The University of the South Announces Fulbright U.S. Student Awards for 2024-2025

Sewanee, Tenn.— The University of the South is pleased to announce that three students have received Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards for the 2024-2025 academic year from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Cole Baker, C’24, was recognized with the English Teaching Assistant Award, which will provide support to him to teach in Mexico. Emma Ross-Sermons, C’23, was selected for the Hugh Lane Gallery Curatorial Award and will work with the gallery’s education team on a project in Dublin, Ireland. Adri Silva, C’24, will teach in Peru with the support of an English Teaching Assistant Award. With these three awards, Sewanee now boasts 60 Fulbright winners.

“Having three Fulbright winners in a single year is a remarkable achievement for Sewanee and speaks to the outstanding caliber of our students and of the opportunities they have here,” says Interim Dean of the College Betsy Sandlin. “We are extremely proud of Cole, Emma, and Adri, and know they will represent the University and the Fulbright organization well.”

Baker is a history major from Decatur, Georgia. Interested in working in educational policy, he hopes his teaching experience will help prepare him to advocate for informed policies that can truly benefit students. “Teaching in Mexico will be crucial to my journey as an educator, providing me with an opportunity to further advance my understanding of how schools relate to our communities,” he says.

A 2023 graduate of the College, Ross-Sermons majored in art history at Sewanee. The Hugh Lane Gallery Curatorial Award will provide her with the opportunity to combine her passion for making art accessible with her interest in raising environmental awareness. “The Dublin City Arts Council supports experiential arts learning and promotes visual literacy among Dublin’s youth. [In my work] with the Hugh Lane Gallery ... I hope to expand this practice to focus on the creation of art in tandem with the environment,” says Ross-Sermons. “My project will explore the fluid intersections of art, social justice, and community engagement.”

Silva is a politics major from Cleveland, Tennessee. “In Peru, I want to do more than just teach a language,” she says. “Current social issues span beyond borders, and I want to share how learning a language means bridging divides by developing cultural appreciation, self-awareness, and innovative ways of thinking.” Sewanee’s Fulbright review committee adds, “Adri embodies the adage ‘not for self but others.’ In her years at Sewanee, she lived into EQB by valuing others, developing connections, and building relationships, and she will carry this zeal for engagement and involvement into her community in Peru.”

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. More than 2,000 U.S. students, artists, and early career professionals from all backgrounds and in more than 100 fields of study receive Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards annually to study, teach English, and conduct research overseas. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected in an open, merit-based competition that considers leadership potential, academic and/or professional achievement, and record of service.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is administered at the University of the South by Associate Dean Alexander M. Bruce. A listing of previous Fulbright awards and other fellowships and scholarships won by Sewanee graduates is available via the Office of the Dean of the College.