Skip to main content

USD student Erin Sternhagen recipient of Fulbright Summer Institute to study in Scotland for five weeks

VERMILLION, S.D. -- University of South Dakota student Erin Sternhagen has received a place on a Fulbright Summer Institute to study at the Universities of Dundee and Strathclyde on one of the most prestigious and selective summer scholarship programs operating worldwide.

The U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission is the only bilateral, transatlantic scholarship program, offering awards and summer programs for study or research in any field, at any accredited U.S. or U.K. university. The Commission is part of the Fulbright program conceived by Sen. J. William Fulbright in the aftermath of World War II to promote leadership, learning and empathy between nations through educational exchange.

As a participant, Sternhagen has been selected from a strong pool of applicants to experience the U.K. on a five-week summer program. Participants in the Fulbright Scotland Summer Institute will learn more about the rich culture, history and heritage of Scotland, and will take classes focusing on a variety of topics, including forensic anthropology, life sciences, and health and society in modern Scotland. Additionally, participants will visit the Scottish Parliament, museums, castles, and other historical sites and landmarks throughout Scotland.

"I am honored to have been chosen as a participant for the Fulbright Summer Institute, and am excited to learn more about the rich culture and history of the UK while studying in Scotland," said Sternhagen, a medical biology major from Groton, S.D. "As a pre-medicine student and future doctor, I especially look forward to studying science, technology, and the innovative health care systems of Scotland, and to learning more about the globalization of medicine.”

An Honors student at USD, Sternhagen hopes to eventually attend medical school to become a geriatrician. In 2012, she was selected as a National Merit Finalist and was chosen as a recipient of the Presidential Alumni Scholarship at USD. Now in college, Sternhagen serves on the Executive Board of Student Ambassadors and works in a microbiology research lab. She also visits local schools to give presentations on college success in her free time, and serves as a hospice volunteer.

The Commission selects participants through a rigorous application and interview process. In making these awards the Commission looks not only for academic excellence but a focused application, a range of extracurricular and community activities, demonstrated ambassadorial skills, a desire to further the Fulbright Program and a plan to give back to the recipient’s home country upon returning.

Fulbright Summer Programs cover all participant costs. In addition, Fulbright summer participants receive a distinctive support and cultural education program, including pre- departure preparation, enrichment opportunities in country, and opportunity to join our alumni networks.

A photo of Sternhagen is available for download at


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Hanna DeLange
USD News