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VSU Class of 2020 graduate Hunter Mack named a Fulbright Scholar

Published date: June 15, 2020

VSU Student Receives Fulbright Award

Scholar Student and Athlete to serve as a Cultural Ambassador in the Czech Republic

Hunter MackVirginia State University, VA- The U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board are pleased to announce that Virginia State University’s Hunter Mack, an Engineering major and scholar athlete (Class of 2020), has received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award to the Czech Republic for the 2020- 2021 academic year. As a recipient of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, he will work closely with teachers and students in the Czech public schools to support the teaching of English and serve as a cultural ambassador for the United States. His placement will be in the town of Sezimovo Usti, where he will work hands- on, and quite fittingly, within a high school that specializes in engineering and sports management.

A member of the VSU Honors program, Hunter Mack is one of over 2,100 U.S. citizens who will be globally engaged in the important work of fostering meaningful connections between communities in the United States and their host countries. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected in an open, merit-based competition that considers leadership potential, academic and/or professional achievement, and record of service. As Fulbright alumni, their careers are enriched by joining a network of thousands of esteemed scholars, many of whom are leaders in their fields. In response to Mack’s selection, VSU President Makola Abdullah stated, “This is quite an accomplishment and we are exceedingly proud of our recent graduate, Mr. Hunter Mack. This high academic honor will not only change his life, but give him the privilege of transforming the lives of others in the Czech Republic by teaching, learning, and engaging in shared experiences. At VSU, we work diligently to prepare our students for transformative growth and giving opportunities. We know that Mr. Mack will represent us well with Trojan pride.”

When he travels to the Czech Republic in January 2021, Mack will easily draw upon his love of sport, his passion for serving others, and a record of academic achievement. As a VSU scholar-athlete, he played football all four

years of his Trojan career while still making the Dean’s List and tutoring students struggling with math and calculus. In the summers, he routinely interned as a design engineer intern with Northrop Grumman Corporation in Baltimore, MD. However, in 2018 he truncated the summer engineering internship in order to study in the United Kingdom at St. John's College in Oxford, England, as a Wiesel-King Scholar with the ISGAP Summer Institute for Curriculum Development in Contemporary Antisemitism Studies. Dr. Maxine Sample, Director of International Education and the VSU Fulbright Program Campus Advisor, stated, “Hunter Mack embodies the essence of how VSU prepares students to be globally competitive when they graduate—strong academics, opportunities to hone their leadership skills, a commitment to civic engagement, and respect for the cultural perspectives and experiences of others. The Czech Republic is fortunate to have one of our students engaging their youth.” After getting over the initial shock of receiving notification of his award, Mack remarked, "I would like to thank VSU for allowing me to flourish in their programs -- both football and academic. I would also like to thank the VSU faculty and staff for believing in me and counseling me throughout the application process."

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. Since its establishment in 1946, the Fulbright Program has enabled more than 390,000 dedicated and accomplished students, scholars, artists, teachers, and professionals of all backgrounds to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas, and find solutions to shared international concerns. The Program, which is administered by the Institute for International Education (IIE), operates in more than 160 countries worldwide.

For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State, please visit http://eca.state.gov/fulbright or contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Press Office by telephone 202-632-6452 or e-mail ECA-Press@state.gov. Interested students may also contact the Dr. George H. Bennett Office for International Education for assistance in applying for the U.S. Fulbright Student Program (BennettOIE@vsu.edu or 804-524-