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USC Announces Seven Fulbright US Student Grant Finalists

For the 16th consecutive year, the University of South Carolina will be represented abroad by Fulbright US Student grantees conducting research, studying, and serving as English Teaching Assistants. This year our seven Fulbright Finalists (those offered the Fulbright Student grant) are Victoria Belcher, Caroline Blount, Selena Dyer, Ian Giocondo, James Jacocks, Chelsea Morris, and Julie Whitehead, while four USC students, Kevin Anneken, Anais Parada, Mark Rodehorst, and William Welsh, have been named Alternates. These students are among the over 1,900 U.S. citizens who will teach, conduct research, and provide expertise abroad for the 2017-2018 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement as well as record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields. Since 1983, USC has had over 100 Fulbright student scholars in Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, conducting research, studying in graduate programs and teaching English in K-college settings.

Dr. Kara Brown, Associate Professor of Educational Studies, Dr. Yvonne Ivory, Associate Professor of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (German), Prof. Laura Kissel, Professor of Film and Media Studies, and Dr. Jeff Persels, Associate Professor of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (French), served as the University's Fulbright Program Advisors this past year. They worked closely with many of this year's pool of candidates as they crafted their winning applications. More than 50 other faculty members assisted in interviewing applicants as part of the campus evaluation process.

These students and others seeking national fellowships were assisted by the Office of Fellowships & Scholar Programs. For more information about the Fulbright Program, contact the Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs at 803-777-0958, or visit us online at

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 370,000 participants - chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential - with the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Over 1,900 U.S. students, artists and young professionals in more than 100 different fields of study are offered Fulbright Program grants to study, teach English, and conduct research annually. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program operates in over 140 countries throughout the world. Lists of Fulbright recipients are available via the Grantee Directory at:

The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the United States Congress to the Department of State and managed by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support.

In the United States, the Institute of International Education administers and coordinates the activities relevant to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program on behalf of the Department of State, including conducting an annual competition for the scholarships. The Fulbright Program also awards grants to U.S. scholars, teachers and faculty to conduct research and teach overseas. In addition, some 4,000 new foreign Fulbright students and scholars come to the United States annually to study for graduate degrees, conduct research and teach foreign languages. Fulbright scholars at the University of South Carolina in the past few years have represented a variety of countries, including Austria, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, India, Morocco, Nigeria, Russia, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, and the UK.
Get more information about the Fulbright Program 

Belcher will graduate this May from the South Carolina Honors College with majors in Business Economics and Anthropology. She is a McNair Scholar, as well as a recipient of the Outstanding Student Volunteer Award. She provides support to survivors of sexual assault as a volunteer advocate with Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands and served as the Co-Director of Anne Frank for South Carolina. While studying abroad in Salvador, Brazil she taught English at a local community center, Siloé. Belcher works with refugees as an ESL assistant teacher in Columbia and held internships in the refugee resettlement department of the Nashville International Center for Empowerment as well as the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal. She plans to pursue a career in urban policy reform. Her Fulbright year will be spent teaching English in Brazil.


Blount will graduate this May from the South Carolina Honors College, where she is majoring in German and English. A McNair Scholar, she is also the recipient of the Hoechst German Department Award. Blount went on the Wittenberg Maymester, and also participated in the Teaching in Saxony-Anhalt summer program. She ultimately hopes to earn her PhD in Comparative Literature. She will spend her Fulbright year teaching English in Germany.


Dyer will receive her Bachelor's degree this May from the College of Arts and Sciences, where she is majoring in German and minoring in European Studies and Violin Performance. She is the recipient of both the Gerda Jordan and Maria Reyes awards from the German Department, as well as the Watson-Brown Scholarship. She worked as a Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leader for PSYC 101 for four semesters, and an SI Program Mentor for two semesters. She is also a member of the USC Symphony (violin). Dyer plans to teach as a university professor, and upon her return from her Fulbright year, will begin a PhD program in Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pennsylvania. Her Fulbright year will be spent teaching English in Germany.


Giocondo will graduate from the School of Music this May with his Bachelor's of Music (B.M.) degree. He is the recipient of the LeDare Robinson Award for Academic Excellence from the School of Music, as well as Second Prize in the Thomas Cooper Libraries' Award for Undergraduate Research. His work has been supported by a Magellan grant and the Ceny Walker Fellowship from the Walker Institute. In 2017, he presented a paper at a chapter meeting of the American Musicological Society. Giocondo's Fulbright year will be spent in Berlin examining the influence of American music in Germany after World War II.


Jacocks is a 2016 graduate of the University of South Carolina with a major in English and a minor in secondary education. He grew up in Sumter, South Carolina. He is currently pursuing his MA in Rhetoric and Composition here at USC, which he will use to reach his long-term goal of being a Writing Center Director. Jacocks will spend his Fulbright year teaching English to South Korean High School students.


Morris will graduate this May from the South Carolina Honors College with majors in German and Linguistics. She is the recipient of the Gerda Jordan Scholarship for German majors, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She has been an active DJ with WUSC for four years, and currently is the Music Director of the station. Morris has also worked for SCHC for the last four years, and completed an internship with the State of Georgia's Department of Economic Development at one of their priority international offices in Munich, Germany. Her research experience includes work on the American media's portrayal of the German language as well as American undergraduates' perception of the German language. Morris will spend her Fulbright year teaching English in Germany.


Whitehead will graduate this May from the South Carolina Honors College, with majors in International Business and Marketing, and minors in History and Spanish. She is currently one of two IB Oxford Scholars of the Darla Moore School of Business, spending this academic year at Oxford in the UK studying American history, entrepreneurial finance and project management. She spent the entire 2015 year in Santiago, Chile working and studying as part of the International Business of Americas Cohort. She is a recipient of the Thomas J. Sargeant Grant for Research. Whitehead has also completed internships with two different solar energy companies, as well as the US Embassy in Santiago. She hopes to be a Project Manager for Renewable Energy large-scale EPCs. Her Fulbright grant is for the Binational Internship Program to Mexico.

Anneken will graduate this May from the South Carolina Honors College with majors in International Business, Global Supply Chain Management, and Economics, and a minor in Spanish. He is a McNair Scholar, as well as a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, and has been on the President's and Dean's list throughout his undergraduate years. Anneken spent his Spring 2016 semester abroad in Lima, Peru, and had an internship with GE Power the summer of 2015. He plans a career as a Supply Chain Consultant in the Renewable Energy Sector. His Fulbright proposal was for a year of research in Uruguay in renewable energy. He will accept a job in the OMLP Program with GE Power after graduation.


Parada is a 2009 graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where she majored in Anthropology. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Anthropology at USC, where she is a Ceny Walker grant recipient and a SPARC grant recipient. She is an Alternate for a Fulbright to Ecuador, where she would spend a year on her dissertation research doing fieldwork on indigenous dress in the highland region of Ecuador.


Rodehorst is a 2008 graduate of the University of New Orleans, where he majored in English. He spent two years in service to the Peace Corps in Niger and Rwanda from 2010-12, followed by a year with a Teaching Assistantship Program in France and French Guiana from 2013-14. He is currently set to graduate this spring from USC's MFA in Creative Writing program. Rodehurst is the Poetry Editor for the Yemassee Journal, and plans to teach English as a second/foreign language. His Fulbright application is to Macau to teach English for a year.


Welsh will graduate from the South Carolina Honors College this spring with a major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He is the recipient of the Dean's Scholarship and is a Palmetto Fellow. He was awarded the Passport Travel Grant in 2012 for summer study in South Korea, the Global Scholars grant for study in Turkey in 2014, was an alternate in the Boren Scholarship competition in 2014 for study in Turkey, and was awarded the Critical Language Scholarship in 2015 to study Persian in Tajikistan. He ultimately plans to be a medical researcher. His Fulbright proposal was for a year of research in Finland in the field of gene therapy.


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