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UT graduate Stephen (Alex) Crockett, of Jamestown, Tennessee, is pursuing a master’s degree in agriculture and rural development at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom on a Fulbright Student Award. He is one of the 19 UT students who received the prestigious awards last year, making UT one of the nation’s top-producing campuses for students receiving 2018­­–19 US Fulbright Student Awards.

A Haslam Scholar who graduated in May 2018 with a degree in food science and technology, Crockett left for the United Kingdom in September. After returning to the United States this summer, he’ll begin medical school at East Tennessee State University.

What’s been the best part of your experience so far?

Crockett has had the opportunity to learn from prominent experts in medicine and international development, yet he thinks the best part has been developing friendships with people from around the world.

Crockett on a trip to Bath, England
Crockett on a trip to Bath, England

“Norwich is a little smaller than Knoxville, and the University of East Angliais about half the size of UT. While this is pretty big for a UK university, this feels like nothing to me, and I was able to jump right into university life.”

Many of the master’s program students are international students and, like him, will be returning to their home countries to work or pursue further studies.

“I appreciate and value their friendship immensely, but I also know that these connections will be invaluable in the future with the work I want to do.”

What have you learned about the United Kingdom?

“Aside from their tea drinking habits and the fact we drive on different sides of the road, I see a lot of similarities between the United States and the United Kingdom.”

He does see a difference in how the British approach their work-life balance.

“The British are very keen on doing things that are important to them or their work and do not want to waste time doing things that aren’t really relevant and keep them from enjoying the things in life that are important to them.”

How will this experience help you in the future?

“I am beginning to see a lot of interconnection between social issues faced by people around the world. While poverty, inequality, and injustice look different in each setting, there are parallels that can be drawn to help inform how we approach serving communities—whether they be in rural Appalachia or the Himalayas.

“I feel like this experience has further cemented my desire to work with rural and underserved communities in the United States as well as around the world.”

What’s next for you?

“I’ll be part of the rural and primary care track at ETSU’s Quillen College of Medicine. I will be working in rural hospitals and medical clinics from my first week in medical school. I also plan on researching issues related to mental health and drug addiction in rural Appalachian communities.”

UT students interested in the Fulbright or other national scholarships and fellowships should meet with the Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships staff.

CONTACT:

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034, ablakely@utk.edu)