UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — Four University of Richmond students have been awarded prestigious Fulbright grants, which they will complete in 2021. The recipients include:

  • Emily Churchhill, who will complete an English Teaching Assistantship in Mexico;
  • Ella Reed, who will complete a Combined Community-Based Grant in Austria;
  • Gabriela Telepman, who will complete a Binational Internship in Mexico;
  • and Mehreen Usman, who will complete an English Teaching Assistantship in Malaysia.

"The Fulbright is a wonderful fit for Richmond students who are deeply interested in cultural exchange,” said Dana Kuchem, director of the Office of Scholars and Fellowships. “Recipients engage in international study that fuels both their intellectual and personal development.”

Emily Churchill, a recent alum from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, received an English Teaching Assistantship grant to Mexico. She will be teaching English classes and pursuing an independent research project that expands on her senior thesis evaluating the impacts of Mexico’s conditional cash transfer program on its education system. 

Churchill graduated in 2019 with a double major in Latin American, Latino, & Iberian Studies and International Studies. She minored in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. While at UR, Churchill was a member of the WILL* program and studied abroad six times, including in Sevilla and Granada, Spain, Morocco, Chile, and Ecuador. 

“Receiving a Fulbright grant to Mexico means so much to me because it represents the culmination of my many international experiences during my time at UR,” said Churchill, who plans to attend graduate school and become a Latin American Studies professor. “Mexico has such a wealth of history, cultures, and languages, and getting to explore them through the Fulbright program will be incredibly special.”

Ella Reed of Berwyn, Pennsylvania, was one of only four people to receive a Fulbright Combined Community-Based Grant, which she is slated to complete in Austria beginning in January 2021. Reed will be taking two classes, teaching English to high schoolers, and interning at the nonprofit Refugees Welcome Austria.

Reed graduated this year with a triple major in American Studies, German Studies, and physics. During her time at UR she studied in Berlin and Austria.

“I have always valued learning foreign languages,” said Reed, who plans to attend law school and focus on immigration law after completing her Fulbright. “I am really excited to pass on my love for languages and other cultures to the students I will be working with, and the people I will be helping.” 

Gabriela Telepman, of Miami received a Fulbright Garcia-Robles Binational Internship, which she will complete in Mexico City. She will be placed as an intern at a Mexican social entrepreneurship firm and take courses related to international business at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, one of the most prestigious private universities within the field in Mexico. 

Telepman graduated this year with a dual degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management and Latin American, Latino, and Iberian Studies. She minored in journalism. During her time at UR, Telepman was a member of University Dancers, Alpha Kappa Psi, and The Collegian student newspaper. She also served as captain of the Robins School of Business’ National Diversity Case Competition Team.

“I hope to learn more about effectively supporting entrepreneurs who are working to change the world for the better, said Telepman, who aspires to pursue a career connecting businesses with nonprofits. “The ability to incorporate Latinx communities into this goal by working and studying in Mexico City represents a perfect combination of my academic, professional, and personal interests while sustaining my commitments to social justice and corporate social responsibility.”

Mehreen Usman of Leawood, Kansas, received an English Teaching Assistantship, which she will complete at a primary or secondary school in Malaysia.

Usman, a Richmond Scholar, graduated this year with a double major in economics and leadership studies. During her time at UR, She studied abroad in Córdoba, Argentina, Wellington, New Zealand, and Prague.

“I am interested in the intersection of economic policy and helping vulnerable communities, said Usman, who plans to pursue a career in education policy and international development. “I am so excited to work with younger children and learn more about the country I have been studying.” 

To date, the University of Richmond has had 64 student Fulbright grant recipients. Two additional students, Jacob Plott and Helen Owen, have been named alternates and may receive full awards at a later date. The University of Richmond was included on the list of U.S. colleges and universities that produced the most Fulbright U.S. Scholars and Students in 2019-20. UR is among only 20 institutions in the country to be honored in both categories.

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The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. The goal of the Fulbright ETA program is to improve foreign students’ English language abilities and knowledge of the U.S while increasing U.S. students’ language skills and knowledge of the host country.