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MTSU alumna/employee wins coveted Fulbright Scholarship

May 10, 2012 By MTSU News and Media Relations

Anna Yacovone, currently employed as a post-graduate adviser in the MTSU Office of Education Abroad, is the recipient of a Fulbright U.S. Student Program Scholarship to Laos. Anna Yacovone

Yacovone, who graduated from MTSU in December 2011 with degrees in global studies and organizational communication, will start her year-long adventure in late June and will teach English in the capital city of Vientiane, working mostly at the National University of Laos.

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs funds the Fulbright Program, one of the world’s most prestigious international educational exchange programs. Recipients are chosen on the basis of academic or professional achievement and demonstrated leadership potential.

This is the third successive year in which two MTSU students have received Fulbright scholarships. The other 2012 recipient is Whiteside, Tenn., native Daniel Gouger, who will be conducting research in Spain.

“Fulbright is a program to promote good will among different countries,” says Laura Clippard, who heads MTSU’s undergraduate fellowships office. “Students serve as ambassadors and represent the United States in a positive light.”

A veteran of study-abroad experiences and a Sevierville, Tenn., native, Yacovone was an education-abroad peer adviser in 2007 and studied abroad in Italy in 2009.

In spring 2011, Yacovone received a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study native language and culture at Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand. While living in Thailand, she took a brief detour with several other cultural-exchange students to a remote village in central Laos, where they taught English for a couple of days.

“It was the first time for many of the people in that village to even see a Westerner,” recalls Yacovone.

Educators at both the University Honors College and the Office of Global Studies say Yacovone is a role model for future study-abroad students and Fulbright recipients.

“Anna is very typical of the students we have in global studies,” says Dr. Doug Heffington, the program’s director. “These are very bright students. They’re very driven. They’re very forward-thinking, but they’re also very engaged students.”

The Fulbright U.S. Student Competition for 2013-14 is now open, Clippard added. All materials must be submitted to the Undergraduate Fellowships Office before Sept. 5, but Clippard encourages interested students to meet with her before beginning their applications.

For more information about the Fulbright program, visit 
http://us.fulbrightonline.org or contact Clippard at 615-898-5464. Contact Heffington at 615-494-7744 for more information about the University’s global-studies program.

– Gina K. Logue (
Gina.Logue@mtsu.edu)