Manuela and Noela Botaka, twin sisters born in Kinshasa, Congo, do a lot of things together. They both graduated from the University of Louisville in May 2019 and both were Martin Luther King Fellows. Today, they are the first UofL twins to each win a Fulbright scholarship.
Manuela’s Fulbright English Teaching Assistant is one of nine Fulbright Awards won by UofL graduates or graduate students for 2021-2022. The 2019 graduate, with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology, is traveling to Belgium, where her sister traveled last year on a Fulbright Fellowship. The sisters grew up in Lexington.
“I feel so honored to have the chance to be a part of students’ educational journey and help them strengthen their understanding of the English language, which will undoubtedly open even more doors for them,” said Manuela. “I am also delighted to engage with the Belgian community and to learn more about the Belgian Congo, in terms of my Congolese identity.”
Since 2003, UofL has produced 150 Fulbright Fellows, more than all other higher education institutions in Kentucky combined.
In addition, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, awarded annually to a college in Kentucky, was awarded to UofL student Lexi Raikes in April.
“The winners of these prestigious scholarships will have opportunities abroad that will change their lives and promote international understanding,” said UofL President Neeli Bendapudi. “These students are the best of the best, and I am in awe of their hard work and dedication to further their education. I also thank the members of our staff who helped these students win these opportunities.
The other Fulbright winners are:
- Shakeyrah Elmore, of Columbus, Ohio, who will study postpartum depression in Jamaican women at the Caribbean Health Research Institute at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica. She is a graduate student at the School of Public Health and Information Sciences.
- Claire Gothard, from Louisville, who got a position as Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Morocco.
- Macey Higdon, from Owensboro, Ky., Who was awarded a graduate scholarship to pursue a master’s degree at Jyvaskyla University, Finland, in physical activity biology.
- Kyle Landis, from Elizabethtown, Ky., Who took a position as Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Madrid, Spain.
- Rolandson Le, of Louisville, who got a position as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Taiwan.
- Madeline McCloud, of Worthington, Kentucky, who also got a position as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Taiwan.
- Reagan Miller, of Bowling Green, Kentucky, who got a position as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Morocco.
- Hannah White, from Eddyville, Kentucky, who got a position as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Galicia, Spain.
The Fulbright Program, administered by the State Department’s Office of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program.
Other students awarded prestigious academic scholarships are:
Isabella Martin — Boren Scholarship. She plans to study Russian in Estonia. The Boren Scholarships, sponsored by the National Security Education Program, provide undergraduate and graduate students up to $ 25,000 to study abroad in languages and regions of interest to the national security of the States- United.
Will Randolph — Union Anglophone-Kentucky Branch Scholarship. He will use the award this summer to study Modern Scots at the University of Edinburgh in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Anglophone Union of the United States is a non-profit, non-political educational services organization with a mission to promote scholarship and the advancement of knowledge through the effective use of English in a global community. in expansion.
Liz Turner — Mary Churchill Humphrey Scholarship. Liz, graduating in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish, will pursue a master’s degree at Aga Khan University in London, UK.
Madeline Martinez — Delta Scholars Program. This program is for students attending college in the Mississippi Delta area who are interested in community service and social justice. Madeline, a sophomore nursing student, will participate in a 10-day summer program at Mississippi State University and a five-day fall program at Harvard University.
More information on these researchers can be found online here.