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National Fellowships and Scholar Programs

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    Gina Hollenbach (left) and Aidan Thomason (right) join a legacy of 100+ UofSC alumni selected as Fulbrighters.

UofSC alumni will travel the world as Fulbright students

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program has offered four recent UofSC alumni the opportunity to spend a year abroad. Gina Hollenbach, Felicia McGill, Ashleigh Rufty and Aidan Thomason have been selected to participate in this international exchange program, which provides students with funding to research, study, teach English or practice a creative art.

Why it matters: Fulbright students gain a unique opportunity to advance academically and professionally while expanding their cultural perspectives. Participants join a global network of passionate and accomplished scholars, artists and professionals in over 140 countries.

Who they are: All four recipients are graduates of the South Carolina Honors College.

  • Gina Hollenbach (’22) is an international business and finance major and environmental studies minor whose long-term goal is to work as an international sustainability consultant. She will be completing the binational internship in Mexico.
  • Felicia McGill (’22) was selected to be an English teaching assistant in Mexico. McGill is a mathematics and Spanish major who plans to study autism as a research professor after completing a PhD. Her autism research has also led her to receive a Goldwater Scholarship.
  • Ashleigh Rufty (’20) currently works as a library program specialist in North Carolina after graduating with a B.A. in English. She will be an English teaching assistant in South Korea.
  • Aidan Thomason (’22) is an international studies and history major who plans to work on refugee policy. She is also a McNair Scholar, one of the university’s top merit-based scholarships, offered to 20 out-of-state students each year. Aidan will be going to Brazil as an English teaching assistant.

Whitney Westbrook, another recent Honors College graduate, was named an alternate for an English teaching assistantship in Rwanda and may be promoted to finalist if additional funding becomes available.

By the numbers:

  • For 75 years, Fulbright has been providing grants for students to go abroad.
  • 100+ UofSC alumni have been named U.S. Fulbright Students since 1994.
  • Over 9,000 students nationwide applied for these competitive awards this year.

Graduating seniors, graduate students and recent alumni interested in pursuing Fulbright receive support from dedicated faculty across campus as well as national fellowship advisors.  Students interested in learning more should contact National Fellowships & Scholar Programs.

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