Seven U of A Students Selected as National Fulbright Scholars

l-r, Haley Smith, Bree Bursch, and Amy Cosgrove.
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l-r, Haley Smith, Bree Bursch, and Amy Cosgrove.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Seven University of Arkansas students have been awarded J. William Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships to teach English abroad for the upcoming 2015-16 academic year.

The Fulbright international exchange program offers students the opportunity to travel to a country of their choice, either to conduct advanced research in their fields of study or to teach English in elementary and secondary schools. Of the seven University of Arkansas students awarded English Teaching Assistantships, six are current undergraduates and one is a recent graduate. 

The Fulbright winners are Erick Axxe of Cave Springs; Bree Bursch of Plano, Texas; Amy Cosgrove of Prairie Village, Kansas; Grace Gandy of Dallas, Texas; Zoe Gastineau of Rogers; Jacob Pinter of Fayetteville; and Haley Smith of Justin, Texas. 

“The J. William Fulbright Scholarship Program is, of course, one that is very important to the University of Arkansas,” said Chancellor G. David Gearhart. “Fulbright was president of our university and a U.S. senator for our state. The Fulbright Scholarship has enhanced the educational experience of more than 300,000 students, and these students have had a positive impact on communities around the world. Once again, with these seven stellar students, we are sending outstanding ambassadors for our university and our state to a wide variety of countries. We are very proud of their accomplishments.”

The Fulbright program was established in 1946 through legislation sponsored by Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, to promote international education as a means of fostering cultural and political understanding across the globe. More than 155 countries participate in the program, and approximately 1,900 students from all fields of study are awarded grants each year. With these winners, the University of Arkansas has had a total of 67 students receive Fulbright awards. 

“Our college could not be more pleased to have six Fulbright Scholars this year. It’s a remarkable record and says a great deal about the faculty support, language instruction, and service opportunities our students enjoy,” said Todd Shields, Dean of the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. “I know they will continue the great work they have done here when they study and work abroad.”

This year’s recipients from Fulbright College are:

  • Erick Axxe, a senior honors German and sociology major in Fulbright College, will teach English in Germany. Axxe is a previous Honors College Study Abroad Grant recipient and spent the Spring 2014 semester studying at the University of Regensburg in Regensburg, Germany.
  • Bree Bursch, a senior English major in Fulbright College, is an active member of the German conversation club on campus.  She will spend the upcoming academic year teaching English in Germany. Bursch ultimately plans to pursue an M.F.A. in creative writing.
  • Amy Cosgrove is a senior communication major in Fulbright College. She is active with the Volunteer Action Center, and currently works as a peer adviser in the Office of Study Abroad. After completing her English Teaching Assistantship in Thailand, she plans to pursue non-profit work. 
  • Zoe Gastineau is a senior honors history and Asian studies major in Fulbright College. She will spend the upcoming year teaching English in South Korea. Gastineau previously studied abroad at Soonchunhyang University in Asan, South Korea, and she plans to pursue a doctorate specializing in Korean history upon completing her Fulbright.
  • Jacob Pinter graduated with a B.A. in broadcast journalism from Fulbright College in December 2014.  While on campus, Pinter received numerous journalism awards, and he currently works in Washington, D.C, as a production assistant for NPR’s Morning Edition. His Fulbright will allow him to teach English in Thailand.
  • Haley Smith, a senior anthropology major in Fulbright College, received an English Teaching Assistantship to Malaysia. Smith is the previous recipient of a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, and she is active on campus as an international exchange student pal. After completing her Fulbright, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in education policy. 

The College of Education and Health Professions also has a Fulbright Scholar: 

  • Grace Gandy, an honors elementary education senior will spend the 2015-16 academic year teaching in Greece. Gandy has been active in the National Science Teachers Association, and she has previously studied abroad in Denmark and Belize. After completing her Fulbright, she plans to become an elementary teacher. 

“Grace has been an excellent representative of our college and of the elementary education program,” said Tom Smith, Dean of the College of Education and Health Professions. “We are proud to have her represent the university and the state while in Greece. Like us, they are lucky to have her participate in their program.”

“I love working with Fulbright Scholarship applicants,” said DeDe Long, director of the Office of Study Abroad and Fulbright Program adviser for the university. “They are enthusiastic, academically accomplished, and open to other cultures. The students we send abroad through this program make a difference in the lives of the communities they touch, and they help shape a positive attitude about Americans. This group will certainly hold to that tradition.”

Students interested in applying for the Fulbright Scholarship should contact the office of study abroad at 479-575-7582 or The campus deadline for the 2016-17 year will be in late September.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


DeDe Long, director
Office of Study Abroad

Steve Voorhies, manager, media relations
University Relations


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