Two NCWV natives awarded scholarship to teach, conduct research abroad

Five West Virginia University alumni are joining the ranks of more than 80 other WVU students...
Five West Virginia University alumni are joining the ranks of more than 80 other WVU students who have been named Fulbright Scholars, opening up opportunities to teach English or conduct research abroad.(WVU Photo)
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 12:56 PM EDT
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - Two West Virginia University alumni from north central West Virginia are recipients of prestigious Fulbright Scholarships.

They are two of five WVU alumni to be awarded the scholarship.

The Fulbright Scholarship allows them to teach English or conduct research abroad over the next year while building cross-cultural relationships.

They join the ranks of more than 80 other WVU students who have been named Fulbright Scholars during the program’s history.

“These alumni clearly understand the importance of immersing oneself in another culture, the perspective it brings and the importance of making a positive global impact,” Cate Johnson, assistant director of the ASPIRE Office, said. “We’re thrilled they will be representing WVU and the United States overseas.”

Bridgeport native Grant DuVall will work in Viljandi, Estonia with the city’s library to provide American and English lessons to students of various ages.

The biology graduate who minored in addiction studies will also work with harm reduction and public health organizations to learn more about Estonia’s addiction treatment methods.

“Spending an extended period living in another country and becoming incorporated into a community is my dream,” DuVall said. “I am really excited to hopefully volunteer many of my weekends with Estonia’s largest harm reduction organization, working on their mobile medical buses while traveling across and seeing more of the country.”

Morgantown native Wilson McNeil was captivated by New Zealand’s beauty and culture and the nation’s commitment to environmental protection when he lived there when he was younger.

The civil and environmental engineering graduate will return to the country for his Fulbright program, conducting research in the civil and natural resources engineering department at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch.

“The Fulbright provided an opportunity to study abroad, while also allowing me to have the honor of representing the U.S. and West Virginia overseas,” he said. “I expect to end my time in New Zealand with a broader view of environmental engineering, one that allows me to view the field from an international lens. I hope that the prestige of the Fulbright Scholarship, along with the relationships that will be formed in my year abroad, will open many academic and professional opportunities in the future.”

The following WVU alumni are the other three recipients of the Fulbright Scholarship:

  • Hailey Hall, of Pittsburgh, will teach English at a university in Izmir, Turkey.
  • Valerie Browne, of Martinsburg, will serve as a teaching assistant at the Pedagogical University of Krakow in Poland.
  • Josephine Valentine, of Shepherdstown, will teach English to elementary and high school students in Oviedo, Spain.