NMSU branding

New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

News Center




Four NMSU students selected as Fulbright winners

Four students from New Mexico State University were named 2019 Fulbright winners, the most NMSU has produced in a year so far. The students received the prestigious recognition following a record year for Fulbright applicants from NMSU.


Photo of four people
Four students from New Mexico State University were recently named Fulbright winners, the most NMSU has produced in a year so far. The students received the prestigious recognition following a record year for Fulbright applicants from NMSU. (Courtesy photo)

“The Honors College had a record number of 10 Fulbright applicants this year. Six of these students were selected as semi-finalists and four students won the Fulbright fellowship,” said Tim Ketelaar, associate dean of the Honors College and director of the Office of National Scholarships and International Education. “Their success is a testament to NMSU’s amazing honors students.”

The students who received Fulbright fellowships are:

– Nubia Rivas, a pre-med student and biology major who will be teaching English in the Canary Islands and working as a volunteer with refugee and immigrant populations;

– Sierra Grim, a genetics and biotechnology major who is studying personalized medicine and pharmacology at the Institute of Pharmacology in Greifswald, Germany;

– Ger Xiong, an art major and native of Thailand who has returned there to study Hmong textile art;

– Ashley Page, a water sciences major who is spending time in Bulgaria and Greece to study transboundary water issues to compare them to the Hueco Bolson between Mexico and New Mexico.

According to the Fulbright website, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs. During their grants, Fulbrighters meet, work, live with and learn from the people of a host country. The program facilitates cultural exchange through direct interaction on an individual basis in the classroom, field, home and in routine tasks.

The Honors College is not only celebrating a 40 percent Fulbright success rate that exceeds the national average of 20 percent, but the accomplishments of this year’s Fulbright winners, who are each conducting a wide range of research projects worldwide.

“I am far away from the comforting green chile scents of the Land of Enchantment,” said Grim, who married her husband in April and is temporarily living in Germany with him while conducting her Fulbright research. “I definitely miss the smell and taste of green chile but I am beyond honored and excited to represent the United States as a Fulbright research scholar this next year.”

Grim will be working under the mentorship of University of Greifswald professor Mladen Tzvetkov, who is investigating rare genetic variants that interact with Metformin, a drug commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes patients.

The Honors College will host its annual Fulbright Workshop at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20, at the Conroy Honors Center. Students also will have the opportunity to meet Fay Yurwit, last year’s student winner of the $5,000 NMSU Honors College International Research Scholarship. The workshop is intended for students who want to learn more about funded opportunities to support their own independent international research projects.

NMSU faculty members who assisted in advising students as part of the university’s Fulbright committee are Rachel Stevens, emeritus professor of art; Andrea Orzoff, Honors faculty fellow and history professor; Mary Alice Scott, a medical anthropologist and Anthropology department professor; and Honors College Dean Miriam Chaiken.