5 Students Win Fulbright Grants

Five NC State students will head off around the globe as winners of prestigious Fulbright grants for the 2016-17 academic year. As Fulbright Scholars, they’ll teach and conduct research in fields ranging from chemistry to architecture at sponsoring institutions in Europe, South America and Africa.

English Teaching Assistantships 

QuiAnne’ Holmes, a senior majoring in both psychology and Spanish language and literature, will serve as a teaching assistant in Colombia. She is a member of the University Scholars Program, president of the peer mentor program for multicultural students and a senior representative on the Afrikan American Student Advisory Council. She also has tutored student athletes, served as a resident advisor and written for the Nubian Message.

Alex Starnes, a senior in electrical and computer engineering with a minor in Spanish, will serve as a teaching assistant in Spain. He has completed internships at Boeing and Eastman Chemical, served as president of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and is active in Eta Kappa Nu, the electrical and computer engineering honors fraternity.

Research/Study Grants

Rachel Gonsalves, completing her fifth-year certification in the environmental design in architecture program, will conduct a research project titled “Tradition vs. Innovation: Cost-Benefit Analysis of Rwandan Construction Techniques” at the University of Rwanda.

She was a 2012 recipient of a U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Institute Award to Nottingham-Trent University. She also received a Fellowship Advising Office enhancement grant in 2012 to pursue an internship at CO2 Bamboo in Nicaragua.

Gonsalves’ sister, Lianne, received a Fulbright grant in 2010-11 to teach in Venezuela.

Danny Smyl, a Ph.D. candidate in civil engineering, will conduct a research project titled “Electrical Methods to Improve Monitoring of Structural Health” at the University of Eastern Finland.

Smyl, who earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in civil engineering from the University of Kansas, is a Marine Corps veteran who served as a platoon commander and assistant operations officer in Afghanistan. He also has competed in amateur powerlifting events.

Kyle Virgil, a senior in chemistry with minors in philosophy and biology, will conduct a research project titled “Solar Fuel Production through Catalytic Carbon Dioxide Reduction” at Uppsala University in Sweden.

He is a member of the University Scholars Program, a scholar in the Initiative for Maximizing Diversity program, president of the Society of Multicultural Scientists and student ambassador in the College of Sciences. He has presented his research at the Undergraduate Research Symposium and he is the second author on a paper in the Journal of Physical Chemistry.

Members of the campus review committee included:

  • Kristine Alpi — NCSU Libraries
  • Bethany Bradshaw — Foreign Languages and Literatures
  • Kyle Bunds — Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management
  • Natalie Bunds — Biological Sciences
  • Burak Erdim — Architecture
  • Ronald Fodor — Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Jillian Haeseler — Foreign Languages and Literatures
  • Eric Money — Center for Geospatial Analytics
  • Ruie Pritchard — Instruction and Counselor Education
  • Karen Tharrington — Foreign Languages and Literatures
  • Tim Wallace — Sociology and Anthropology

NC State has produced 54 student Fulbright Scholars since 1946, and is recognized as one of the nation’s top Fulbright-producing institutions.