Morgan McDermott Continues Proud Tradition of FSC Students Earning Fulbright Scholarships

Apr 27, 2022

by FSC Staff

Florida Southern College continues to earn acclaim from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), with five current students and alumni earning Fulbright Scholarships for the 2022-23 academic year. The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 to increase mutual understanding between nations, advancing knowledge across communities, and improving lives around the world. Fulbright is the world’s largest and most diverse international educational exchange program.

Morgan McDermott ’22 is proud to join the ranks of Florida Southern College scholars who achieved the prestigious honor of receiving a Fulbright Scholarship.

“I woke up to the notification email on my phone and definitely did not believe it at first,” said Morgan. “Only after I told my roommate, who gave me a very big congratulations, did the reality set in!”

The Political Science and Economics and Finance double major, who is minoring in pre-law, said the Fulbright Award offers her the opportunity to gain experience relevant to her future career goals, while also allowing her to gain valuable cultural knowledge. She looks forward to being an active participant in Thailand and learning as much as she can.

“Throughout the application process, and during my entire time at FSC, I have had the continued support of several professors,” Morgan said.

Professors who assisted Morgan include Associate Religion and Philosophy Professor and Director of the Honors College Dr. Brian Hamilton, Ph.D.; Assistant Professor of English, Dr. Jennifer Moffitt, Ph.D.; Assistant Professor of Economics and Lynn and Mark Hollis Chair of Free Enterprise Dr. Joseph Connors, Ph.D.; and Associate Professor of English Dr. Rebecca Saulsbury Bravard, Ph.D.

According to Morgan, when applying for Fulbright and other scholarships, FSC professors devoted their time and energy to providing her extensive feedback on her materials, performing mock interviews, and helping her clarify her goals. She cannot thank them enough.

The application process for a Fulbright award is rigorous; there are many steps to complete. The application felt insurmountable at times, according to Morgan. Her advice to future applicants is to not get overwhelmed. She suggests working through the process step-by-step.

“I am very grateful I had the support of people who were willing to read all the versions of my essays and encourage me at each turn,” Morgan said.

There were many late nights and early mornings working on the application, however, despite the time commitment, getting through the application was achievable.

“Applying gave me a chance to reflect on my previous life experiences and motivations for the future,” Morgan said. “The personal statement was challenging to write as it’s not often that we are tasked with condensing both our past and imagined future down to a single page, but the process was very rewarding, and I came away from it with a sense of hope for what’s to come.”

Having other FSC classmates applying for Fulbright at the same time helped to motivate Morgan.

“Cat Stogner, who received the Fulbright award to Montenegro, and I decided to apply at the same time,” Morgan said. “Throughout the process she was an incredible support to me.”

In the days leading up to their application deadline Morgan and Cat spent most of their time editing and re-editing their materials. The two even pressed the "submit" button together. According to Morgan, Cat’s essays were some of the best she read.

“I’m proud to call her both my friend and fellow recipient,” Morgan said.

Go Mocs!