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Three UK Students Invited to Fulbright Summer Institutes in the UK

by Whitney Hale

(July 14, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced the selection of three UK students by the US-UK Fulbright Commission to participate in Fulbright Summer Institutes in the United Kingdom.

Kelsey Potter, an English and integrated strategic communication junior, has been awarded a place at the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) Summer Institute at Shakespeare’s Globe, a three-week cultural and academic program for U.S. students.

In addition, Rebecca Rose Boehman, a pre-pharmacy sophomore, and Yvonne Johnson, an English and computer science sophomore, havebeen awarded a place at the Fulbright-Scotland Summer Institute, a five-week cultural and academic program for U.S. students held at University of Dundee and the University of Strathclyde.

Kelsey Potter

The US-UK Fulbright Commission is the only bilateral, transatlantic scholarship program, offering awards and summer programs for study or research in any field, at any accredited U.S. or U.K. university. The commission is part of the Fulbright program conceived by Senator J. William Fulbright in the aftermath of World War II to promote leadership, learning and empathy between nations through educational exchange. Award recipients and summer program participants will be the future leaders for tomorrow and support the “special relationship” between the U.S. and U.K.

As a participant of the AIFS Summer Institute at Shakespeare's Globe, Potter has been selected from a strong applicant pool to explore William Shakespeare’s work and the playhouse for which he wrote. During her time there, she will study on-site at the Globe Theatre, work with professional theatre practitioners, and develop her knowledge of Shakespeare studies and drama.

"I am so thankful and excited for this experience. The opportunity to study Shakespeare’s work at the Globe Theatre is a dream come true," Potter said. "I’m looking forward to meeting other students who share my passion for theatre and to build friendships abroad. I know that this experience will change my life, and I hope to bring the knowledge and skills that I gain during the program back to the U.S."

A native of Worthington, Kentucky, Potter graduated from Raceland-Worthington High School before coming to UK. She was involved in numerous local theatre productions as an actor and stage manager while managing her own photography business.

Rebecca Rose BoehmanAt UK, Potter is a Chellgren Fellow and member of the Honors Program. She also serves as the public relations manager for the undergraduate literary journal Shale, promotions director for TEDxUKY, and a social media intern for the Honors Program. In addition, Potter is a member of the Student Activities Board, the Italian Club and Sigma Tau Delta.

The theme for the Fulbright-Scotland Summer Institute that Boehman and Johnson will take part in is "Scotland: Identity, Culture and Innovation." The institute will provide American undergraduates with a unique perspective on the cultural and political forces that have shaped modern Scotland, with a strong emphasis on its pioneering role as a technological nation. As participants in the program, Boehman and Johnson will explore and learn about the heritage, history and culture of Scotland through visits to Scottish Parliament, museums, galleries and sites of historic interest, including castles, battlegrounds, stately homes and areas of scenic beauty.

Boehman, a native of Carmel, Indiana, graduated from St. Theodore Guerin High School. An active member of the Pre-Pharmacy Club at UK, she selected her major based on family influence.

"I have a passion for science and medicine and a passion for working with people. I was exposed to the field of pharmacy through family members, especially my mother. I also have a particular interest in the effects of drugs on children and hope to specialize in clinical pediatrics," Boehman said.

After completing her undergraduate studies, Boehman hopes to attend UK College of Pharmacy.

Johnson, a native of Pendleton, Kentucky, graduated from South Oldham High School. Since elementary school, she has actively pursued creative writing and technology opportunities. Johnson also attended the Governor's School for the Arts.

A member of the Honors Program and writer for Shale, Johnson had to narrow down her vast interests to select her two majors at UK, English and computer science. "I chose areas of study that I most enjoyed. I have a wide range of interests, and I'd have about eight different majors if I could, but I narrowed it down to my top two. I've been creatively writing since first grade, and I've been teaching myself how to build websites and how to code since sixth grade. The two interests really went hand-in-hand because the reason I wanted to build a website in the first place was so that I would have somewhere to showcase my writing."

After finishing her undergraduate studies, Johnson plans to attend graduate school.

The US-UK Fulbright Commission selects participants through a rigorous application and interview process. In making these awards thecommission looks not only for academic excellence but a focused application, a range of extracurricular and community activities, demonstrated ambassadorial skills, a desire to further the Fulbright Program and a plan to give back to the recipient’s home country upon returning.

The Fulbright Summer Program covers all participant costs. In addition, summer participants receive a distinctive support and cultural education program including: visa processing, a comprehensive pre-departure orientation, enrichment opportunities in country, a re-entry session and opportunity to join alumni networks.

Created by treaty on Sept. 22, 1948, the US-UK Fulbright Commission offers grants at postgraduate and postdoctoral level for study in any discipline and at any accredited institution in the U.S. and U.K., as well as a number of special exchange programs for shorter projects or for younger scholars. It is funded by a range of partners including leading U.S. and U.K. universities, charities and both governments. This year, the commission is hosting nine summer institutes at the following host institutions: University of Bristol; University of Exeter; Durham University; King's College London; Queen's University Belfast; Cardiff, Bangor and Aberystwyth universities; Dundee and Strathclyde universities; and more. For more information, click here.

Students interested in applying for a Fulbright Summer Institute, should contact Pat Whitlow, director of the UK Office of Nationally Competitive Awards. Part of the Academy of Undergraduate Excellence within the Division of Undergraduate Education, the office assists current UK undergraduate and graduate students and recent alumni in applying for external scholarships and fellowships funded by sources (such as a nongovernment foundation or government agency) outside the university. These major awards honor exceptional students across the nation. Students who are interested in these opportunities are encouraged to begin work with the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards well in advance of the scholarship deadline.