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2019-2020 Fulbright Scholars

Six University of Utah students have received highly competitive Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board for the 2019-20 academic year.

The flagship international educational exchange program is designed to build relationships between people in the U.S. and in other countries with the aim of solving global challenges. It is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State.

Grant recipients are selected based on academic and professional achievement as well as a record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields.

“Seventeen students applied this year and a school-record nine of them were chosen as semi-finalists, which is the most we’ve ever had,” said Howard Lehman, director of the U’s Fulbright program, which is sponsored by the Office for Global Engagement and the Graduate School.

sherry liao

Sherry Liao

Sherry Liao, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing science in the Honors College, will study pediatric deaf children in China before and after cochlear implantation to assess their progression in crystallized and fluid intelligence.

brock maysBrock Mays Brock

Brock Mays Brock, completing a master’s degree in international affairs and global enterprise, will examine the effects of Russian misinformation and disinformation in Lithuania and how Russia’s campaign has negatively impacted trust in the national government.

danielle mclaughlinDanielle McLaughlin

Danielle McLaughlin, majoring in political science and Middle East studies, will serve as an English teaching assistant in Malaysia. Along with teaching English, she also will teach a boxing class to young women and create an American literature club.

chris rigbyChris Rigby

Chris Rigby, a master’s student in international affairs and global enterprise, will serve as an English teaching assistant in Kenya. He intends to implement programs in the classroom to help students there learn to effectively communicate in English.

luciana salmiLuciana Salmi

Luciana Salmi, majoring in psychology in the Honors College, will conduct research in Italy on the effects of stress and social support on a group of mothers with a high body mass index categorized as overweight or obese.

heather tourgeeHeather Tourgee

Heather Tourgee, a master’s student in environmental humanities, will serve as an English teaching assistant in Germany. She would like to teach English in a school with a high refugee population and integrate nature writing and outdoor learning into her teaching.


Tina Soma

Tina Soma, selected as an alternate, is completing a doctoral degree in psychology. If an opening is created, Tina would like to collaborate with Norwegian researchers who fuse research with therapy practice to better understand how therapists and clients regulate their emotions during therapy.

The other semi-finalists were Claire Taylor, master’s student in environmental humanities, and Brendan Darraugh, majoring in political science and German.

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Last Updated: 12/12/23