UTC’s Emma Sprayberry Awarded Fulbright Scholarship

  • Thursday, April 18, 2024
  • Chuck Wasserstrom, UTC
Emma Sprayberry, who will be graduating from UTC in May, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Taiwan for the 2024-2025 academic year
Emma Sprayberry, who will be graduating from UTC in May, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Taiwan for the 2024-2025 academic year
photo by Angela Foster/UTC

One of the most highly decorated students in recent UTC history has received another prestigious award before her time as an undergraduate comes to a close.

Senior Emma Sprayberry, an Innovations in Honors student in the UTC Honors College majoring in both humanities: international studies (with an emphasis on Asian studies) and Spanish, along with a minor in anthropology, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Taiwan for the 2024-2025 academic year.

Later this summer, Ms. Sprayberry—who graduates from UTC on Saturday, May 4—will travel to Taiwan to teach English while representing the U.S. as a cultural ambassador.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international academic exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, providing awards to approximately 8,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and professionals each year.

Founded in 1946, the Fulbright Program has partnerships with more than 135 countries worldwide to teach, conduct research and carry out professional projects. 

“To be awarded a Fulbright scholarship is a capstone achievement for undergraduate students. It’s one of the most prestigious nationally competitive awards in the United States,” said Dr. Trey Straussberger, director of the UTC Office of National Scholarships. “Just as importantly, it serves as one of the most effective means of diplomacy for the U.S. government.

“Emma is a truly tremendous person and student, and I think she will be a future leader in U.S. diplomacy abroad.”

During her time at UTC, Ms. Sprayberry has landed numerous national competitive awards while participating in study-abroad opportunities. Her travels have taken her to Korea, Germany, Canada, Spain and Panama, and she has been the recipient of the following:

U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship and a Freeman-ASIA Scholarship (summer 2021), studying at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea.
Fulbright Canada-Mitacs Globalink Research Internship (summer 2022), participating in an advanced summer research project at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada.
Killam Fellowships Program (fall 2022), spending the semester at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec.
Public Policy and International Affairs Junior Summer Institute Fellowship (summer 2023), spending her summer at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

In addition, she spent the spring 2023 semester in Spain in an international studies program at the University of Alcalá.

Ms. Sprayberry, who grew up in nearby Rossville and is a 2020 graduate of Chattanooga Christian School, will learn later this spring where she will be teaching in Taiwan. She said one of her long-term goals is to become a foreign service officer, so she is hopeful that working in an international school will help her better understand policies and local culture.

“I want to be an ambassador for the U.S.,” she said, “and this will allow me to better understand what I need to do in grad school. I want to apply for a master’s in public policy, and after that, I want to work for a nonprofit and in the education sector.

“I still have my eyes on UNICEF and I really like working with kids, so I’m excited that the Fulbright experience will help me develop a better educational perspective.”

To learn more about Ms. Sprayberry’s Fulbright Scholarship and other UTC stories, visit UTC News.

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