Sturgis International Fellowship for Students Pursuing Long-Term International Research or Internships

Silhouettes of camels in Merzouga, Morocco.
Alahna Blakeman

Silhouettes of camels in Merzouga, Morocco.

The Fulbright College Honors Program in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences is once again accepting applications for the prestigious Sturgis International Fellowship. The deadline to submit is by 4 p.m. Friday, March 1.

This award, funded by a gift from the Roy and Christine Sturgis Educational Trust, grants up to 10 scholars per year $15,500 in support for longer-term research or internship-focused study abroad (defined as at least four continuous months outside of the United States).

The Sturgis International Fellowship builds on Sen. J. William Fulbright's mission of peace through education by encouraging scholarly collaborations between U of A students and scholars around the world. 

Applicants must be rising junior or senior Fulbright College Honors undergraduates with a declared major in Fulbright College, or full-time graduate students pursuing a degree anchored in Fulbright College.

In 2018-19, seven students were selected to receive this prestigious international fellowship. These students' specialties range from political science, history and geography, to creative writing and chemistry.

The fellowship has enabled these talented scholars to study for an extended period of time in international locations from Southern Africa to Western Europe, and from Central and South America to East Asia.

Recipients included:

  • Riley Garrett, an honors student in the Department of Political Science, who spent the late summer and fall 2018 semester in Cape Town, South Africa. His internship with the Amy Foundation enabled him to work with youth in Phillipi, one of the many townships around Cape Town struggling with poverty, high rates of crime, and lack of access to basic resources and infrastructure. Garrett's after-school project with students in Phillipi culminated in a magazine featuring students' own short stories, photography and essays. He was also able to conduct research in District Six, an urban neighborhood that experienced the mass displacement of thousands of low-income families and people of color during the apartheid era. Garrett's thesis project focuses on how District Six is leading the way in equitable urban development.
  • Anna Vilner, an M.F.A. student in the Program in Creative Writing and Translation, is spending the year in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she is interning at Filba, a Literary Foundation that organizes an annual, international literary festival. Vilner is taking classes on Argentinean literature and cultural history at the University of Belgrano and translating a collection of short stories by award-winning Argentinean writer Hebe Uhart. 
  • Ashley Whiting, a doctoral student in the Department of History, is currently in Mexico City, conducting research for her dissertation on fashion and popular culture in 1920-1960s Mexico. Her particular focus is on the ways in which consumption was shaped by gender, race and urban space in the post-revolutionary period. She is studying Spanish-language and Mexican cultural history at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and will be conducting intensive research at three major archives, including Mexico City's highly esteemed Archivo General de la Nación (AGN).
  • Bishop Sites, an honors student in the Department of History, is spending the year at Shimane University in Matsue, Japan. His research focus is on the essays of Kamo no Chomei, a 12-century Buddhist recluse writer and philosopher. While in Japan, Sites is taking courses on Japanese culture and history and studying the Japanese language. His thesis will be a comparative analysis and re-translation of Kamo no Chomei's "Hojoki," a well-known work.
  • Jazzlyn Sikes is an analytical chemistry doctoral student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry who is spending the spring 2019 semester at Rurh University in Bochum, Germany, studying the kinetics of silver nanoparticle oxidation in order to understand the impact of nanoparticles on environmental, atmospheric and human health. The lab in which Sikes is working is one of a few places in the world where research on single-entity nanoparticles is conducted.
  • Madeline Vardell, an M.F.A. student in the Program in Creative Writing and Translation, is spending the year at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Lima, Peru, where she is working on a translation of the work of a group of poets who belong to the Kloaka literary movement. This poetry is written in a Spanish language that reflects the unique idioms and vibrant cultural specificity of this region; it is also infused with Quechua phrases and cultural references. During her time in Lima, Vardell is working to sharpen her Spanish fluency, and she is meeting with and interviewing various poets in this group.
  • Sara Kouchehbagh is an M.A. student in the Department of Geosciences. She spent the end of summer and fall 2018 at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies studying Arabic and gathering data for her master's thesis on the relationship of weaponry to development, migration and conflict in the Middle East. Kouchehbagh is interested in understanding the development and safety needs of Nuclear Weapons States versus Non-Nuclear Weapons States in the region. The University of London is a world leader in non-proliferation studies and afforded Kouchehbagh ample opportunity to conduct thesis research and engage with experts in her field.

Application guidelines and requirements are available on the Sturgis International Fellowship web page.

Final applications must be submitted in both hard-copy and PDF format. Hard copies must be delivered to the Fulbright College Honors Office in 517 Old Main and PDF files should be sent to Mary Ellen Hartford at  

Students should have their letters of recommendation send directly to Hartford.

All application materials are due in the Fulbright College Honors Office no later than Friday, March 1, by 4 p.m.


Kirstin Erickson, director of honors studies
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences


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