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2021 International Studies Student Recognition

The International Studies Students of the Year award comes with a $100 award and is given annually to four exceptional seniors in the International Studies program who are graduating in spring or summer of the academic year.

Students of The Year

Vibya photo

 Vibha Bajji

Vibha is an excellent student, as evidenced by her outstanding grades and her dedication to academia in her pursuit of three distinct majors in Middle East Studies, International Studies, and Political Science. Vibha has participated in several internships during her time at the U including the Sim Gill political campaign in 2018. Through her work interning she also gave back to the U in serving as a Hinckley student ambassador and is currently the secretary for the Middle East Languages Club here at the U. She has spent the last three years learning Arabic. She has used her language acquisition at the International Rescue Committee where she has served as a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Tutor for the past two years.

Hallie Bradshaw

 Hallie Bradshaw

Hallie is a terrific student. She has an impressive academic record and has been involved in several extracurricular activities throughout her time at the U. She is a Dean’s List student graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and a minor in French. She has been awarded two competitive scholarships, the Humanities Departmental Scholarship, and the University of Utah Academic Scholarship. During her time at the U, she served as a Learning Abroad Ambassador and completed a Marketing & Vendor Management internship for InterpretCloud, a U.S. Translation Company. During the fall semester of 2019, Hallie studied abroad in Lyon, France. In France, she completed an intensive French language and culture program, taking 4 hours of French courses each day at a local university. Hallie has been accepted into the International Affairs & Global Enterprise graduate program at the U and will be beginning her studies this summer.

Alessandra Cipriani-Detres

 Alessandra Cipriani-Detres

Alessandra is an extremely goal oriented individual who works hard not only for herself, but for others. She will be graduating with an Honors Degree in International Studies and two minors in Spanish and Italian. Alessandra studied Spanish in high school and college to gain fluency. After completing a study abroad in Oviedo, Spain, she served as a volunteer Spanish language instructor at Salt Lake County’s Senior Center. She also worked part-time at Spanish For All. During her time at the U, Alessandra has worked as a campus life mentor, a Spanish teaching assistant, an undergraduate research assistant, and a learning abroad peer advisor. Alessandra recently received news that she is a Fulbright Semifinalist for the English Teaching Assistantship program in Colombia.

Isaac Reese photo

 Isaac Reese

Isaac is a bright and ambitious student. He is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in International Studies, a minor in Political Science, and a second minor in Campaign Management. During his time at the University of Utah, he completed two internships. He interned with Equality Utah and he also completed a Hinckley internship at the United States Studies Centre (USSC) in Australia in the summer of 2019. The USSC is housed at the University of Sydney and conducts research in various subject areas around US-Australia relations as well as Australia’s role in the Pacific region. As an intern at the USSC in Australia, he was part of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program and published an article about the Green New Deal. Isaac is an opinion writer at the U’s student newspaper, The Utah Daily Chronicle. In April of 2020, he was a regional finalist for Best Column Writing by the Society of Professional Journalists.

Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships:

Summer 2020 and Academic Year 2020-2021

The University of Utah’s Asia Center and Center for Latin American Studies offer U.S. Department of Education Title VI funded Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships. The FLAS award is open to students in any department who include language study in their course load. During Summer 2020 and Academic Year 2020-21 the Center for Latin American Studies awarded 24 FLAS fellowships and the Asia Center awarded 32 FLAS fellowships for a total of 56. Yearly, we provide approximately $656,000 in scholarship support to undergraduate and graduate students. Every year the FLAS selection process is extremely difficult for the committees as there are many more highly qualified candidates than funds available. We want to recognize and congratulate all of the FLAS recipients for being selected in this distinctly competitive process.

The following 21 FLAS recipients were awarded from programs in Asian Studies, Latin American Studies, Middle East Studies, and/or International Studies:

  • Michaela Tanne, Japanese, Asian Studies MA
  • Nick Cartwright, Japanese, Asian Studies MA
  • Beatrice Upenieks, Persian, Asian Studies MA
  • Riley Mallow, Korean, Asian Studies BA
  • Sarah Moore, Korean, Asian Studies BA
  • Christine Schulz, Kichwa, Latin American Studies MA
  • Mark J. Nelson, Nahuatl, Latin American Studies MA
  • Rogelio Brambila, Portuguese, Anthropology BS, Biology BS, Latin American Studies BA
  • Wilson Wosnjuk, Portuguese, Economics BS, Latin American Studies BA
  • Noah Schmitz, Portuguese, Latin American Studies BA, Pre Mechanical Engineering BS
  • Giselle Fagundes Draper, Portuguese, Accounting BS, Latin American Studies BA
  • Taha Benabdallah, Arabic, Political Science BA, Middle East Studies BA
  • Tressa Marre, Arabic, Anthropology BA, Art BFA, Middle East Studies BA
  • Hailey Nearman, Arabic, Middle East Studies BA, Political Science BS, Writing & Rhetoric Studies BA
  • Rebekah Burton, Persian, Middle East Studies BA
  • Nick Garlitz, Arabic, International Studies BA, Middle East Studies BA
  • Jacob Bosen, Russian, International Studies BA, Political Science BA
  • Emma Hindley, Chinese, Economics BA, International Studies BA
  • Brandon de Melo, Arabic, International Studies BA, Peace and Conflict Studies BA
  • Bekah Carleton, Korean, International Studies, BA
  • Maren Goodrich, Portuguese, International Studies BA

The following 29 FLAS recipients were awarded from graduate and undergraduate programs across campus, as well as non-matriculating summer students:

  • Hunter Schmidt, Chinese, Computer Science BCS, Chinese BA
  • Matt Green, Chinese, History PHD
  • Drew Ruble, Chinese, Philosophy MS, PhD
  • Anna Cushing, Chinese, International Affairs & Global Enterprise MS
  • Audrey Nixon, Japanese, Film and Media Arts BA
  • Noah Schill, Japanese, Computer Engineering BCE
  • Nolan Borzoni, Japanese, Japanese BA
  • Erin Brinkman, Kichwa, Geology MS
  • Riley Sayers, Kichwa, Environmental Humanities MA
  • Ben Baros, Kichwa, Pre Architectural Studies BS
  • Anne Whitehouse, Korean, Environmental Humanities MA
  • Martha Hernandez, Nahuatl, History MA
  • Alexandra Machuca, Nahuatl, Art BA, History BA, UC Santa Cruz
  • Caitlin Liss, Nahuatl, History PhD, Columbia University
  • Erik Merrell, Nahuatl, Economics BS
  • Jesús Nazario, Nahuatl, Latin American Studies MA, UT Austin, Ethnic Studies PHD, UC Berkeley
  • Josh Anthony, Nahuatl, History PHD, Rutgers
  • Rosie Ojeda, Nahuatl, Education, Culture, and Society PHD
  • Steven Ramos, Nahuatl, International Studies Bachelor's, Flagler College
  • Alex Bond, Portuguese, International Affairs & Global Enterprise MS
  • Enzo Krensky-Hart, Portuguese, Language Pedagogy MA, Educational Leadership & Policy MED
  • Tim Chandler, Portuguese, Linguistics BA
  • Michael Halisky, Portuguese, Pre Computer Science BS
  • Mckay Muhlestein, Russian, Pre Urban Ecology BA
  • Hannah Huber, Russian, Political Science BA
  • Monique Ho Ching, Samoan, Pre Art History B
  • Jimmy Lê, Vietnamese, Art BFA
  • Miley Nguyen, Vietnamese, Nutrition & Integrative Physiology MS
  • Brian Pham, Vietnamese, Marketing & Information Systems BS


2021-2022 Fulbright Semi-Finalists

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the largest U.S. exchange program offering opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide. The program currently awards approximately 1,900 grants annually in all fields of study and operates in more than 140 countries worldwide.


Alessandra Cipriani-Detres, BA, International Studies and Minor in Spanish and Italian, Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Colombia.

Ian Farkas, BA, International Studies, Political Science, and Middle East Studies with Turkish Language, Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Turkey.

Caitlin Silianoff, BA, English and Political Science, Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Taiwan

Elliott Sipple, BS, International Studies, Fulbright Research Grant to Hungary.

  • Elliott will explore the perceptions of the Hungarian people and their opinions on how U.S. foreign policy has impacted the respect for democratic institutions and the civil society in Hungary.
Last Updated: 11/4/21