Boise State has a reputation of advising record numbers of students who receive Fulbright scholarships. These scholarships send students to international locations for graduate studies, advanced research and university teaching opportunities, or primary and secondary school teaching. Grace Hall, Hannah Johnson and Macy Shane are this year’s Boise State Fulbright scholars out of eight semifinalists representing the university, which includes three alternates who also may receive scholarships if additional funding becomes available, as well as two non-selects who are still named semifinalists.
Grace Hall, an interdisciplinary major with emphases in political science, Arabic and global studies and a 2022 Top Ten Scholar, will head back to Jordan, where she studied abroad in high school, as part of an English Teaching Assistant (ETA) program. This program places Fulbright scholars in schools overseas to supplement local English language instruction and to provide a native speaker presence in classrooms.
“My fellowship advisor Kate Huebschmann and the Honors College have been fundamental in my journey to receiving this scholarship,” Hall said. “Kate helped show me that the path to success is not straight lines, but rather it is continually changing, learning and growing, opening up even better opportunities.”
Huebschmann is a vital resource for students pursuing national, prestigious fellowships. The Honors College has helped 73 students with their Fulbright applications since it opened its fellowship advising office in 2014, and 34 percent (or 25 of those students) have won awards.
As a Fulbright grantee and a teacher for one year in Jordan, Hall will plan a community involvement project with local women’s and girls’ empowerment programs that focus on educational and economic opportunities. She will use her skills in the Arabic language to connect with and mentor young Jordanian girls and refugees, continuing the positive impact she’s made in Boise, as founder of the Boise State Arabic Club, Arabic tutor, and participant in the World Language Resource Center’s pathways project where she mentored and taught local refugees. Hall wants to pursue a career in foreign policy in Washington, D.C., promoting development in the Middle East by supporting women’s education, empowerment and economic opportunities.
Hannah Johnson, an elementary education major with an intermediate Spanish certificate, is headed to Spain to teach at a bilingual, Spanish and English-speaking school. She is passionate about teaching English to non-native speakers and looks forward to the hands-on experience in a new country and culture. She hopes to enhance bilingual education for students in the U.S. when she returns to the states following the fellowship.
“It is quite an honor to receive an opportunity like this and I feel fortunate to have been chosen out of so many students across the country,” she said.
Johnson recognizes Huebschmann and faculty and staff from the College of Education for their knowledge, guidance and support as she applied for the scholarship – an application process that requires a great deal of time and many rounds of edits.
“Kate was the guiding light in a crazy storm that is applying for Fulbright,” she added. “I am very grateful for the people that helped support me in this process as they were the people I leaned on most.”
Macy Shane, an interdisciplinary major with emphases in French and linguistics with a habilitative services certificate, will complete her graduate studies in Canada as a Fulbright scholar. She is most looking forward to being immersed in French Canadian culture and learning about Québécois pedagogy and its school system.
“Growing up in Idaho, I never thought I would have an opportunity like this and it means the world to me,” she said.
Shane says this scholarship will prepare her to teach French at the preschool and elementary levels. And when she returns to the U.S., she hopes to be an advocate for primary world language education standards, teach in a French immersion elementary school, and open her own French immersion preschool one day.
“My advisor Josh Baros from the TRIO Teacher Preparation Program was a wonderful source of encouragement and helped me take a chance and look into applying more,” she said. “And my Fulbright advisor Kate Huebschmann was also very helpful throughout the process of applying and I am forever grateful for her support.”
“There is no such thing as failure, just an opportunity to learn about yourself, grow and bounce back even stronger,” Hall said when reflecting on some of the hurdles to receiving the scholarship. “To any student, winning a prestigious scholarship such as Fulbright is the highlight of an academic career. However, receiving this means so much more to me than a title I can flaunt.”
Fulbright scholar alternates include Boise State students Ashley Sagrero, anthropology major and Mexico ETA; Evan Fishburn, English literature major and Czech Republic ETA; and Elizabeth Bohnstedt, psychology major and Spain ETA. Semifinalist non-selects include Ashton Caldwell, communication and marketing major and Czech Republic ETA, and Kendra Peterson in the Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning graduate degree program and South Korea ETA.
Learn more about the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.