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Three USD Students Named 2015 Fulbright Scholars

36 USD Students Have Won Fulbrights Since 1951; Three in 2015 Is the Most in a Single Year Since 1957

2015 Fullbright Recipients Fullbright winners Baker, Carlson and Helland

VERMILLION, S.D. – Three students at the University of South Dakota have been awarded J. William Fulbright Scholarships, one of the most prestigious academic awards in the world.

“Having three Fulbright winners in a single year is extraordinary,” said USD President James W. Abbott. “This level of recognition to our students reflects the dedication of our university and its faculty to academic achievement. I am very proud of the winners, and I congratulate and commend them for their success and accomplishments.”

The Fulbright recognizes top students and provides opportunities for advanced study, research and teaching. The program is administered by a board of 12 individuals appointed by the President of the United States.

Breanna Helland of Frederick, S.D., is an undergraduate with a double major in Criminal Justice and Political Science. Helland will use her Fulbright award to travel to South Korea and study the democratic transformation happening there. Her goal is to become a teacher.

Lucia Carlson of Rio Ricos, Ariz., is completing her master’s degree in Political Science. She will travel to Germany to further her knowledge of that country, including building her skills as a German speaker, and as a teacher of English to Germans. Carlson intends to pursue a career in the United States Foreign Service.

Holly Baker of West Lafayette, Ind., is completing her Ph.D. in English at USD. Baker will travel to Romania to expand and enrich her knowledge of that nation’s political unrest during the 1990s and the related crisis regarding children and orphans. She plans to write a novel about this historical event.

Beginning in 1951, 36 USD students have been awarded Fulbright scholarships, and this year’s three winners marks the most in any single year since 1957.

Download an image of the Fulbright scholars.


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 84 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.

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Hanna DeLange
USD News