The University of Iowa

UI student Isabella Senno awarded Fulbright to Spain

May 1st, 2020

Isabella Senno, who will receive a BS in anthropology and a BA in psychology from the University of Iowa this May, is the winner of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award to Spain for 2020-21

Hometown: Evanston, IL
Award: 2020-21 Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award to Spain
Degree: BS in anthropology (gender and culture track) and BA in psychology, minor in Spanish

Could you give me a brief synopsis of what you'll be doing with your Fulbright?
I will be an English Teaching Assistant at the Universidad de La Laguna in the Canary Islands, Spain, conducting academic writing skills workshops. I will also be volunteering my time with a local organization dedicated to empowering women, building on my experience working with the Women’s Resource and Action Center here at the University of Iowa.

What drew you to this field of study?
When I first entered the University of Iowa, I was drawn towards anthropology, a holistic social science that takes a people-first approach to understand the world. Within this field, there is a focus on asking “What creates community?” - a key question for my freshman-year self, who was seeking out her own in a brand new setting. As a Latina whose family has experienced generations of marginalization and active discrimination, I threw myself into anthropology because I wanted to learn more about to assist in reducing structural inequity.

How do you envision this will influence your future career?
After my Fulbright has ended, I plan on seeking out opportunities to work in public policy, pursuing a focus in Latinx communities and gender equity issues. My time abroad will allow me to build global connections and further establish my cross-cultural understanding.

What advice do you have for future students interested in applying for a Fulbright? 
In terms of advice for a Fulbright application - start early! The process is very intense, demanding a lot from your creativity, writing skills, and dedication to your goal. Run your essays and total application by as many trusted friends, professors, and advisors as you can in order to work through your ideas. Be open to constructive criticism; this is a humbling process in many ways, but ultimately, a worthwhile one.

Are there individuals you'd like to thank for their investment in this process?
First and foremost, I would like to thank my mother and sister for encouraging me throughout the entire application process and for consistently believing in me. I would also like to thank my recommenders, Dr. Brady G’Sell, my honors thesis advisor and assistant professor in gender, women's and sexuality studies (GWSS) and anthropology, Dr. Patrick Dolan, lecturer in rhetoric and GWSS, and Dr. Robert Franciscus, professor in anthropology - not only for their letters but also for their constant support throughout my years at the University of Iowa. Finally, I must thank all of the staff and faculty who work with Fulbright applicants every year.


explore the many funding opportunities available to UI students and alumni 

Students are encouraged to begin their funding searches and applications at least six months to one year in advance.  Schedule an advising appointment with Karen Wachsmuth to discuss your interest in an international fellowship or begin an application (as a UI undergraduate student, graduate student, or alumna/us).

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