Two University of Richmond Seniors Awarded Competitive Fulbright Grants To Live, Work, and Study in Portugal and Spain

Three Recent Graduates Also Offered Fulbright Support
May 4, 2023

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — Two University of Richmond seniors — Marco Barcenas-Consuelo and Isabela Keetley — have been awarded prestigious Fulbright grants to be completed during the 2023–24 academic year.

The Fulbright Program is designed to increase mutual understanding between the U.S. and other countries through educational exchange. Both Barcenas-Consuelo and Keetley received English Teaching Assistantships, which place Fulbrighters in classrooms abroad to assist local English teachers.

"The Fulbright ETA is a wonderful fit for Richmond students who are interested in learning about other cultures while also serving as cultural ambassadors,” said Dana Kuchem, director of the Office of Scholars and Fellowships. “Fulbright student scholars engage in international study that fuels their academic, professional, and personal development.”

UR’s latest Fulbright student scholars include:

Marco Barcenas-Consuelo, a graduating senior from Round Lake Beach, Illinois, will travel to Portugal to complete his Fulbright. He will be assisting in the Department of Languages and Cultures at Universidade de Aveiro, where he will help teach students English and help the university establish its learning curriculum. He will also be conducting a research project on immigration and language learning.

“My goal is to help share immigrant perspectives on learning a new language and integration within society, said Barcenas-Consuelo, who majored in cognitive science and linguistics. “It means a lot to be able to share my experience as a Mexican American with an international cohort. I also love being able to teach others a new language and open doors through cultural and linguistic exchange.”

During his time at Richmond, Barcenas-Consuelo focused on languages, including conducting research in Spanish sociolinguistics and morphology. He speaks Spanish, Portuguese, and French and studied abroad in Brazil.

Isabela Keetley, a graduating senior from Phoenix, Maryland, will be teaching English in Madrid for her Fulbright. She will spend nine months teaching social studies, science, and history and run the model UN club at a high school outside of Madrid city center.

“I have always been interested in global citizenship and developing a strong cross-cultural understanding,” said Keetley, who majored in leadership studies and minored in business administration and Latin American, Latino, and Iberian Studies. “I believe my time in Spain will be invaluable in working toward these goals and will challenge me to think and view the world around me from a new perspective."

Keetley is a founding member of the Spanish Conversation Club at UR and served as the group’s secretary. She previously studied abroad in Madrid and hopes to pursue a career in international development or government consulting.

Three recent graduates were also offered Fulbright grants this year. The University of Richmond has had 80 student Fulbright grant recipients and earlier this year was included on the list of U.S. colleges and universities that produced the most Fulbright U.S. Students for the fifth year in a row.

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