"I Hit Submit": St. Kate's celebrates Fulbright candidates

On Friday, October 22, members of the St. Kate’s community celebrated five students who recently submitted their applications for Fulbright fellowship awards. Lakshi Gunawardena ’22; Annika Peterson ’21; Meghan Peterson MLIS’22; Kieu My Phi ’21, MPH’22; and Erin Tebben ’21 make up the group of diligent and motivated Katies who pursued Fulbright in the 2022-23 cycle. During the celebration, the applicants were joined by members of the St. Kate’s Fulbright committee, their faculty and staff recommenders, and President Roloff and Provost Thomas to honor their dedicated effort of pursuing their respective awards. Susan Bosher, Fulbright advisor, supported all students through this process.

Fulbright is a prestigious award and entails a rigorous and extensive application process. The program is designed to offer post-graduate opportunities abroad and awards applicants across the U.S. with research, teaching, or graduate study programs completed internationally. Fulbright recipients work with, live with, and learn from the people and rich experiences in the host country to which they apply.

St. Kate’s Fulbright candidates officially began their applications in April 2021. They demonstrated diligence through multiple stages of feedback, revisions, and on-campus interviews with the St. Kate’s Fulbright committee. They completed this hands-on and reflective process in early October, marking a year over which the Fulbright applicants planned their experiences, researched their desired award category, selected a host country, and compiled their proposals.   

Sign that reads "I hit submit #Fulbright 2021" above cupcakes with different countries' flags.

Meet the 2021 Fulbright Applicants

Lakshi Gunawardena will graduate in May with a major in international studies and minors in French and economics. She has applied for an English Teaching Award (ETA) in France, where she would be working with disadvantaged youth in high school in the suburbs of Paris. In the future, Lakshi hopes to work for the UN, advocating for women who have experienced abuse.

Annika Peterson graduated in May 2021 with a major in international studies and minors in Chinese and history. She has applied for a Study Award in Taiwan to pursue a two-year master’s degree in Asia-Pacific Studies at National Chengchi University in Taipei in preparation for a career in the foreign service.

Meghan Peterson will graduate in May with a master’s degree in information and library science. She has applied for an ETA in Greece, as a Fulbright Fellow at Athens College. Meghan is preparing for a career as a school librarian and hopes to be assigned to the school library, which is the best-resourced in all of Europe.

Kieu My Phi will graduate in May with a master in public health in global health. She has applied for an ETA in Viet Nam, her country of origin. Through this award, Kieu My would gain experience teaching in an elementary or secondary classroom in a rural area, which would directly contribute to her future goal of doing research in educational policy in Viet Nam.

Erin Tebben graduated in May 2021 with a major in English and minors in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) and international relations. Erin has applied for an ETA in Thailand, where she would teach in an elementary or secondary school outside of Bangkok. In the future, Erin plans to go to graduate school and become a TESL scholar.


Thank you to the St. Kate’s faculty and staff who guided the Fulbright applicants throughout the rigorous process. 


Fellowship Advisor:
Susan Bosher

Committee Members:
Deeph Shikha
Beth Huanan Andia
Raine de Campeau
D'Ann Urbaniak Lesch

Faculty and Staff Recommenders:
Kristine West
Jewelly Lee
Rachel Neiwert
Nawojka Lesinski
Elizabeth Govern
Susan Bosher
Todd Nelson

Kieu My Phi '22 holds a sign that reads, "I Hit Submit #Fulbright 2021"
Feature Fulbright Application Process: Kieu My Phi ’22

Kieu My is one of five Katies who recently finished their applications for the Fulbright fellowship. Kieu My heard about Fulbright when she was a Community Leaders Program intern through the Center for Community Work and Learning (CWL). Kieu My thought that Fulbright would be the perfect opportunity to explore her next steps as she continued her St. Kate’s education in the 3+2 graduate program. Kieu My’s experiences with the CWL Community Leaders program, America Reads tutor program, and AMP research assistantship, paired with her interests in social justice and global health, motivated her to pursue a Fulbright teaching award in Viet Nam. Kieu My says she discovered her capability through the Fulbright application process, learning to build confidence in telling others her story. Kieu My encourages other students to pursue Fulbright. She wants students to know that if they believe in themselves, they can do it. Kieu My says that while the process challenged her, it was an amazing experience.