MISSOULA – Two recent University of Montana graduates will continue their educational adventures abroad as Fulbright English teaching assistants.
Dante Filpula Ankney, who graduated in May with a journalism degree and wilderness studies minor, will use his award from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program to teach in Bulgaria. Camryn Vaughn, who earned degrees this past December in political science and Russian, will use her award to teach in Georgia.
The two will work overseas during the 2022-23 Fulbright cycle. Filpula Ankney grew up in Laurel, and Vaughn’s hometown is Lewistown.
“Fulbright awards are outstanding opportunities to gain international experience and perspective,” said Kylla Benes, director of UM’s Office of External Scholarships and Fellowships. “These awards went to two amazing UM students who will serve as exceptional representatives of UM and the U.S. abroad, and the transformative experience will certainly propel them toward their future goals.”
During his time at UM, Filpula Ankney worked for the Montana Kaimin (UM’s student newspaper), the Laurel Outlook newspaper and the Montana Media Lab, which allowed him to teach journalism to high school students on four Native American reservations across Montana. He also interned with the Montana Innocence Project, the Boulder Monitor newspaper and UM-based Montana Public Radio.
“My unique experience this past summer taught me how to teach students with a different background than my own,” Filpula Ankney said. “This Fulbright grant will allow me to continue connecting and learning about people to best teach and promote understanding in my role as a journalist.”
Vaughn is passionate about international education. As a high school junior, she studied in Austria on a Rotary Youth Exchange. At UM in 2019, she studied overseas in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
On campus she has worked for UM’s Mansfield Library as both an oral history editor and assistant for an audio description project. She also interned with UM’s Global Engagement Office, and she worked at the University’s Mansfield Center as an undergraduate program coordinator. As part of UM’s Global Leadership Initiative, her capstone project focused on students’ access to global experiences during and after COVID-19.
She is currently a project coordinator for the Mansfield Center working with cultural exchange program participants from Montana and around the world.
“I appreciate what international education has done for me,” Vaughn said. “My communication skills have grown by bounds, and my international connections have increased my self-awareness and understanding of my own culture and language.”
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program creates connections with more than 140 countries worldwide. Program participants pursue graduate study, conduct research and teach English abroad as they expand perspectives through academic and personal advancement, as well as cross-cultural dialogue. Over 100 UM students and alumni have earned Fulbright awards used in 50 different countries around the globe.
Contact: Kylla Benes, director, UM Office of External Scholarships and Fellowships, 406-243-5241, email@example.com.