June 2, 2015 | By: Carl Nathe, Whitney Hale

The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that six UK students have been selected as recipients of Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarships. The UK recipients are among more than 1,900 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2015-2016 academic year through the prestigious program.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the U.S. also provide direct and indirect support.

Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in more than 160 countries worldwide.

The UK students awarded Fulbright grants for graduate study, research or teaching assistantships are: Brittany Cook Barrineau, a doctoral student in geography, who will do research in Jordan; Donavyn Coffey, a 2015 agricultural biotechnology graduate, who will do research in Denmark; Christiana Holsapple, a 2012 international studies graduate, who will teach in Moldova; Zachary Laux, a 2015 mathematical economics and international studies graduate, who will teach in Malaysia; Breauna Oldham, a 2015 international studies graduate, who will teach in South Korea; and Callie Zaino, a 2015 communication sciences and disorders and Spanish graduate, who will teach in Spain. Brittany Cook Barrineau, the daughter of Karen Cook, of Manassas, Virginia, and Glenn Cook, of Baltimore, Maryland, received her bachelor's degree from University of Mary Washington and a master's degree from University of South Carolina.

Donavyn Coffey, the daughter of Allison and Troy Coffey, of Russell Springs, Kentucky, received her bachelor's degree in agricultural biotechnology from UK on May 9. While at UK, Coffey participated in undergraduate research with Bluegrass Advanced Materials and was a member of the Ag Biotech Club. She also participated in internships with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and Alltech.

Coffey will use her Fulbright grant to do graduate study in molecular nutrition and food technology at Aarhus University in Aarhus, Denmark, while also experiencing how another culture approaches food and health.

"I will get to be immersed in Danish culture and have the opportunity to better understand what sets their public health apart from that of the United States. It is sure to be a fantastic, two-fold approach to education," Coffey said.

The Fulbright Scholar's life experiences heavily influenced Coffey's areas of study. Growing up on a farm and seeing the hard work her parents put in led her to her degree in agricultural biotechnology. Coffey's own diagnosis of epilepsy helped influence her new studies. "The fact that I was able to manage my own epilepsy with dietary changes is definitely what convinced me of the power of nutrition and made me want to study molecular nutrition with my Fulbright."

For more information on the other Fulbright recipients, click here


Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716

News Topics: