Seniors Carley Jo Goggans and Fonda Lilly Wilkinson Win Fulbright U.S. Student Awards

images of Rhodes College students Carley Jo Goggans and Fonda Lilly Wilkinson
(l-r) Carley Jo Goggans and Fonda Lilly Wilkinson

Rhodes seniors Carley Jo Goggans and Fonda Lilly Wilkinson have been selected to receive Fulbright U.S. Student Awards for the 2022-2023 academic year. They will serve as English Teaching Assistants in their assigned countries—Goggans in Estonia and Wilkinson in Germany—beginning in the fall.

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. Rhodes has been recognized as a top Fulbright-producing institution.

Goggans, who is from Siloam Springs, AR,  is pursuing a major in international studies, Russian studies, and music. Her research interests include global food systems, international GMO law, and Russian language and culture. In her hometown, Goggans has served as a U.S. Naturalization Test Tutor for the Siloam Springs Literacy Council. Her campus involvements include participating in Model United Nations and serving as president of Society of World Affairs Today.
“I am very excited about this opportunity, as the Fulbright Program will allow me to continue my international studies work through living in a new culture and experiencing the Estonian language, while also allowing me to pursue some professional music goals due to the rich Estonian choral tradition,” says Goggans.

“This opportunity would not have been possible for me without the help of Dr. Vanessa Rogers. She spent countless hours reading over my Fulbright materials and gave me the confidence I needed to submit my application. I could not be more grateful for her help!”

As a music major, Goggans enjoys studying and singing opera and musical theater. She also is president of the Rhodes Singers and a member of the Chamber Singers. A student employee in the Department of Music Office, Goggans was nominated for and named the college’s Student Employee of the Year for 2022.

Wilkinson, who grew up in Detroit, MI, is majoring in international studies and German. She recently completed an internship as an adult education coordinator intern at Refugee Empowerment Program, which is in Memphis. On campus, she works as a student employee in the Language Learning Center and is vice president of Society of World Affairs Today.
“I am so honored to be receiving the Fulbright to Germany. I am so thankful to all the people in my life who have supported me through this process, and I am very excited to be participating in this prestigious program starting in the fall,” says Wilkinson. “Dr. Elizabeth Bridges is the person who approached me about applying for a Fulbright. Without her guidance, recommendation, and overall support throughout not only this process but my entire German career at Rhodes, I would not have applied. She has continued to push me throughout my time in the German department and has been the reason I have continued to study and enjoy this language so much.”

After graduation, Wilkinson plans to work in the field of international relations. Goggans in interested in a career in diplomacy.

Students interested in applying for the Fulbright or other Post-Graduate Scholarships, should contact Dr. Esen Kirdis or Dr. Jason Richards.