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Will Clifft, a May 2017 graduate, has received a Fulbright award to be an English teaching assistant in Brazil.
Will Clifft

Will Clifft, a May 2017 graduate, has received a Fulbright award to be an English teaching assistant in Brazil, pushing UT’s number of recipients for this academic year to 10.

Last spring, with funding from the Brazilian government, the Fulbright US Student Program opened competition for an additional 76 English teaching assistantships for Brazil as part of its 2017–18 academic year awards. Clifft was recently notified that he had received one of those additional awards; he will go to Brazil in February 2018.

Clifft, of Dyersburg, Tennessee, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in global studies. Since graduating, he has been interning for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington, DC.

“Being able to participate in the Fulbright ETA program in Brazil is honestly a dream come true,” Clifft said. “I can’t think of better preparation for graduate school and eventually a career in foreign policy than through this opportunity. While in Brazil I’ll be teaching English to university students, improving my Portuguese, and exploring the ways in which identity politics shape the Brazilian political system.”

Counting Clifft, UT now has 10 students—its largest number to date—who have received prestigious Fulbright US Student Program awards to study or teach abroad for the 2017–18 academic year. Those already awarded:

  • Jordan Bakke, of Antioch, Tennessee, a May graduate in international development through the College Scholars program, to be an English teaching assistant in Kazakhstan
  • Nicholas Campbell, of Maryville, Tennessee, a May graduate in Hispanic studies and Latin American and Caribbean studies, to be a teaching assistant in Colombia
  • Esther Choo, of Knoxville, a May graduate in anthropology with a concentration in disasters, displacement, and human rights, to study in South Korea
  • Alina Clay, of Memphis, a May graduate in gender, politics, and policy with a focus in Latin America and Eastern Europe through the College Scholars program, to study Latvia
  • Eric Peters, of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, a May graduate in economics and international business through the Global Leadership Scholars program, to study in Hungary
  • Joel Runnels of Minneapolis, Minnesota, a doctoral student in deaf education, to study in Ghana
  • Colleen Ryan of Cookeville, Tennessee, a Haslam Scholar May graduate in global studies and honors sociology, to study in the United Kingdom
  • Meghan Stuart of Johnson City, Tennessee, a senior graduating in August with a triple major in physics, honors math, and computer science, to study in Hungary

A tenth student, Alexis Burnham of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, a 2016 UT graduate, was offered a Fulbright award but instead is completing a two-year European Union–funded fellowship in France, Spain, Scotland, and Germany.

For more information about the Fulbright and other major student awards, contact UT’s Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships.


Amy Blakely (, 865-974-5034).