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Two College of Visual and Performing Arts students have been named student cultural ambassadors through the US-UK Fulbright Commission’s UK Summer Institute program.

They are Shelby Rodger, a rising junior majoring in film in the Department of Transmedia; and Caleb Sheedy, a rising sophomore acting major in the Department of Drama.

The Fulbright UK Summer Institutes are fully funded, three- to four-week summer study programs for first- and second-year U.S. undergraduates. The program offers nine institutes, each focused on different disciplines and issues, at universities across the UK. The Summer Institutes are made possible through generous donations from private individuals and through partnership with some of the top universities in the UK.

Participants are selected based on leadership skills, academic achievement, character, adaptability and ambassadorial qualities, as well as demonstrated interest in the UK and its culture. Applicants complete a written application and semifinalists are invited to interview over Skype with Fulbright selectors in the UK. Selection is highly competitive.

Rodger was selected for the Fulbright University of Birmingham Summer Institute, which focuses on film and media. She is among just a few selected from hundreds of applicants.

“I’m very excited to be the recipient of this award, as studying in England has always been something I’ve wanted to do,” she says. I look forward to learning more about media arts and working with other international film students. This opportunity to immerse myself in UK culture is truly once in a lifetime and I couldn’t be more grateful.”

Sheedy was selected for the Fulbright AIFS Summer Institute with Globe Education, a cultural and academic program dedicated to acting and understanding Shakespeare’s texts on site at the Globe Theatre in London.

“I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity to study something I love, in a city I adore,” says Sheedy. “I really hope to expand my horizons beyond what theater has conventionally meant to me, to push beyond my boundaries and see theatre, and more specifically Shakespeare, in a new light.”

Sheedy and Rodger learned about the Fulbright Summer Institute opportunity through an announcement email from the Center for Fellowship and Scholarship Advising (CFSA) and at a CFSA information session in January that provided tips about how to best approach the application.

“The Fulbright Summer Institutes are amazing opportunities for students to learn about the UK and explore a particular discipline there, fully funded,” says Jolynn Parker, director of CFSA.