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Blake Turpin and classmates

Blake Turpin, a rising junior and Haslam Scholar at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, was selected to participate in a Fulbright UK Summer Institute, a prestigious and selective summer scholarship program. He is studying overseas at the University of Bristol for four weeks this summer.

Turpin, a graduate of Gibbs High School in Knoxville, is only the second UT student to be awarded a spot in a Fulbright UK Summer Institute. Natalie Campbell, now the Student Government Association’s president-elect, was UT’s first recipient last year, when she studied at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland.

Blake Turpin
Blake Turpin

“These summer institutes are highly competitive and provide excellent overseas learning experiences,” said Andrew Seidler, director of UT’s Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships. “To have participants from UT in consecutive years is a great credit to our university and, certainly, to Blake and to Natalie before him.”

While the Fulbright US Student Program provides college graduates with yearlong international study and teaching opportunities in more than 140 countries, Fulbright UK Summer Institutes are UK-specific opportunities for US undergraduates with at least two years of study left to complete. Participants are chosen based on academic excellence, a range of extracurricular and community activities, demonstrated ambassadorial skills, and their plans to give back to their home country upon returning.

While at Bristol, Turpin, who is majoring in sociology and minoring in Hispanic studies and political science, is studying themes of racial justice and slavery, colonialism and independence, global feminisms, migration and refugees, environmental sustainability, and health and well-being.

“This program is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Turpin emailed from the UK. “I have spent the last week or so studying the history of the city of Bristol, going to conferences about issues like decolonization and the Pan-African movement, and gaining insights on issues that I have never been exposed to before. I cannot wait to bring what I have learned back to UT and the surrounding community.”

UT students interested in the Fulbright UK Summer Institutes and other nationally competitive awards can visit the ONSF website to learn more about the application process and schedule an appointment.


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,

Andrew Seidler, UT Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships (865-974-3518,