NORMAN, OKLA. – In true University of Oklahoma tradition, high-performing students have been recognized with some of the most prestigious – and highly competitive – 2023 scholarships offered. These awards recognize these students’ work in public policy and government, STEM research, meteorology and more.
This year’s awards include one Truman Scholar, two Goldwater Scholars, one Boren Scholar, four Fulbright Scholars plus one alternate, three NOAA Hollings Scholars and one Rotary Scholar.
“Seeing our students achieve academic honors at the highest levels affirms that the University of Oklahoma is committed to offering a world-class education and preparing students for a life of impact,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “These scholars have worked incredibly hard to earn these tremendous awards, and we are remarkably proud of each of them. We know they will represent the best of OU in their future studies and careers.”
Corbin Walls, a junior majoring in public and nonprofit administration at OU, has been named a 2023 Truman Scholar for demonstrating outstanding leadership potential, a commitment to a career in government or the nonprofit sector and academic excellence.
Recipients of the Truman Scholarship receive up to $30,000 in funding to pursue graduate degrees in public service fields such as government agencies, nonprofit organizations or educational institutions.
Walls, of Miami, Oklahoma, plans to earn a doctorate in public administration and policy. After completing his studies, he hopes to serve as a program evaluator for a large nonprofit foundation. He is the founder of the Grant Writers’ Association, which offers grant writing services to local nonprofits. He is also a pro bono consultant for Norman’s Second Chance Animal Sanctuary, where he helps with fundraising and budgetary concerns.
Two OU students have been named 2023 Goldwater Scholars in a prestigious national competition that recognizes undergraduates for their outstanding achievements in science and mathematics.
Lydia England, a sophomore majoring in aerospace engineering, mathematics and physics, and Oliver Wu, a junior majoring in chemistry and history, are among 413 students nationwide to be selected this year out of more than 5,000 nominees representing 427 institutions.
Named for former U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater, the Goldwater Scholarships are awarded to college sophomores and juniors on the basis of potential and intent to pursue research careers in the fields of the natural sciences, engineering and mathematics. The one- and two-year scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.
England, of Oklahoma City, plans to earn a doctorate in high energy physics with an emphasis on quantum computing. She has conducted research on the relationship between electron temperature and ion charge states in solar wind, and the effects of lightning strikes on the Space Launch System Vehicle at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.
Wu, of Edmond, plans to earn a Doctor of Medicine and a doctorate degree before beginning a career based on discovering the underlying mechanisms of diseases and their treatments. He has conducted research into how drugs bind in complex samples using thermal depletion with hydrogen deuterium exchange mass spectrometry.
OU sophomore Rebecca Morren has been named a recipient of the prestigious Boren Award for International Study, sponsored by the National Security Education Program.
Boren Awards are named for David L. Boren, OU’s 13th president, former Oklahoma governor and U.S. senator, who helped establish the National Security Education Program. The program focuses on geographic areas, languages and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security. The awards provide up to $20,000 in funding to undergraduate and graduate students to study abroad and develop language proficiency.
Morren, of Norman, is a 4.0 student majoring in Chinese and international studies at OU. She plans to use her scholarship to study Mandarin Chinese at National Taiwan University in Taipei.
OU graduating seniors Taylor Broadbent and James Johnson, OU master’s degree student Kristin Urías and OU alumna Han Pham have received Fulbright U.S. Student awards for the 2023-2024 academic year from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Additionally, OU student Nikola Dragicevic was chosen as an alternate for a Fulbright award.
As Fulbright students, they will receive a grant to study, conduct research or teach abroad for the next academic year. Recipients are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.
Broadbent, of Moore, will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in constitutional studies. She has received Fulbright’s only Anne Wexler Scholarship in Public Policy and will use the grant to pursue a master’s degree in public policy and programs at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Following her grant year, she hopes to work for the U.S. Department of Interior.
Johnson, of Tulsa, will graduate in May with bachelor’s degrees in history and German. He has received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant program grant and will spend his grant year in Saxony, Germany, as an English teaching assistant. Following his grant year, he plans to return to the U.S. and pursue graduate studies in German history.
Pham, of Tulsa, earned a bachelor’s degree from OU in international and area studies in 2018, and a master’s degree from OU in social work in December 2022. She received a Fulbright Study/Research grant and will spend her grant year in Seoul, South Korea, conducting research on cultural competence in Korean mental health practices. Following her grant year, she plans to return to Tulsa to pursue work in a mental health agency, providing therapy to diverse populations.
Urías, of Dallas, is pursuing an online Master of Arts in Global Affairs degree in international and area studies. She earned bachelor’s degrees in anthropology and Spanish from Texas A&M University in 2012. She has been awarded a grant from theFulbright English Teaching Assistant program and will spend her grant year in Argentina as an English teaching assistant with a special project in eco-tourism. Following her grant year, she plans to apply for U.S. State Department Foreign Service.
Dragicevic, of Oklahoma City, will graduate in May with bachelor’s degrees in international studies and Spanish. If selected for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant program grant, he will spend his grant year as an English teaching assistant in Argentina.
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.
EDITOR’S NOTE: No photo is available of James Johnson or Nikola Dragicevic
Three OU students have been named 2023 NOAA Hollings Scholars. The Hollings Scholarship Program, funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, provides undergraduate students with awards that include academic assistance for two years of full-time study and a 10-week, full-time paid internship at a NOAA facility during the summer.
Meteorology majors Kyle Eskew and Roy Patrick Galang and environmental sustainability major Natalie Machado were chosen for this year’s scholarships.
The internship between the first and second years of the award provides the scholars with hands-on, practical experience in NOAA-related science, research, technology, policy, management and education activities. Awards also include travel funds to attend a mandatory NOAA Scholarship Program orientation and the annual Science and Education Symposium, scientific conferences where students present their research and a housing subsidy for scholars who do not reside at home during the summer internship.
Eskew, from Beavercreek Township, Ohio, hopes to use his scholarship to work with the National Weather Service on a project designed to improve operational weather forecasts. Upon graduation, he plans to pursue a master’s degree in meteorology or atmospheric science before joining the National Weather Service as a meteorologist. His current research focuses on analyzing the seasonal dynamics and driving factors of methane emissions using measurements from FLUXNET micrometeorological towers and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer remote sensing data.
Galang, from Houston, is a member of the Honors College and works as a student research assistant at OU’s Cooperative Institute for Severe and High-Impact Weather Research and Operations. He serves as the director of shifts on the Oklahoma Weather Lab Board, and is a member of OU SCAN, ASEAN and FSA. His research interest is in tropical weather and tropical cyclones. He plans to use his scholarship to study abroad, broadening his knowledge for a career in meteorology.
Machado, from Holtsville, New York, is an active member in the Oklahoma Weather Lab. She is also a writer for OU Esports News and Media and is an officer of the Professional Writing Student Association. She plans on using her scholarship to work on a project focused on climate resilience and hazard mitigation. Upon graduation, she hopes to work in climate adaptation or emergency management.
Parker Adams, of Tulsa, has been awarded a 2023 Graduate Global Fellowship, funded by Oklahoma’s Rotary International District 5770. As a Rotary Scholar, Adams will receive a $30,000 grant for graduate studies.
Adams, a senior majoring in political science and pre-law at OU, will use the grant to study civil law at the London School of Economics. Following his grant term, he plans to seek employment within the United Nations and/or attend law school before beginning a career forced on peace and conflict prevention.
The Graduate Global Fellowship recognizes students who plan to study in any of the following seven areas of focus: promoting peace; fighting disease; providing clean water, sanitation and hygiene, saving mothers and children, supporting education, growing local economies and protecting the environment.
About the University of Oklahoma
Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. OU serves the educational, cultural, economic and health care needs of the state, region and nation. For more information visit ou.edu.