The Fulbright Four:

Rutgers–Camden Celebrates Semifinalists for Prestigious Student Award

Four members of the Rutgers University in Camden community have advanced to the semifinalist stage for a prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant, one of the most coveted and selective opportunities for outstanding college students to continue their scholarship abroad. Helena Cabezas, a graduate student and lecturer in Spanish, is pursuing a teaching assistantship in Argentina, and Ingrid Thone, a senior majoring in health sciences, earned the semifinalist designation for a teaching assistantship in Mexico. Two alumni, Kaitlin McGee CCAS’21 and Sydney Johnson CCAS’22, are in the running for teaching assistantships in South Korea and Luxembourg, respectively.

“I am thrilled to congratulate these outstanding students and alumni for their progress toward Fulbright grants,” said Rutgers–Camden Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis. “I wish them success as they prepare for the life-changing experience of traveling abroad to teach and learn from others."

Laura Collins, the director of the Rutgers–Camden Office of Scholar Development and Fellowship Advising, specializes in providing her advisees the best opportunities to apply for and receive Fulbright Grants. Earlier this year, she was accepted to an intensive training program at The Institute of International Education in New York City to enhance Rutgers–Camden’s support for students applying for Fulbright funding. In 2022, Rutgers–Camden had a record-high six Fulbright applicants, from which this group of four semifinalists emerged.

“I am tremendously proud of these applicants for their hard work and perseverance throughout the application process, and for earning their semifinalist designations,” Collins said. “This process has strengthened many personal and professional skills that will benefit these applicants throughout their lives. I am also grateful that Rutgers–Camden supports applicants throughout the award cycle and recognizes these achievements.”

(left) Helena Cabezas, a graduate student and lecturer in Spanish; (right) Ingrid Thone, health sciences major and Spanish minor

(left) Helena Cabezas, a graduate student and lecturer in Spanish; (right) Ingrid Thone, health sciences major and Spanish minor

Each of the semifinalists took their own unique paths at Rutgers–Camden. Cabezas began pursuing her master of arts degree in August 2022 and will receive a teaching certificate upon her graduation. Thone arrived to Rutgers-Camden as a transfer student in Fall 2020 and has earned several achievements, including induction into Phi Beta Kappa in 2022.

(left) Kaitlin McGee CCAS’21; (right) Sydney Johnson CCAS’22

(left) Kaitlin McGee CCAS’21; (right) Sydney Johnson CCAS’22

McGee received her bachelor of arts in English and global studies from the university, during which time she worked in the office of U.S. Senator Bob Menendez and as a program coordinator for the Delaware Division of Libraries. Johnson received a bachelor of arts degree at Rutgers–Camden in 2022, double majoring in theatre arts and history. They have since gone on to work for the Rutgers University Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Fulbright semifinalists will receive word of their award status by May 2023.

Creative Design: Douglas Shelton

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