Three MSU students named Fulbright finalists

Contact: Carl Smith

Jenny Baldwin portrait
Jenny Baldwin (Submitted photo)
Hanna Clark portrait
Hanna Clark (Photo by Jonah Holland)
Valencia Epps portrait
Valencia Epps (Photo by Grace Cockrell)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Three Mississippi State students, all from the College of Education, are 2024 Fulbright finalists—the university’s 11th, 12th and 13th finalists in the last eight years.

Hanna Clark, a master’s student from Chelsea, Michigan, and two graduates—Jenny Baldwin of Madison, Alabama, and Valencia Epps of Starkville—are receiving Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards for the 2024-2025 academic year.

MSU President Mark E. Keenum lauded the students for this prestigious achievement.

“Mississippi State students establish a strong educational foundation, and we encourage them to learn without boundaries. They can go anywhere as they pursue their goals and work to achieve their dreams,” Keenum said. “I have every confidence these outstanding students will represent our university with great distinction as members of this elite group of scholars. I also appreciate the members of our faculty who have taught, mentored and prepared them for this wonderful experience.”

Clark, who is studying educational leadership, will be paired with a secondary school in Thailand through the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, or ETA, program. A 2020 graduate of Central Michigan University, she previously served as an English as a Second Language teacher at the Al’iikhwa School in Israel and an intern at The Foundation for Older Persons’ Development in Thailand. The 2020-2021 Fulbright semi-finalist and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages-certified teacher is expected to graduate in May.

Baldwin, a current English as a Second Language and substitute K-12 teacher in Alabama, will be paired with a secondary school in the German state of Hesse through the ETA program. She previously taught English to German students as a counselor and leader for the Munich, Germany-based Camps for Friends and visited the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Germany on individual study-abroad trips as an undergraduate. Baldwin, a former Dean’s and President’s Scholar, graduated from MSU in 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in secondary English education and a minor in linguistics.

Epps, a Stephen D. Lee Scholar and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society member, will partner with South Korea’s Mokpo National University and study English-Korean co-teaching in hopes of improving collaboration and occupational well-being of Korean natives and English-speaking ex-patriots from other countries. She previously served as an afterschool English teacher in South Korea through the Teach and Learn in Korea program from 2018-2020 and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education from MSU in 2022 and 2023, respectively.

“Our continued success with the Fulbright U.S. student program really shows how MSU’s educational programs, study abroad opportunities and research endeavors truly prepare our students to engage with the Fulbright program’s core mission of building mutual understanding between nations through exchange,” said David Hoffman, director of MSU’s Office of Prestigious External Scholarships. “It is particularly exciting to see that the three selected are students from the College of Education, as they are certain to bring what they learn from their international experiences back to classrooms, students and educational institutions in Mississippi and beyond.”

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is supported by the people of the U.S. and partner countries around the world. It is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect program support.

Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 400,000 participants from over 160 countries the opportunity to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

For additional information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State, visit

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