The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that history junior Abigail King, of Lexington, has been selected for a place at a Fulbright Summer Institute to study at England's Durham University in one of the most prestigious and selective summer scholarship programs operating worldwide.
The U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission is the only bilateral, transatlantic scholarship program offering awards and summer programs for study or research in any field, at any accredited United States or United Kingdom university. The commission is part of the Fulbright program conceived by Senator J. William Fulbright in the aftermath of World War II to promote leadership, learning and empathy between nations through educational exchange. Award recipients and summer program participants are expected to be future leaders for tomorrow and support the "special relationship" between the U.S. and U.K.
As a participant, King has been selected from a strong applicant pool to experience the U.K. on a four-week summer program. The theme of the institute is "The Northern Borders of Empire to the Making of the Middle Ages." Durham's Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS) will guide students from the Roman Empire through Saxons, Vikings and the supreme kingdom of Northumbria and onto the medieval Northeast. The Summer Institute students will engage with a number of projects linked to the Binchester excavations which are exploring the Roman to medieval transformation of this frontier region.
"Upon learning I received the place I was in disbelief up until I called my parents, and then I was crying tears of joy. As a Fulbright summer program participant, I will gain experience in archaeology, learn more about medieval culture and current U.K. culture, and become an ambassador for my host university and the program," King said "I hope this work will enhance my teamwork and communication skills, my interest in archaeology, my knowledge on the Middle Ages, and I hope the program helps me grow as a leader."
Penny Egan, executive director of the U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission said, "In the 70th year of the Special Relationship, we can celebrate American students seeking study abroad opportunities through our Summer Institute program. This is a unique opportunity to get a taste of British higher education while interacting with students from across the globe. As part of a diverse and high-achieving cohort, these students will gain immensely from the experience."
The U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission selects participants through a rigorous application and interview process. In making these awards the commission looks not only for academic excellence but a focused application, a range of extracurricular and community activities, demonstrated ambassadorial skills, a desire to further the Fulbright Program and a plan to give back to the recipient’s home country upon returning.
Fulbright Summer Institutes cover all participant costs. In addition, Fulbright summer participants receive a distinctive support and cultural education program including visa processing, a comprehensive pre-departure orientation, enrichment opportunities in country, a re-entry session and opportunity to join the program's alumni networks.
King, the daughter of Dave and Deanna King of Lexington, is pursuing a degree in history and a minor in classics at UK. A member of the Honors Program, she recently completed an internship with the Special Collections Research Center Learning Lab, where she and her fellow interns processed the Frankel and Curtis Architectural Drawings Collection.
UK students interested in U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission may apply through the university’s Office of Nationally Competitive Awards. Part of the Academy for Undergraduate Excellence within the Division of Undergraduate Education, the office assists current UK undergraduate and graduate students and recent alumni in applying for external scholarships and fellowships funded by sources (such as a nongovernment foundation or government agency) outside the university. These major awards honor exceptional students across the nation. Students who are interested in these opportunities are encouraged to begin work with Pat Whitlow at the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards well in advance of the scholarship deadline.
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