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STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State is again welcoming a new class of Fulbright scholars to campus this semester.

Provost and Executive Vice President Jerry Gilbert said students who come to Mississippi State as Fulbright Scholars have gone through a competitive selection process and stand out as excellent scholars in their respective fields. But he emphasized that studying in the United States not only benefits the Fulbright scholars, but enriches the campus culture and benefits all MSU students who have the opportunity to interact with scholars from various countries around the world.

“We welcome you and are very honored that you have selected Mississippi State to pursue your studies,” Gilbert said during a recent luncheon with the new students.

The nation’s flagship international exchange program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. In addition to encouraging foreign nationals to study and conduct research in the United States, the program also enables Americans to engage in similar activities abroad.

Mississippi State’s new Fulbright students are:

–Kentse Radebe of South Africa, a master’s student in sociology;

–Maximilian Roethig of Germany, a master’s student in aerospace engineering;

–Ralph Antoine Vital of Haiti, a doctoral student in mathematical sciences.

Additionally, Jing Yang of China is MSU’s first Fulbright foreign language teaching assistant.

Jon Rezek, interim associate vice president of international programs and interim executive director of MSU’s International Institute, said that due to financial constraints, many students are unable to experience other cultures through study abroad programs, but Fulbright Scholars bring their own experiences from around the world to share with American students.

“Having Fulbright scholars on campus offers our students and faculty a valuable opportunity to interact with some of the brightest, most ambitious and outgoing students from around the world,” Rezek said. “These students are generally very eager to share aspects of their culture with us, allowing our students and faculty to see the world from a different perspective, which is extraordinarily important to both understanding our world and to thinking creatively about solving common challenges.”

Seven other Fulbright scholars are continuing studies at the university. They are Mohammad Al Boni of Syria; Job Otieno Bonyo of Kenya; Carlos Cabrera of Dominican Republic; Anara Kozhokanova of Kyrgyzstan; Rosanne Carreras de Leon of Dominican Republic; Gina Paola Rico Mendez of Colombia; and Muhammad Nadeem of Pakistan.

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