LMU Newsroom

Thirteen Loyola Marymount University students have been named Fulbright grant finalists for the 2016-17 program, the largest number in LMU’s history.

The group of three men and ten women – including a set of identical twins –  represent a range of interests and LMU schools and colleges, including the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts, the School of Film and Television, the School of Education, the College of Communication and Fine Arts, and the Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering.

The finalists applied for grants in Brazil, Poland, Ghana and others. It is now up to the host countries to decide which of them will receive grants. The students will be notified between March and June.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the nation’s largest student exchange program offering students and young professionals an opportunity to study for graduate degrees, conduct advanced research or teach in primary, secondary schools and colleges in 140 countries. The program awards approximately 1,900 grants each year and was started as a reaction to WW II.

The theory behind the program was, “If we can create communications between people (by sending scholars and teachers to other counties),” said Stella Setka, director of LMU’s national and international fellowship office, “we might think twice about dropping bombs on them. Many recipients go on to shape America’s diplomatic relations whether through private business, academia or government service.”

LMU’s finalists are:

Iftin Abshir, 25, (chemistry, B.S. & screenwriting, B.A., 2015), Littleton, Colo.;

Matthew Alvarez, 24, (special education, M.A., 2016), Oakland, Calif.;

Ryan Beitz, 28, (philosophy, M.A., 2016), Los Angeles;

Hannah Bredberg, 26, (music, B.A., 2012), Los Angeles;

Jacob Coronel, 28, (secondary education, M.A., 2016), Los Angeles;

Taylor Kay, 21, (urban studies, B.A., 2015), Hawthorne, Calif.;

Nina Lepp, 21, (mechanical engineering, B.S., 2016), Mercer Island, Wash.;

Monique Mansour, 26, (screenwriting, B.A. & sociology, B.A., 2012), Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.;

Alexis Maynard, 21, (chemistry, B.S., 2016), Oakland, Calif.;

Andria Maynard, 21, (psychology, B.A., 2016), Oakland, Calif.;

Quinn Painter, 23, (natural science, B.S., 2014), Denver;

Alana Slavin, 21, (economics, B.A. & Spanish, B.A., 2016), St. Louis;

Lauren Thurmond, 26, (educational studies, M.A., 2016), Los Angeles.


A record 35 LMU students applied for Fulbright grants this year, more than any previous year.