WSU Pullman Alumna and WSU Vancouver Graduate Student Receive Fulbrights to Study in France and Switzerland

MEDIA: Sarah Ann Hones, Director of Distinguished Scholarship Programs, WSU Office of Undergraduate Education, 509-335-8239,

Mary Sanchez Lanier, Assistant Vice Provost, 509-335-7767,

Beverly Makhani, Director of Communications, WSU Office of Undergraduate Education, 509-335-6679,

PULLMAN, Wash. — Prestigious awards from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program will fund graduate study in Europe for an alumna and a current graduate student from Washington State University.

Samantha Sanders (2011 Mechanical Engineering) currently works at the Puget Sound Naval Yard in Bremerton, Wash. She graduated cum laude and with honors in Pullman with a minor in materials science and engineering; she did study abroad in Limerick, Ireland.

With her Fulbright, she plans to spend a year completing a materials science master’s degree at the ENS Cachan near Paris, France.

Eric Dexter, who will complete his M.S. degree in environmental studies at WSU Vancouver in June, will spend his Fulbright year in Lausanne, Switzerland. He plans to investigate the role of environmental heterogeneity in shaping the genetic structure of populations. He hopes this will relate to conservation in the understanding of the spread of invasive species.

Dexter completed his B.S. in biology at Portland State University.

Sanders and Dexter bring to 17 the number of WSU graduate students and graduates who have received Fulbrights since 1986. They are known as Fulbright Fellows.

This spring, WSU’s first undergraduate Fulbright UK awardees were announced. The three will travel to England and Scotland for month-long summer institutes that focus on academic and cultural programs.

The Fulbright Program is an international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. It is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Awardees are chosen on the basis of academic merit and leadership potential. The program provides its participants with opportunities to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns in more than 155 countries.

About 1,600 U.S. graduates and graduate students apply for and receive Fulbrights annually.

Visit for more information and to contact Sarah Ann Hones, Director of the Distinguished Scholarships Program, part of the WSU Office of Undergraduate Education.