Giving Thanks: Scholarship Supports Student on Path to Dream Career in International Development and Human Rights Advocacy

by | Dec 31, 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 Sarah Caster, who thanks to the Cleveland C. Burton Undergraduate Fellowship in International Studies, is one step closer to her dream career in international development and human rights advocacy.

Image of Sarah CasterCleveland C. Burton Undergraduate Fellowship in International Studies Recipient Sarah Caster

Hometown: Houston, Texas
Graduation: 2021
Major(s)/Minor(s): Double majoring in International and Global Studies and Anthropology, with a French minor
Activities/Interests: I love to stay politically and socially active in my community and I am often volunteering at local non-profits such as the North West Arkansas Center for Sexual Assault, and Tri-Cycle Farms. I also enjoy doing local environment clean-ups around the North West Arkansas area. I enjoy staying active by climbing in local climbing gyms as well as biking and swimming. From a creative standpoint, theatre, dance, and music are specific loves of mine as I participated in musical theatre for about 13 years. This has given me an appreciation for all art forms. I love to spend my days in museums and by attending shows and other performances at local theatres. I also love to go to the movies and to attend concerts.
Career Aspirations: I hope to work for USAID after I graduate. I am hoping that I can achieve the Payne Fellowship that will help me pay for graduate school and will guarantee me a job with USAID. The ultimate dream is to work for a peace branch of an international institution such as the UN human rights council or even being part of the Human Rights Watch. I hope to help spread the benefits of mental and physical wellness in order to promote a more peaceful world.

In her own words:

Dear Ms. Mobley,

I want to formally express my gratitude for your financial contributions to my study abroad trip.

Without your generosity, I would not be able to take part in this incredible opportunity to further pursue my career and aspirations.

You could use your money to support any kind of interest or events and I cannot explain how thankful I am that you have decided to put your money and beliefs in students like me.

My name is Sarah Caster! I am currently an Honors undergraduate student at the University of Arkansas working on fulfilling my double major in International and Global Studies and Anthropology with a French minor.

I am a full-time student and I also am a part-time barista at a local Starbucks. I find enjoyment in staying active by being outside in the wonderful scenery of Arkansas. Whether that is hiking, cleaning up or swimming in the Buffalo River, biking, or climbing on the rocky cliffs.

I also have a deep love for the arts and I fulfill this need to be creative by dancing as well as attending concerts, movies, and performances at my local community theatre.

I am hoping that after I graduate I will be able to further my education at graduate school and then I hope to work for USAID or another institution that focuses on the development of both the United States and abroad.

This scholarship will help me to afford a rather pricy study abroad trip to Geneva, Switzerland – a hub for international institutions in Europe.

This city has an expensive living standard as well as this program sponsored by SIT (the School for International Training). This particular program will allow me to have hands-on experience and training at these institutions that are necessary to work in this field. This training is something I could usually only get if I was already working for these institutions and will give me a large boost in my resume for future employers.

Due to the fact that I will be working closely with those involved in these institutions to properly conduct my independent study research, this opportunity will grant me important networks that will assist me in my future career.

Not to mention that this research I will be conducting will be applied to my honors thesis, which I will be completing once I return to the states.

Without this scholarship, I would not be able to attend this incredible opportunity that will boost my credibility for the remainder of my undergraduate and graduate career as well as give me exponentially greater credentials for my professional career.

In conclusion, I cannot thank you enough for believing in me.

My major would not be complete without this abroad experience. I have learned about Europe and European politics for three years and I am more than excited to immerse myself in an unfamiliar place to learn more about myself and the human condition.

Your contribution to my study abroad journey for the semester will never be forgotten because if it was not for you, this would never be possible.

Thank you again a million times over.

Best regards,

Sarah Caster

For more information about the Cleveland C. Burton Undergraduate Fellowship in International Studies, or to make a year-end gift to support it, please give online now, or 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 //