Lillie Stephens, a senior majoring in political science and international studies, has been selected to receive a Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant for the 2019-2020 academic year. She will serve as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Spain.
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for English teaching assistantships as well as for individually designed study/research projects. Recipients are chosen for their academic merit and intellectual potential.
“I’ve dreamed of living in Spain since visiting Madrid during high school, and my time studying abroad in Cuba and Argentina only reinforced my desire to experience and interact with other cultures,” says Stephens. “As an English Teaching Assistant, I hope to learn more about the complex question of Spanish national identity. Living in Spain in this transitional time of changing norms surrounding the former dictator will be a unique opportunity, especially in comparison to the attitudes I observed in Argentina, where they similarly continue to grapple with the repercussions of the Dirty War. I hope to gain a deeper understanding of Spanish identity and cultures while improving my communication skills both inside and outside the classroom.”
Stephens, who is from Birmingham, AL, also has a second major in Spanish and a minor in Latin American and Latinx studies. She currently works as a bilingual legal assistant at Siskind Susser, P.C. law firm and has worked as an intern for the Shelby County Public Defender’s Office. As a volunteer, she has served as a tutor at Treadwell Elementary School, Refugee Empowerment Program, and Latino Memphis.
On campus, Stephens is a member of Alpha Omicron Pi women’s fraternity, and Sigma Iota Rho, Sigma Delta Pi, Rho Lambda, Pi Sigma Alpha, and Mortar Board honor societies. She has been invited to accept membership in Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest and most prestigious academic organization in the U.S. In addition, she serves as vice president of Rhodes Democrats and participates in Rhodes’ mock trial program. Last year, she was awarded the Intercollegiate All-American Witness Award in mock trial.
After returning to the U.S., Stephens plans to attend law school and pursue a career in immigration, civil rights, or human rights law. She is a graduate of Vestavia Hills High School in Vestavia Hills, AL.