Three University of Arkansas Seniors Named Fulbright Scholars

l-r: Katherine Branum, Stephanie Galen, and Casey Gibson
John Baltz

l-r: Katherine Branum, Stephanie Galen, and Casey Gibson

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Three University of Arkansas seniors, all members of the Honors College, have been awarded Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships for the upcoming year.

Katherine Branum of Jonesboro, Stephanie Galen of Bentonville, and Casey Gibson of Jonesboro will spend the 2018-19 academic year teaching English through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

“I am delighted that we have three University of Arkansas seniors who have been selected as Fulbright Scholars,” said Jim Coleman, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs. “This nationally competitive program is dear to our hearts not only because of the many ties of Senator J. William Fulbright to the University of Arkansas, but also because of the importance of the program’s mission.

“These students will be ambassadors for the United States and for the University of Arkansas as well as a variety of colleges on the campus — the College of Education and Health Professions, the College of Engineering, the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, and the Honors College. All three students share stellar academic and service records as well as a desire to give back to others. We wish them safe and productive travels.” 

The internationally prestigious award is designed to increase mutual understanding between people of the United States and other countries through education.

“Kathrine Branum, Stephanie Galen and Casey Gibson are exceptional students who have benefited from exceptional opportunities,” said DeDe Long, director of the Office of Study Abroad and Fulbright Program adviser. “That’s a terrific combination, and in their cases, it is translating into teaching experiences abroad that will complement their long-term goals and that they will treasure for a life-time. I look forward to sharing these experiences with future Fulbright Scholars who follow in their impressive  footsteps.”

University of Arkansas students who are interested in applying for competitive scholarships like the Fulbright Scholarship should contact the Office of Study Abroad at or the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards at

Katherine Branum

Katherine Branum will complete her English Teaching Assistantship in Costa Rica. She is an honors communication disorders student in the College of Education and Health Professions.

On campus, she has been an active member of Chi Omega sorority and an English conversation club leader, and she received an Honors College Study Abroad Grant and a Service Learning Grant for trips to Spain and Peru. While in Peru, she taught Augmentative Alternative Communication at a special education school. After completing her Fulbright tenure, she plans to complete a doctorate in speech language pathology and research practices that foster emotional development in both English and Spanish speaking users of Augmentative Alternative Communication.

“Receiving a Fulbright Scholarship represents the realization of my lifelong dream to teach English as a second language,” Branum said. “I am incredibly humbled by this opportunity and will work diligently to honor Senator Fulbright’s mission of cross-cultural understanding during my time in Costa Rica.”

Stephanie Galen

Stephanie Galen will spend her Fulbright year as an English Teaching Assistant in Silistra, Bulgaria. She is an honors international economics major and French minor in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.

She has been a member of the university’s Model United Nations Team, a Volunteer Action Center literacy tutor, and a violinist in the university symphony orchestra. In the spring of 2017, she worked as an intern with the Commerce Department at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, France. Upon completion of her Fulbright year, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in public policy or economics as preparation for her goal to become a foreign service officer.

“I am so excited to represent the University of Arkansas, my friends and my family in Bulgaria,” said Galen. “While serving as an ETA, I want to enrich the lives of my students and aid them in becoming global citizens. I am honored to continue Senator Fulbright’s legacy abroad.”

Casey Gibson

Casey Gibson will be an English Teaching Assistant in Mexico. An Arkansas Governor’s Distinguished Scholar, Chancellor’s Merit Scholar, and National Merit Finalist, she is completing a bachelor’s in biological engineering with honors in the College of Engineering and a bachelor’s of Spanish in Fulbright College.

She has served as president of the Biological Engineering Students Club, a literacy tutor in the Sin Limites program at J.O. Kelly Middle School in Springdale, and a member of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. She received Honors College Study Abroad Grants for trips to Costa Rica and India, and she worked as an environmental engineering research intern in Concepción, Chile, in the summer of 2016. After completing a doctorate in environmental engineering, she plans a career in academia in which she can foster partnerships between the United States and Mexico.

“Becoming a Fulbright Scholar has been a dream of mine for over three years, since I first went to an informational session about it here at the U of A,” said Gibson. “I couldn’t be happier that I was accepted, and that I get to go to a country as fascinating as Mexico.”


Dede Long, director
Office of Study Abroad and International Exchange


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