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9 U students selected as Fulbright semifinalists

Nine University of Utah students have been selected as semifinalists for the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, this nationally competitive program supports academic exchanges between the United States and more than 140 countries around the world. Selected program participants pursue graduate study, conduct research, or serve as English Teaching Assistants abroad. See

For 2024-25, the university submitted 19 Fulbright applications. Its cohort of semifinalists represents several schools and colleges, including the College of Education, College of Humanities, College of Science, College of Social and Behavioral Science, David Eccles School of Business and the Honors College. The group includes two students who intend to enter graduate programs, three students who proposed research projects, and four students who aim to serve as English teaching assistants. They intend to carry out their projects in Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, South Korea and Taiwan.

Making it to the semifinal round is a significant accomplishment for these students and means that their applications have been forwarded to the Fulbright Commission or the U.S. embassy in the host country for final review. Finalists will be notified later this spring, with the timing of notifications varying by country.

Meet our University of Utah Fulbright semifinalists, including five (*) affiliated with the Honors College:


Soren Indergard (B.A. in History, Spring 2024), aims to enter a master’s degree program at Cheng Kung University in Taiwan to study the history of Dutch and Chinese efforts to colonize Taiwan.

Arza Helm (B.S. in Economics and Political Science, B.A. in International Relations, Spring 2024) aims to pursue a dual master’s degree program in international governance and diplomacy at the Paris School of International Affairs in France and at Peking University in China.


*Marina Gerton (B.S. in Biology and Chemistry, December 2023) aims to undertake a research project at the University of Costa Rica that focuses onThe Habitat Use and Niche Partitioning of Economically Important Species in Santa Elena Bay.”

*Moses Samuelson-Lynn (B.S. in Math, B.A. in German, Spring 2024) aims to research “A New Set of Efficient Initial Variables for Cluster Algebras of Finite Mutation Type” at the Max Plank Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences in Germany.

*Catherine Warner (B.S. in Math, Spring 2019; Ph.D. in Math, Spring 2025) aims to undertake a research project titled “Semiduality Groups: An Analog of Duality Groups” at the University of Sannio in Italy.


*Alyssa Lee (B.A. in Elementary Education, Spring 2023) aims to serve as an English Teaching Assistant in Taiwan.

Lauren Lengel (B.S. in Information Systems and Accounting, Spring 2024), aims to serve as an English Teaching Assistant in South Korea.

*John Shackelford (B.S. in Operations and Supply Chain Management, Spring 2021) aims to serve as an English Teaching Assistant/Debate Coach in Taiwan.

Zachery Thiede (B.A. in Latin and German, Spring 2024) aims to serve as an English Teaching Assistant in Germany.

Fulbright alumni from the United States and around the world have gone on to achieve distinction in government, science, the arts, business, philanthropy, and education. Among the ranks of Fulbright alumni are 62 Nobel Prize recipients, 78 MacArthur Foundation Fellows, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, and 41 current or former heads of state or government.

Fulbright semifinalists from the University of Utah were advised throughout the application process by the Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships (ONCS) housed in the Honors College. ONCS staff members assist outstanding students and alumni in developing competitive applications, preparing for interviews, and securing university endorsements for a variety of prestigious nationally competitive scholarships, including Fulbright. The 2025-26 Fulbright competition will open on April 2, 2024. To learn more, contact Alison Shimko, the University of Utah’s Fulbright Director and the Associate Director of ONCS, at or consult visit this page.