Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Jill Oberhart poses for a portrait at Voxman Music Building on June 28, 2019. Oberhart is a recipient of Fulbright scholarship. (Tian Liu/The Daily Iowan)

Andy Mitchell, The Daily Iowan

Jill Oberhart thought she was too ordinary to be a Fulbright scholar. Her peers and instructors thought otherwise, and now she will step into a larger world.

In the middle of her shift at the office for Veteran’s Affairs in Iowa City, Oberhart got word that she will head to Brazil as a Fulbright scholar. While she was expecting to be contacted about a full-time job she had applied for as a contingency plan, instead she saw the congratulatory email.

“It’s such a weird thing to open in an email,” Oberhart said. “Like, here’s this prestigious thing for you in your Gmail that you can’t even open at work.”

The UI alum has been a musician for most of her life, which makes perfect sense looking at her family tree. Her mother played piano and trombone, her great-grandmother was a piano teacher, and her great-grandfather played bass in a U.S. Army band. Music runs deep in the family.