Belmont alumna Elizabeth Stewart was recently awarded a Fulbright program grant for overseas teaching to Israel. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is an international exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government that provides competitive grants to graduating seniors and graduate students to serve as cultural ambassadors of the United States abroad.
Belmont Provost Dr. Thomas Burns said, “Fulbrights are extremely competitive, prestigious national awards that recognize our country’s best and brightest. I am confident Elizabeth Stewart will represent the United States and Belmont University well in her international placements as she possesses remarkable intellect, passion and commitment to service. Though a recent graduate, she is already fulfilling Belmont’s mission to empower students ‘to engage with and transform the world.’”
Stewart, a 2018 graduate, hails from Maryville, Tennessee, and completed a major in public relations with minors in business administration and studio art. During her time at Belmont she co-founded student-run retail shop House Of and participated in the Student Government Association, Public Relations Student Society of America and Gender Equality Movement. She also enjoyed two study abroad programs, a summer session in Beijing, China and a full semester in Paris, France. “My study abroad experiences at Belmont deeply affirmed that I want to live and learn abroad again in my adult life. One class that was deeply influential to me and affected what I would like to do in Israel was a photography course. Many photographers I look up to are not native to the country they documented, and this can provide a really unique perspective.”
While in Nashville, she also gained valuable internship and volunteer experience through work with nonprofit Freedoms Promise, Nashville Lifestyles magazine and the Frist Art Museum’s College Marketing Board. Currently in New York City, Stewart provides communications and marketing services for a wide array of museums, galleries, fairs and independent artists within the visual arts realm at a global firm. Her long-term goal is to be able to help others either through teaching our nation’s future leaders or working to enact public policy that provides a more fair way of life for Americans.
Through her Fulbright Award, she will be teaching English at the university level in Israel while learning about the local cultures and views toward the U.S. through sociological photography and interviews. Due to COVID-19’s impact on international travel, Israel will either alter or suspend this year’s program, but Stewart remains hopeful she can carry out the grant’s intent when it is safe to do so.
“I decided to pursue a Fulbright Scholarship specifically because I am very inspired by its mission of intending to represent the United States with diplomacy, compassion and intellect,” Stewart said. “My personal reasoning for choosing Israel in specific dates back to a special family history. My late grandparents lived in Israel for nearly 40 years, from the 1960s to the 1990s. During this time they opened many schools, which has always been a very inspiring legacy for my family. I feel compelled to walk in their footsteps and gain a better understanding of such a sacred, historical land.”