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Seven SLU Students, Alumni Earn 2022 U.S. Fulbright Awards

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Maggie Rotermund
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ST. LOUIS - Saint Louis University’s Office of Competitive Fellowships and Scholarships announced May 9 that six students/alumni have been selected to participate in the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Program. On July 7, a seventh SLU student/alumni was notified of their selection. 

“The Fulbright U.S. Student Program speaks the language so many of our students learn and cultivate during their time at SLU,” said Robert Pampel, Ph.D., director of the University Honors Program. “We’re thrilled the national committee values our students’ commitment to service, their authentic desire for bilateral intercultural exchange, and their potential to be unofficial ambassadors for the best of our country’s values abroad—generosity, respect, thoughtfulness, and care for the common good.”

Applicants worked with Brooke Taylor, Ph.D., fellowships advisor, to polish their applications, craft their essays and incorporate feedback from faculty mentors and SLU’s Fulbright campus interview committee.

“I am thrilled that we had so many applicants selected for the Fulbright program this year. The opportunities that they are being offered—to teach English while improving their proficiency in another language, to do medical research abroad, and to enroll in an International MBA program—are meaningful, rewarding, and life-changing,” Taylor said. “This is such an amazing opportunity, and it’s wonderful to see SLU students and graduates receiving these nationally competitive awards.”

Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected through a merit-based competition that considers academics, personal qualifications, language preparation, and the quality of the proposed project, as well as how it fits into Fulbright’s aim of promoting mutual understanding among nations.

Fulbright invites students to apply for two types of awards: Open Study/Research Awards or English Teaching Assistant Awards. The Fulbright Open Study/Research Award is a grant for which a candidate designs a proposal for research or study at the graduate level in a specific country. The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant program places recipients in classrooms overseas to supplement local English language instruction. There are also some specialty grants within certain countries for internships and similar opportunities.

Grantees receive eight to 10 months of funding to complete their award.

Since the founding of the program in 1946, more than 390,000 Fulbrighters have participated in the program, studying and teaching in over 140 countries worldwide.

2022 Fulbright Finalists

Paige Giarmona, B.A. (Madrid) 2021, Political Science / Economics

Paige Giarmona

Giarmona was awarded an English Teaching Assistantship in Indonesia.

“I aspire to work in foreign service representing the U.S., so a Fulbright grant presents such a unique opportunity to dig into my host community and to explore this person-to-person diplomacy. I am tremendously excited to foster connections with my students through teaching, which has been such a rewarding passion of mine for years already. Fulbright in Indonesia will be the perfect bridge between the work I have done so far at SLU-Madrid and all that there is waiting for me!”

J.P. Ideker, B.S. 2015, Health Management 

J.P. Ideker

Ideker received Fulbright IE University Award for International MBA in Spain.

“I am very grateful to have been able to navigate the Fulbright application process with the guidance and support of Dr. Taylor, Dr. Pampel, and the staff at the Office of Competitive Fellowships and Scholarships. Their feedback was rigorous and formative, and I'm thankful that this support exists for alumni even after they leave SLU. I am excited to pursue an International MBA in Madrid, and look forward to applying what I learn to the nonprofit and education sectors after the Fulbright grant ends.”

Dan O’Connell, Senior, Psychology

Dan O'Connell

O’Connell was awarded an English Teaching Assistant award in Colombia.

“I applied for the Fulbright to teach English in Colombia as a gap-year opportunity before I attend grad school for clinical psychology. I believe this will help me to appreciate the lived experiences of U.S. immigrants and better understand global mental health.”

Emma Pauer, Senior, Spanish

Emma Pauer

Pauer received an English Teaching Assistant award in Mexico.

“I am thrilled by the prospect of spending a year learning, living, and teaching in a Mexican community; I couldn’t have envisioned a better way to prepare for a career serving Spanish-speaking immigrant communities as a future physician. None of this would have been possible without the guidance of Dr. Taylor and the encouragement of the Honors Program staff, for whom I will always be immensely grateful.”

Kate Rabideau, Senior, Biology

Kate Rabideau

Rabideau was awarded an Open Study/Research award in Germany. 

“I am deeply honored and thrilled to be a Fulbright recipient. It is with the support of my teachers and advisors that, although it may sound cliché, I have truly had a dream come true. I cannot wait to be a part of the long history of cultural exchange in Germany.”

Dmitri Schmidt, Senior, German Studies / Anthropology / Classical Humanities

Dmitri Schmidt

Schmidt received an English Teaching Assistant award in Germany.

“Dozens of drafts and nearly as many months later, I’m excited to say I’ll be serving as an ETA in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. I originally applied for the grant to explore the impacts of culture on communication, but I’m looking forward to all the little surprises that I know are waiting for me.”

Allie Biscupski, BA (Madrid), International Business / Economics

Allie Biscupski

Biscupski received the Binational Internship in Mexico. 

“I am honored and excited to participate in the Binational Internship Program and help strengthen relations between the private sectors in the U.S. and Mexico, while learning about the culture of Mexico and improving my professional Spanish skills.”

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. It offers students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide. The program currently awards approximately 2,000 grants annually in all fields of study and operates in more than 140 countries worldwide.

Those interested in applying for a Fulbright or another nationally or internationally competitive scholarship or fellowship should contact Fellowships Advisor Brooke Taylor at or visit the Office of Competitive Fellowships & Scholarships for more information.

Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic institutions. Rooted in Jesuit values and its pioneering history as the first university west of the Mississippi River, SLU offers more than 15,200 students a rigorous, transformative education of the whole person. At the core of the University’s diverse community of scholars is SLU’s service-focused mission, which challenges and prepares students to make the world a better, more just place.

Editor's Note: This story was updated on July 8, 2022, to reflect the additional award.