Benjamin Forney, Patrick Leon Hankins, Wesley Moore, and Veronica Sue.
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.” Fulbright Program participants, who are chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential, have the opportunity to study, teach or conduct research.
Caine, a doctoral student in the Choral Conducting program at the School of Music, earned his undergraduate degree in church music from Birmingham Southern College (2003) followed by a master’s in music education from Samford University (2004) and a master’s in choral conducting and vocal performance from the University of South Florida (2007). He has been a member of the Concert Choir, the Graduate Vocal Ensemble and a graduate assistant in the Choral Department. He also is director of music at Grace United Methodist Church in Columbia. He will study the music of Todor Popov, a Bulagarian composer whose music has not been performed widely in the West. Caine summed up his hopes for his Fulbright year by saying, “I am very excited to have the opportunity to study the choral music of Todor Popov, most of which has never left Bulgaria, and then to begin sharing this wonderful music with audiences in the United States,” he said.
Duck graduated from the South Carolina Honors College in May with a double major in English and German and was a member of Delta Phi Alpha, Germany National Honor Society, and a recipient of the Cooper Scholarship. She also is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. In spring 2007, she received the J. Gordon Belser English Department Award and Scholarship as well as the Gerda Jordan German Department Award and Scholarship. Last summer, she taught English in Germany and will build on that experience as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Germany. “Over the past four years, I have really found a home at USC, both personally and academically — truth be told, I’m not quite ready to pull up my roots yet. I know, however, that my experiences here have prepared me for the adventure at hand, and I am thrilled beyond belief to have the chance to teach, learn, and write in Germany,” she said.
Forney graduated from the South Carolina Honors College with a degree in English and has been an academic tutor for student athletes as well as a contributor to the Garnet and Black and The Lettered Olive. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and was a Palmetto fellow and a University scholar. Forney will teach English in a South Korean middle or high school next year. “Living in Korea and witnessing their culture will be an incredible experience. The skills I’ll learn and the connections I’ll make will be invaluable resources as I begin my career,” he said.
Hankins, a Carolina Scholar, graduated in May from the South Carolina Honors College with degrees in chemistry and German. He is a recipient of the Hiram and Lawanda Allen Scholarship for Excellence in chemistry award and the Victor Laurie Chemistry Scholarship, which recognizes undergraduate research and participation in the USC American Chemical Society Undergraduate Affiliates and its programs. He has taught German in a Columbia elementary school and freshman chemistry at USC as a teaching assistant, and been a Magellan Scholar. “During my stay in Germany I hope to truly fulfill the role of a Fulbright ambassador and to foster greater understanding between Germans and Americans,” he said. “I will miss my friends and family, but I know that this coming year will be full of adventures and new experiences.”
Moore, a 2008 magna cum laude graduate of the university, majored in German and minored in art history. At Carolina, he was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, taught German in a practicum at the Montessori School in Columbia, was an architectural researcher for the City of Folly Beach, the South Carolina Preservation Committee, and an intern for the chief curator of art at the S.C. State Museum. This past year, he volunteered at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D. C.
Sue, a December 2008 graduate of the university with a degree in biology, was a member of the South Carolina Honors College and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. At the university, she participated in the Globally Thinking Program, the Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands and served as a supplemental instructor. She was a Palmetto fellow and received a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to study Spanish in Costa Rica. “I am so honored to live, learn, and teach in South Korea during the upcoming year,” she said. “This is an extraordinary opportunity for cultural exchange, and I am so grateful to Fulbright and to the USC Office of Fellowships/Scholarships. Without them I would not have made it this far.” In addition to her Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to South Korea, she has been accepted into the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (JET).
This year’s recipients bring the number of USC Fulbright winners to 46 since the Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs was established in 1994. Dr. Kenneth Perkins, a professor of history, and Ms. Margaret Perkins, a fellowship coordinator in the Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs, have served as the University’s Fulbright Program Advisors this past year.
For more information about the Fulbright Program, contact the Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs at 777-0958, or visit www.sc.edu/ofsp.