UNCW Senior Keenan Withers Receives Fulbright Scholarship Award

Friday, April 19, 2013

Keenan Withers, a senior at UNCW and President of the Minority Association of Pre-Health Students, has been awarded a Fulbright scholarship for 2013-2014 to study in Mauritius, an island nation in the Indian Ocean about 1,200 miles off the south east coast of the African continent.

The prestigious Fulbright Scholarship Program is the largest US international exchange program offering opportunities for students, scholars, and professionals to undertake international graduate study, research, and teaching. It was established in 1946 by Congress to "enable the government of the US to increase mutual understanding between the people of the US and the people of other countries."

Withers will be conducting breast cancer epidemiology research by working with the Mauritian government on one of the most comprehensive databases of cancer in sub-Saharan Africa (National Cancer Registry). "This unique experience will strengthen my perspective on cross-cultural health and allow me to embark on a leadership role to improve health efforts throughout the global community," he says. "This opportunity would have not been possible without God, and the strong support I have received from my mentors and the UNCW community."

"Fulbrighters" meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences. The program is open to graduating seniors and recent Bachelor's degree recipients.

UNCW is home to a large number of past Fulbrighters who are now faculty and staff members. A list of these individuals can be found at

Most grantees plan their own programs. Projects may include university coursework, independent library or field research, classes in a music conservatory or art school, special projects in the social or life sciences, or a combination.

Approximately 294,000 Fulbrighters, 111,000 from the United States and 183,000 from other countries, have participated in the program since its inception more than sixty years ago. The Fulbright Program awards approximately 7,500 new grants annually.

The U.S. Student Program is designed to give recent B.S./B.A. graduates, master's and doctoral candidates, and young professionals, artists and musicians opportunities for personal development and international experience.

For more information about the Fulbright Scholarship Program, see