Carroll 2018 Graduate Awarded Fulbright Scholarship

Thursday, April 18, 2019

HELENA – Carroll College is proud to announce that Cierra Powell, class of 2018, is the college’s first recipient of a Fulbright U.S. Student Program Award. Beginning in September, Powell will serve as a cultural ambassador for the United States in the Canary Islands (Las Canarias) of Spain where she will be an English Teaching Assistant for early childhood and/or elementary education.

The U.S. Fulbright Program is a competitive, prestigious fellowship designed to improve cultural understandings between the United States and the students’ host countries. It is the world's largest and most diverse international educational exchange program.

“Cierra is a wonderful example of the power of perseverance, resilience and ambition. Having put herself through college, she discovered her passion for international relations at Carroll and has done the hard work to make the most of the opportunities available to her,” said Carroll College President John Cech. “Her drive and intelligence, coupled with strong faculty and staff mentorship has led her to this prestigious Fulbright opportunity. We are proud of her and know she will represent herself and the U.S. in the best possible light during her time in the Canary Islands.”

Powell, a first-generation college student from Miles City, Montana, graduated cum laude in May 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Spanish and a minor in Latin American Studies. During her time at Carroll, she was able to study and intern abroad in both Spain and Ecuador. Her experience in Ecuador was made possible through the competitive Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Powell was the only recipient of the scholarship from Montana in 2017 and she has since gone on to be an ambassador for the Gilman Scholarship program.

Powell found the opportunities and support she needed in order to excel at Carroll. “My experience at Carroll College has greatly prepared me to apply for the Fulbright,” said Powell. “My professors worked in earnest to guarantee the content of their classes were thorough. Regardless of academic discipline, they constantly took the time to ensure that I had the demeanor and work ethic necessary to take on any future academic or professional endeavor I pursued. My life changed just days into my freshman year, in large part, thanks to Dr. Ryan Hallows and Dr. Alexander Street. They provided the unequivocal support as professors, advisors and mentors to help me to discover my passion in global affairs. Overall, the Carroll College faculty and staff are an important part in all of my academic and professional achievements, including my acceptance into the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program, and I am extremely grateful.”

In addition to faculty Fulbright recipients, Carroll College has had alumni receive Fulbright awards in their years following graduation and after completing graduate degrees from other institutions but Powell is the first recent graduate associated with Carroll College to receive the award.

 About the Fulbright Program

The Fulbright Program, the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Program offers grants to study, teach and conduct research for U.S. citizens to go abroad and for non-U.S. citizens to come to the United States. The primary source of funding is an annual appropriation by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).

Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, CEOs, and university presidents, as well as leading journalists, artists, scientists, and teachers. They include 59 Nobel Laureates, 82 Pulitzer Prize winners, 72 MacArthur Fellows, 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, and thousands of leaders across the private, public and non-profit sectors. Since its inception in 1946, more than 390,000 “Fulbrighters” have participated in the Program.