Three Grad Students Win Fulbright-Hays Fellowships


AUSTIN, Texas – Three UT Austin graduate students have been selected to receive fellowships through the Fulbright-Hayes Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Program for the 2020-21 academic year. Additionally, one UT student has been selected as an alternate for possible funding.

The prestigious Fulbright-Hays Program is funded by congressional appropriation to the U.S. Department of Education. It awards research and training grants that focus on non-Western foreign languages and area studies. Fellowship recipients will conduct research in other countries in modern foreign languages and area studies for periods of six to 12 months.

This year's fellowships are the most that the university has received in a single academic year.

“This year’s ‘bumper crop’ of Fulbright-Hays Fellowship recipients speaks to the tremendous quality of graduate students and faculty members at The University of Texas at Austin,” said Marvin L. Hackert, associate dean of the Graduate School and director of faculty development and fellowship programs. “These fellowships will enable students to conduct research that is vital for their own scholarship and fields, but also to the nation’s understanding of these areas of the world.”

Below are this year’s recipients of the Fulbright-Hayes Fellowships.

Alex Kreger
Ph.D. student, Religious Studies
College of Liberal Arts
Kreger’s research focuses on the Alevis, a Sufi Muslim community concentrated in Turkey and the Turkish diaspora. Alevis are known for the central role music plays in their collective rituals called muhabbet (meaning both "love" and "conversation"). His research will investigate how Alevis draw on the affordances of their sacred lute, the saz, to cultivate durable translocal networks grounded in friendship, while sidestepping definitions of Islam taken for granted by secular states and Islamic revivalists alike. His fieldwork will be based in Ankara, an important hub in Alevi networks of "love" (muhabbet) which connect Alevis in Anatolian villages, Turkish metropoles and diaspora communities across Europe. 


Sam Law
Ph.D. student, Anthropology
College of Liberal Arts
Law’s research expands understandings of responses to urban precarity by investigating a grassroots social movement in Mexico City with over 15,000 members that seeks to establish dignified lives not by making demands of the state, but by building autonomous communities and developing practices of self-organization. In so doing, he explores how the urban poor are generating viable solutions to challenges of urban life while at the same time developing novel social forms and new modes of inhabiting the city. 


Sophie Morse
Ph.D. student, Public Policy
LBJ School of Public Affairs
Morse will be traveling to Mexico City, Mexico and Geneva, Switzerland to complete the fieldwork for her dissertation “Implementing Policies Addressing Violence Against Women in Mexico.” Nine months of qualitative fieldwork in Mexico City and Geneva will include interviews with international actors, policymakers, healthcare providers, and survivors to answer the following questions: On the one hand, what factors facilitate the successful implementation of health policies addressing violence against women in Mexico and, on the other hand, what barriers inhibit effective policy implementation?

Additionally, one graduate student has been selected as an alternate to receive potential funding as a Fulbright-Hayes Fellow.


Megan Gette
Ph.D. student, Anthropology
College of Liberal Arts
Gette’s research focuses on geological prospecting, sensitivities and sensory technologies and meets at the nexus of art and anthropology, expressed in experimental writing and collaborative performance. Her theoretical interests span affect, sound, materialities and historiography, with particular investment in labor, scientism and territorial imaginaries. 

Sept. 25, 2020