Five graduates of St. Edward’s are winners of the 2021 Fulbright Student award, and two additional graduates have been selected as alternates for the award. 

As recipients of this highly selective grant program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, these graduates will make an impact in communities around the world during a year of teaching, learning and cross-cultural exchange.

Our Fulbright Award winners will work as English language teaching assistants in Bulgaria, Cote d’Ivoire, the Czech Republic, Kenya and South Korea. They plan to approach their host countries with an openness to learn from and contribute to the communities they serve while acting as ambassadors for the U.S. Among their goals is promoting civic engagement, combatting systemic racism in education and empowering young women.

Meet these Hilltoppers! Find out about their experiences at St. Edward’s and beyond the hilltop that led to their Fulbright award ─ and their goals for their Fulbright year.

 

Andrea Calderon

Andrea Calderon ’19 
Environmental Science and Policy 

MY FULBRIGHT GOALS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC

“I’m thrilled to foster prosperous and lasting relationships with my community in the Czech Republic. But above all, I want to encourage my students to seek their own global opportunities, whether it be in the U.S. or elsewhere, so they can learn how akin they are to other communities. Those global opportunities will help break the preconceived ideas that divide us.”

MY EXPERIENCES ON THE HILLTOP AND BEYOND
  • Studied abroad in South Africa, Costa Rica and Australia
  • Received the Doris Duke Conservation Scholarship
  • Lived in Washington, D.C., for a semester as a congressional intern with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute
  • Presented at the International Conference on Poverty and Sustainable Development in Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Attended the International Conference on Negative Carbon Dioxide Emissions in Gothenburg, Sweden, as an award recipient
  • Participated in the Public Policy for International Affairs Program at Princeton University 
  • Currently working in the U.S. House of Representatives 
AFTER MY FULBRIGHT YEAR

“As a 2021 Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow, I’ll pursue a Master of International Affairs at Columbia University. After graduating from the program, I’ll work as a Foreign Service Officer with the United States Department of State.”

 

Bailey Galicia

Bailey Galicia ’20
Political Science

MY FULBRIGHT GOALS IN BULGARIA

“I want to be open to continuously learning from my students and surroundings, and to foster a collaborative classroom where students feel free to ask questions about language, culture, government and politics. And I look forward to cultivating relationships in the community through service and creating conversational clubs to engage students.”

MY EXPERIENCES ON THE HILLTOP
  • Gained teaching experience working as a democracy coach for Generation Citizen and a teaching assistant for an International Political Economy course at St. Edward’s 
  • Studied international development as a Benjamin Gilman Scholar in Ifrane, Morocco, focusing on the Middle East and North Africa 
  • Attended the Public Policy and International Affairs Junior Summer Institute at Carnegie Mellon University 
  • Awarded a Martin Scholar Fellowship from St. Edward’s, which led to two summer internships:
    – Served as an executive intern in the Office of Community Partnerships for Former Governor John Hickenlooper’s office in Colorado 
    – Interned with the Global Livingston Institute in Denver and then in Kampala, Uganda, working with a sustainable farming initiative that helps reintegrate former child soldiers into their communities
AFTER MY FULBRIGHT YEAR

“My experiences at St. Edward’s helped me develop skills for cross-cultural communication, community organizing and conflict resolution. I plan to continue honing those skills during my Fulbright experience and hope to apply them in a future with the United States Foreign Service.”

 

Jordan Goff

Jordan Goff ’19
Global Studies/International Conflict and East Asia

MY FULBRIGHT GOALS IN SOUTH KOREA

“I hope to help my students become confident and empowered language-learners; understand diversity in both American and Korean society; and appreciate learning about various cultures in a respectful way. Outside of teaching, I'm also excited for the opportunity to explore Korean literature and advance my Korean language skills.”

MY EXPERIENCES ON THE HILLTOP AND BEYOND
  • Awarded a Martin Scholar Fellowship from St. Edward’s, which provided funding for two summer experiences that help build credentials for the future:
    – Studied Japanese language and culture at Kwansei Gakuin University in Osaka 
    – Interned with AIDS Foundation Houston as a coordinator for their summer camp for HIV+   children 
  • Received the Outstanding Student Award in the Japanese Language as a member of Alpha Mu Gamma Foreign Language Honor Society 
  • Wrote essays published in New Literati, a student-run literary magazine on campus 
AFTER MY FULBRIGHT YEAR

“I plan to apply to a Master of Library and Information Science program, specializing in youth services. I hope to work as a children’s librarian in a public setting, where I can introduce diverse literature to children in order to foster a deeper understanding of various issues as they grow up.”

 

Kadija Samura

Kadija Samura ’20 
Global Studies/Africa and Economics

MY FULBRIGHT GOALS IN COTE D'IVOIRE

“Given that language is the carrier of culture, my hope is to facilitate authentic cultural exchange through round table discussions — in French and English — giving students and me the opportunity to explore fundamental questions about self, expression of self and the role of multiculturalism. I’m thrilled to be immersed in Ivorian local knowledge, languages and philosophies.”

MY EXPERIENCES ON THE HILLTOP
  • Worked with the Presidential Advisory Committee and co-founded the Open the Red Doors project advocating for equity and equal access for students of color on campus
  • Spent a summer working with Reach A Hand Uganda to analyze their Sexuality Education Policy
  • Interned at Annie’s List, working to improve programs such as Campaign School, which helps women learn about running a campaign
  • Awarded the Boren Scholarship and spent two semesters in Ghana:
    – Engaged in research during the first semester, while teaching English at PataKro Primary School.
    – Attended the University of Ghana during the second semester and studied African history  
  • In Ghana, became committed to learning more about the education systems in West Africa and using local knowledge to create solutions for combatting colonial and neocolonialism 
AFTER MY FULBRIGHT YEAR

“I plan to attend graduate school and focus on International Comparative Education and Policy. Then, as a Boren Scholar, I’ll work for the government for at least a year.

 

Andi Utter

Andi Utter ’20
Environmental Science and Policy

MY FULBRIGHT GOALS IN KENYA

“When you are learning a language, you also learn a culture in the process. As a teacher, I want to expand cultural understandings of what America is beyond the TV screen that most people see us from, and be a role model for my culture. I’m excited to explore more of East Africa and improve my Swahili as well!”

MY EXPERIENCES ON THE HILLTOP
  • Served as a residential assistant, a team lead volunteer for SERVE Austin and a member of Students for Sustainability at St. Edward’s 
  • Gained teaching experience in Austin working with El Buen Samaritano and River City Youth Foundation; used that experience to build on her work with Big Brothers Big Sisters, mentoring elementary students 
  • Traveled to Costa Rica with a Summer Academic Excellence Award from St. Edward’s; served as a sea turtle conservation volunteer, collecting data in the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge
  • Honed diplomacy skills while studying in Gaborone, Botswana, for a year through a Benjamin Gilman Scholarship 
  • Won the U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship and used it to study the Swahili language in Tanzania for a semester to prepare for teaching in Africa in the future 
AFTER MY FULBRIGHT YEAR

“I plan to continuing teaching English as a second language, whether that be in East Africa or somewhere else. I want to use this opportunity to build up my language and cross-cultural skills, and then pursue a career in cultural diplomacy.”

 

Two Hilltoppers Were Selected as Alternates for the Fulbright Award 

David Arras ’21 
Business Administration

David Arras is passionate about foreign affairs. He studied abroad in Salzburg, Austria, and volunteered as an English teaching assistant at an Austrian high school. As a Virtual Student Federal Service Intern with the Department of State, Arras hosted three weekly workshops with Mexican university students and journalists to help improve their English education and understanding of media literacy.

Arras plans to attend law school and is a Hispanic Bar Association of Austin Scholar. His wants to prepare for a life of public service and diplomacy with the Department of State. 

FULBRIGHT GOALS IN GERMANY

If accepted to spend a Fulbright year in Germany, Arras hopes to work with immigrant and refugee communities to help secure their placement and wellbeing in Europe.

 

Chloë Seminet ’21
Philosophy and French 

At St. Edward’s, Chloë Seminet was president of the Philosophy Club and a member of Alpha Mu Gamma foreign language honor society. She studied abroad twice in France. In Chambéry, France, she was the student leader for two sections of B1 international students.

In Angers, France, she was a teaching assistant for St. Edward’s University students studying French. She also interned as a camp counselor at the Mongazon Institution where she taught English language to French children. Seminet placed 2nd in the St. Edward’s Brother Dunstan Bowles Persuasive Speaking Contest in 2019 and competed at the Texas Regional Ethics Bowl in 2018. 

FULBRIGHT GOALS IN THAILAND

If granted a Fulbright year in Thailand, Seminet wants to start a Philosophy Club to encourage those in her community to articulate their aspirations, historicity and values, and to discuss unfamiliar cultures and consider them in a broader, global context.

 

awards

Top Producer of Fulbright Students

St. Edward’s was named a top producer of Fulbright U.S. Students among master’s-granting institutions for 11 consecutive years, and a #1 producer for two of those years. Since 2008, 75 Fulbrights have been awarded to our students. Our Office of Fellowships mentors students academically and professionally, connecting them to merit-based opportunities such as the Fulbright Program.