Danny Baxter

A University of Central Arkansas senior in the Norbert O. Schedler Honors College has been named a semifinalist in the 2018-19 Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

Danny Baxter of Clarksville, an English and Spanish major, is competing for a grant for an English Teaching Assistantship in Colombia.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program, the largest exchange program in the country, offers recent graduates and graduate students the opportunity to research, teach and study abroad. The program operates in 140 countries.

“It was very humbling,” said Baxter of his advancement to semifinalist. “There’s still a chance that I will make it to the end and receive the grant. It was very thrilling to know I could even make it this far.”

Fulbright U.S. Student Program alumni include judges, university presidents, journalists, scientists and others.

Baxter is the chair of the Honors College Ambassadors and a member of LEAD Team and the Purple Society. He also has experience teaching Spanish to middle school children.

If awarded the grant to Colombia, Baxter said he would like to take part in cooking classes in which cross-cultural education can be shared through food. He would also like to be involved in grassroots volunteering, he said.

Allison Wallace, Fulbright Program advisor and associate professor in the Honors College, said the Fulbright Program seeks students who are outgoing, interested in intercultural exchange and who wish to promote the United States’ values around the world.

“Danny fits all of those characteristics,” she said. “He’s a strong student. He has excellent grades. He also has some teaching experience.”

After his May 2018 graduation, Baxter aims to pursue a master’s in public policy and eventually work on political campaigns or for nonprofit organizations making policies that affect communities.

He said UCA has prepared him for this opportunity more than any other school could have.

“The Spanish department at UCA is fantastic,” he said. “The faculty push their students to strive to get out. There’s a big emphasis on going abroad and not just learning in the classroom. Also, the International Engagement and Study Abroad offices here at UCA [are] so helpful, and they’re so passionate about what they do. I haven’t heard of anyone at UCA who has studied abroad and come back and hasn’t loved it and isn’t a much better person.”

Baxter learns whether he is a Fulbright Scholar this spring.