It’s getting to be a full list of UNM Fulbright recipients.
The latest honors from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program go to UNM senior Charlotte Gates and UNM master’s student Lauren-Martin Alasandagutti. Both incredible Lobos will be traveling worldwide through the largest U.S. exchange program to teach English abroad and promote cultural exchange.
Gates is saying hallo to a future as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Germany, following her graduation this spring with a Bachelor’s in English and German and a minor in Honors Interdisciplinary Arts. Her love for language-learning and Germany have gone hand in hand during her time at UNM.
Coming into college, she had already been studying the language since her freshman year of high school. Gates is currently President of the UNM German Club and recently returned from studying abroad at Heidelberg Universität, where she says she was able to realize first-hand the wealth of knowledge and opportunity that cultural exchanges allow. She also is a member of the prestigious, academic society Phi Beta Kappa.
Through her work as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, Gates hopes to not only further her own knowledge about the world’s cultural diversity, but also to spread her love of languages to others. She also aims to utilize this wonderful opportunity to educate others about the beautifully complex culture of New Mexico.
“I am beyond grateful for the exceptional mentors and staff on campus who have aided me throughout this process, as well as for their continued support and encouragement,” Gates said.
She would especially like to thank Honors College Director for Center for Academic Excellence & Leadership Development Kiyoko Simmons, Honors College Lecturer Maria Szasz, Associate Professor of German Katrin Schröter, Director of Creative Writing Greg Martin, and SUB Administrative Assistant Katherine Myers. These educators share her enthusiasm for receiving the award.
“Charlotte has a depth of self-awareness that the best writers have, and for someone so kind and warm, she’s also unflinching in her writing. I’m thrilled for Charlotte, and also not surprised,” Martin said.
“Charlotte Gates is one of the most impressive students I have had the pleasure to work with in more than twenty years at UNM,” Schröter said. “Her academic excellence and extracurricular engagement are exemplary and make her an ideal ambassador both for UNM and the USA abroad.”
“Charlotte Gates has excelled in every class she has taken at UNM, and her enthusiasm and energetic approach to learning continually inspires everyone who works with her. She will make an outstanding Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Germany,” Szasz said. “The UNM Honors College faculty, staff and students are so proud of what Charlotte has accomplished, and we wish her all the best with her Fulbright!”
Alasandagutti is saying bonjour to Cameroon, as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. The UNM Languages, Cultures, and Literatures master’s student is expanding her language knowledge, focusing on French and Francophone studies. She is no stranger to leading students, having already taught French once arriving at UNM in 2021, and studying the language for 11 years.
“She was deeply appreciated by her students and fellow graduate students alike. She is a dedicated teacher who cares about every student she works with,” Professor of French Pim Higginson said. “It is therefore no surprise at all–but we are of course immensely proud—that Laura-Martin has received this prestigious position as a Fulbright Teaching Assistant in Cameroon. She will be an exceptional ambassador for UNM and will, I am sure, contribute enormously to all the students she encounters. I can’t think of a person better prepared for this experience.”
“Laura-Martin has a passion for language teaching and experience as a language instructor teacher and mentor that will serve her well in this position,” French Professor Stephen Bishop said. “She is excited upon this opportunity and will represent the University of New Mexico and the United States well during her time as an ETA in Cameroon.”
Alasandagutti would like to thank Bishop and Higginson, as well as Professor of French Pamela Cheek, Joshua Wade, Casey Harlan, Dr. Sara Wellman and Dr. Daniel O'Sullivan.
“I am extremely grateful to them. I hope I can bolster the education I have received as a University of Mississippi alumnus and a UNM student through my upcoming experiences in Cameroon,” Alasandagutti said. “While teaching English, I hope to improve my teaching skills, particularly for students of different backgrounds with different life goals.”
Gates and Alasandagutti are now part of just 1,900 grants awardees, across more than 140 countries worldwide. They also add to UNM’s strong reputation as a Fulbright HIS Leader, shown by the robust Fulbright community from both students and faculty. Just so far in 2023, UNM has been a part of welcoming visiting Fulbright scholars, hosting Fulbright exchange students, and celebrating additional fellows and award recipients.
UNM faculty who are interested in Fulbright opportunities can contact Dr. William Stanley, the liaison for the Fulbright Scholar Program. Students and recent graduates interested in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program can reach out to Simmons.