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Four Boise State students will travel the globe on prestigious Fulbright scholarships

Four Boise State students have been named scholars of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, and they join dozens of past winners who’ve received support from the Honors College’s Fellowship Advising Office. These students will travel abroad for graduate studies or primary and secondary school teaching assistantships.

Lauren Rod to Finland

A portrait of Lauren Rod
Lauren Rod was awarded graduate studies in Finland to someday create sustainable business practices in Idaho.

Lauren Rod is an international business major with a Spanish for business minor. She will head to Finland to attend Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology where she’ll work towards a Master in International Marketing Management degree. Upon completing the program, Rod hopes to return to Idaho to advocate for sustainable business practices in local operations.

“My primary focus will be identifying market entry and expansion prospects for businesses within the state,” she said. “While my initial emphasis is on Idaho, my long-term aspiration is to contribute at the international level, facilitating global expansion across diverse cultures and markets.”

Rod grew up in Coeur d’Alene near a Superfund site – a polluted area designated for governmental cleanup. Her family instilled in her a respect for nature and environmental responsibility, and she became more aware of and concerned about the impacts of poor mining practices on the community.

“Through courses in international business and public health, my involvement in sustainability clubs and my experiences abroad, I advanced my understanding and increased my knowledge of the ethical decision-making opportunities in global business,” she said. “I had always wondered if it was possible for business and the environment to be in harmony. I see myself fostering global collaborations, advocating ethical conduct and promoting sustainable solutions.”

Frances Shafer-Coffey to Uruguay

A portrait of Frances Shafer-Coffey
Frances Shafer-Coffey will teach English in Uruguay.

Frances Shafer-Coffey is an Honors College member majoring in Spanish with a creative writing minor. She’s off to Uruguay for an English teaching assistantship.

“I’ve had a fascination with Uruguay since hearing my cousin’s stories of the country – about the food and the wildlife and the fun fact that there are more cows in Uruguay than people,” she said. “Since then, my interest in Uruguay has grown and changed. As a country with a 98% literacy rate, I want to be part of and learn from their public schools, while sharing my own educational background.”

Shafer-Coffey is pursuing a career teaching English as a second language, and she attributes this passion to her challenges learning to read when she was younger, as well as learning Spanish.

“My struggle goes hand-in-hand with my love of language and my desire to share that with others. I love a challenge.”

Branda Siharath to Laos

Branda Siharath poses for a photo in Laos
Branda Siharath will help students in Laos make valuable advancements in their country through the use of the English language.

Branda Siharath is an international business major minoring in Chinese studies with a Mandarin certificate and a member of the Honors College. She will head to Laos to be an English teaching assistant.

“I am excited to help students not only advance various critical skill sets like teamwork, leadership and the comprehension of English, but also develop their global awareness and cross-cultural skills,” Siharath said. “As an Asian-American of Lao descent, I would like to help Lao students become more globally connected.”

She adds that because English has become a necessary tool for global relations in today’s society, providing Lao students with the resources and support they need to learn the language will help them make valuable advancements in their country. Siharath’s experiences abroad, which will provide a better understanding of cross-cultural communication, will prepare for a career in government or international business.

“Although I have always been a blend of two cultures, I now understand how culture and ethnicity are so uniquely diverse that categorizing individuals into one box is impossible. It is my hope that this assistantship will allow me to share this concept with Lao students, and that I will further my knowledge of cultural identity and diversity through hearing their perspective as well.”

Reagan Solomon to Germany

A portrait of Reagan Solomon
Reagan Solomon was awarded an assistantship to teach English in Germany.

Reagan Solomon has been awarded an English teaching assistantship in Germany, working in North Rhein Westfalia classrooms. She is an Honors College member majoring in German with a creative writing minor.

“My enthusiasm for this opportunity stems from having experienced so much growth and connection through my journey learning German. I want to open up doors for students personally and professionally by helping them develop their English proficiency,” she said.

Solomon attributes her experiences at Boise State with preparing her for this opportunity. Over the past three years, she’s participated in German labs where she’s taught the language to other students, making it fun and engaging by using games and music. She hopes to teach German at a university or enter an international career like aviation.

“I want to share my excitement for teaching and encourage German students to make connections across the world. Maybe one of them will choose to study abroad or host a student, and maybe someone who thinks they only want to learn Spanish will find belonging and friendship somewhere unexpected.”


Several students and an alum were recognized as semifinalists, which are non-selects who made it through the first stage of competition. They are:

  • Margo Lane, a graduate student in the Master of Arts in Education, Curriculum and Instruction program.
  • Soledad Negrete, an Honors College member majoring in biology with a creative writing minor.
  • Eloise Mitchell, an Honors College member majoring in philosophy with an environmental studies minor.
  • Monica Potts, an Honors College member majoring in psychology with minors in American Sign Language, visual art and family studies.
  • Jackie Sizemore, an alum of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program.

Learn more about the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.