UM Communication Studies Graduate Awarded Fulbright Scholarship

MISSOULA – Carly Zilge, a recent graduate of the University of Montana’s World Languages and Cultures department, has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to study in Russia during the 2020-21 academic year. 

Zilge, who majored in communication studies with a minor in Russian, is one of six UM students to receive a Fulbright Scholarship this year. The recipients continue UM’s legacy of securing large numbers of Fulbright Scholars, said Clint Walker, UM Fulbright adviser and an associate professor of Russian.

Carly Zilge smiles at the camera
Carly Zilge

“We had a 50% success rate this year,” Walker said. “This percentage is well above the national average and speaks to the high quality of our UM applicants for Fulbrights.”

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide.

Zilge, who is from Felton, California, said she plans to use her time in Russia – her second visit – to gain practical teaching skills, improve her Russian and soak in the Russian culture.

“The last time I was in Russia was a year ago, and I remember thinking that it would probably be such a long time before I had an opportunity to return,” she said. “I couldn’t be more thrilled that I get to go back so soon.”

The Fulbright is not the only recognition Zilge received during her senior year at UM. She also won a Certificate of Commendation in the American Council of Teachers of Russian All-National Russian Essay Contest. 

Because of COVID-19, the Fulbright program has been postponed until later this year or January 2021, but Zilge said the wait is worth the opportunity and that she is eager to get started. And when her Fulbright is over?

“I eventually plan to continue my education in Russian, but immediately after the Fulbright program, I plan to take some time to teach English abroad and travel,” Zilge said.

For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit


Contact: Clint Walker, UM Fulbright adviser and associate professor of Russian, 406-243-2501,