Three Students Semi-Finalists for National Award

Seniors Brigid Flay, Samantha Solis and Alyse Spiehler are semi-finalists for the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Fellowship. They have been recommended by the National Screening Committee and will move to the final stage of review by their host countries: Flay for Kazakhstan, Solis for Argentina and Spiehler for Mexico.

The Fulbright is a “highly competitive national fellowship which funds one year of living abroad as an English-language teaching assistant,” explained Dr. Jamie Gianoutsos.

It is highly unusual that all three applicants have advanced to the semi-finalist round, which is a 100% success rate for this round of competition. “Such an achievement speaks to the quality of our students and their ability to compete on the national stage. These students are very impressive and have inspiring stories to tell,” added Gianoutsos.

This is not the first time the Mount has had success with Fulbright. In 2015, John-Paul Heil was a finalist for the Fulbright to go to Italy. He declined the award to pursue a Ph.D. in History at the University of Chicago.

“I am so thankful for the excellent level of education that I’ve received from the Mount that opens the door to chances like these, and am thankful also for Dr. Gianoutsos’ committed team that helped me through every step of the process,” said Spiehler.

“The Fulbright is a great opportunity to travel abroad and promote values that you are passionate about while simultaneously immersing yourself another country’s culture,” echoed Flay. “The award encourages grantees to expand their cultural, philosophical, political, social and economic horizons. I am very grateful to have been named a semi-finalist for this award, and for all of the support so many Mount professors have given me throughout this process,” she stated.

Brigid Flay is a senior Economics and Philosophy double major, minoring in Conflict, Peace and Social Justice. Her intellectual interests include Soviet studies, international law, foreign policy and Russian language. She is president of the Economics Club, a member of the Bolte School of Business Student Advisory Board and on the Equestrian team. In the future, she hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in International Relations and work in the Foreign Service.

Alyse Spiehler is a Senior who is majoring in Philosophy and English. She has had the opportunity to engage in the Mount community in a number of ways, including participation in the UAC, her role as the president of GHMHS and her work as a resident assistant. Spiehler hopes to study virtue ethics post-college by enrolling in a Master’s program in Philosophy.

Samantha Solis recently graduated with a B.A. in English and Spanish, as well as a minor in Creative Writing. While at the Mount, she served as president of the Student Organization of Latinos, editor of the Moorings Humanities Journal and prose editor of the Lighted Corners. She also published a number of short stories, poems, and essays in these publications. In the future, she hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in English Literature.   


Rebecca Schisler

News Editor for The Mountain Echo

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