Eric Peters, a recent graduate in economics and international business at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business, has been awarded a scholarship from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. A Haslam Global Leadership Scholar, Peters comes from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and will spend the 2017-18 academic year in Hungary.
He plans to analyze the effects of the 2014 Russian sanctions that resulted from the Crimean invasion and annexation. He aspires to a career in the Foreign Service and will write a report quantifying lost trade to Hungary and its allies.
“The goal is to research if this exists and if it unintentionally hurts Eastern European nations,” Peters says. “It should inform foreign policy discussions and provide guidance about how to navigate regional politics for future trade decisions. If we chose to sanction a country, we need to know whether it will hurt us in any way.”
Stephen L. Mangum, dean and Stokely Foundation Leadership Chair, describes the Fulbright as a premier scholarship program.
“That Eric has received this designation and opportunity is a credit to him, to the Haslam College of Business, and to UT,” Mangum says. “The competition to be designated a Fulbright Student is intense. It is an honor that comes to very few.”
Andrew Seidler, director of UT’s Office of National Scholarships & Fellowships, says Peters’ journey to the Fulbright award began during the summer of 2016 through a UT-sponsored Exploration Grant.
“At the time, Eric was able to travel to Hungary to make contacts and zero in on an interdisciplinary project in economics and foreign policy that really suits him and builds off the extraordinary experiences he’s had as a Global Leadership Scholar at Haslam,” Seidler says. “I hope Eric’s success in the Fulbright competition will encourage more and more Haslam students to pursue the Fulbright and other nationally competitive awards.”
Each year, more than 1,900 U.S. students, artists and early career professionals in some 100 different fields of study are offered Fulbright Program grants to study, teach English and conduct research in greater than 140 countries. The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation by the United States Congress to the U.S. Department of State and managed by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support.
A total of eight UT students – the largest number to date – were offered Fulbright awards for the 2017–18 academic year.