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Record number of ACU students qualify as Fulbright semifinalists


Kyle Yarbrough was a Fulbright recipient in 2018. With his previous grant, he taught his students in Kyrgyzstan, and this time he hopes to conduct an extensive research project there.

Abilene Christian University saw a record number of students and recent alumni apply to the prestigious Fulbright grant competition this year – 15 – and nine of those have been named semifinalists, which is also a record for ACU. 

Each year a cohort of current seniors and recent graduates utilize ACU’s Office of Major Scholarships, housed in the Honors College, to prepare applications for the Fulbright Student Program. 

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant programs. Candidates submit a statement of grant purpose defining activities to take place during one academic year in a participating country outside the U.S. During their grants, Fulbrighters will meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences. 

Announcements about which students are finalists and will receive Fulbright funding will come on a rolling basis throughout March and April. The nine ACU semifinalists are:

  • Kelsea Abston, senior English major  (English Teaching Assistant – Germany)
  • Myriam Gutierrez, senior math major (Study/Research – Finland)
  • Lane Jackson, senior management major (Study/Research – Finland)
  • Brookley Baker, senior math education major (English Teaching Assistant – Indonesia)
  • Zachary Casey, 2017 graduate (English Teaching Assistant – Saudi Arabia)
  • Bree Foster, 2017 graduate  (English Teaching Assistant – Indonesia)
  • Cesar Manzano, business administration graduate student (English Teaching Assistant – Spain)
  • Cassidy Miller, higher education graduate student (English Teaching Assistant – Slovakia)
  • Kyle Yarbrough, 2013 graduate (Study/Research – Kyrgyzstan)

ACU has a long tradition of students and recent graduates being awarded Fulbrights, dating back to the 1950s with fields of study representing journalism, recreation, music, management, English, physics, education and political science. In 2018-19 ACU was included on the list of U.S. colleges and universities that produced the most Fulbright U.S. students.

Learn more about ACU’s Honors College.

— Wendy Kilmer

Feb. 1, 2022

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