Giving Thanks: Fellowship Helps Doctoral Student Get a Step Closer to Being a History Professor

by | Nov 30, 2019 | Faces of Fulbright, In Their Own Words, Scholarships, Student Success

This holiday season, members of our Fulbright College Family are sharing expressions of gratitude, letters of thanks and their appreciation for those who have helped make their educational journey possible.

Meet Alex Marino, who thanks to ongoing support from the Willard Gatewood Graduate Fellowship Fund, is one step closer to his dream career of being a history professor.

Alex MarinoWillard Gatewood Graduate Fellowship Fund Recipient Alex Marino

Hometown: Cupertino, California
Graduation: 2020
Major(s)/Minor(s): History Ph.D.
Activities/Interests: Service, gardening, construction and reading.
Career Aspirations: History professor.

In his own words:

I would like to personally thank you for supporting the Willard Gatewood History Graduate Fellowship. You have consistently supported my studies, as I have been awarded this fellowship in 2017, 2018 and now 2019.

I cannot thank you enough for how these funds have enabled me to research and write my dissertation on the intersection of American foreign policy in Africa and the struggle for racial equality at home.

Your support has been crucial in my graduate career. In 2017, the fellowship supported three weeks of archival research at the Library of Congress and the National Archives in Washington, D.C. In 2018, the fellowship funded research at the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University and the Hoover Institute at Stanford University. This year, it will fund research at the National Archives, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, and the Portuguese National Archives.

Financial support like the Willard Gatewood History Graduate Fellowship played a decisive role in why I chose the University of Arkansas for my graduate studies.

I received my bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, after which I spent three years volunteering with Hurricane Katrina relief organizations in New Orleans through the Presbyterian Church (USA) and Americorps.

The availability of fellowships like the Gatewood is a large reason why I chose to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Arkansas rather than in my home state of California. Since then, I have presented papers based on research funded by the Gatewood Fellowship at conferences in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Thanks again for giving to Fulbright College and to the Department of History and for supporting original research in the humanities.

The University of Arkansas, Fulbright College, and the Department of History have provided me amazing opportunities to learn and grow as a scholar, and your support for their mission has strengthened not only my experience but also those of countless others.


Alex J. Marino

For more information about the Willard Gatewood Graduate Fellowship Fund, or to make a year-end gift to support it, please give online now, contact Fulbright College’s Office of Development and External Relations at 479-575-3712 or email

Andra Parrish Liwag

Director of Communications, J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences 

479-575-4393 //