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Three Boise State students head abroad on prestigious Fulbright scholarships

Campus scenes, spring 2020, photo Patrick Sweeney

Three Boise State Honors College students – Emily Hawley, Sarah Gentile and Nathaniel Campbell – are 2023 Fulbright Scholarship recipients. Their scholarships will send them abroad for graduate studies, research and university teaching opportunities, or primary and secondary school teaching.

Boise State has a reputation of advising record numbers of Fulbright scholars – in 2020, its five scholars broke the record among Idaho universities for the most Fulbright grantees in one year.

Emily Hawley to teach in Colombia

Emily Hawley poses in her Boise State regalia in front of the College of Education building
Emily Hawley, a Spanish and secondary education major and 2023 Fulbright scholar, will teach English in Colombia.

Emily Hawley, a Spanish and secondary education major from Auburn, Washington, will become an English teaching assistant in Colombia. She’s eager to experience the classrooms and culture of Colombia before returning to the U.S. with a new global perspective that she can apply in her own bilingual classroom. She then plans to pursue a master’s degree in curriculum and foundational studies while working in a dual language environment – a form of instruction where students learn literacy and content in English and another language.

“Without the support from Boise State, I would have been too intimidated to apply for a fellowship of this caliber,” Hawley said. “The faculty in the College of Education, the Honors College and the Department of World Languages erased the word ‘just’ from my vocabulary. I wasn’t ‘just’ an education major or ‘just’ a language teacher. Even if there were times over the last four years I wanted to settle, my professors wouldn’t let me.”

Sarah Gentile to teach in Spain

Sarah Gentile, a 2023 Fulbright scholar, at the Grove Plaza in downtown Boise
Sarah Gentile, a 2023 Fulbright scholar, will head to Spain to teach English.

Sarah Gentile, a psychology and Spanish major from Rexburg, is heading to Spain as an English teaching assistant. She will be located in the Canary Islands where she not only will teach English to an elementary school, but plans to also start a cardio dance class and try surfing. She hopes to serve in the Peace Corps someday and believes the Fulbright Scholarship will provide the foundation and experience needed to be a successful volunteer.

During her time at Boise State, Gentile has been an Honors College member, a tutor for the College of Education, a campus recreation instructor, a Bronco Ambassador, a housing resident assistant and a study abroad student in Montevideo, Uruguay.

“All of these people, clubs, positions and involvements at Boise State have given me confidence in my abilities, made me comfortable with leading and have made me more ambitious than ever,” she said.

Nathaniel Campbell to conduct research in Denmark

Nathaniel Campbell poses on campus in his Boise State regalia
Nathaniel Campbell will study sustainable urban development in Denmark as a 2023 Fulbright scholar.

Nathaniel Campbell will go to Denmark as a study grantee. He will complete non-degree-seeking graduate study and research connected to sustainable urban development. He then hopes to apply that experience at a nonprofit that specializes in sustainable development and planning practices for underserved and rural areas.

“It is a tremendous honor to receive an award like this and is still something that is difficult to process,” he said. “In many ways, it shows that it was worthwhile to come to Boise State, forge new relationships, and pursue my passions in a place that was very much outside of the norm for me.”

Campbell grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, an area of the country vulnerable to disasters. He developed an interest in sustainability and resilience early on, and that interest eventually led to a degree in urban studies and community development at Boise State. He chose Denmark because of its reputation for being one of the greenest and most sustainable countries in the world.

“It has been a long journey to get to this point and people from Boise State have been there every step of the way,” said Campbell.

Alternates and semifinalists

Several Boise State students were recognized as semifinalists (non-selects who made it through the first stage of competition) and as alternates who may receive scholarships if additional funding becomes available. They are:

  • Nathan Harrison, a 2022 graduate with a bachelor of science in biology, is a Fulbright alternate for an English teaching assistantship to Taiwan.
  • Maya Smart, majoring in philosophy and English, is a semifinalist for an English teaching assistantship to the Czech Republic.
  • Marissa Phipps, an art education major, is a semifinalist for an English teaching assistantship to the Czech Republic.

Learn more about the Fulbright program on its website.