San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

June 2nd, 2009
Two Texas State grads receive Fulbrights

Jessica Spangler, left, and Michael Trice, right.


Jessica Spangler and Michael Trice, two recent graduates of Texas State, are on their way to study abroad with Fulbright awards.

The Fulbright Program is the United States government’s flagship exchange program in higher education. Nearly 300,000 scholars from the United States and abroad have been chosen through the years for their academic merit and leadership potential to study, teach, research and seek solutions to international concerns.

Spangler, of Austin, will be an English teaching assistant at a high school in the German state of Rheinland-Pfalz. Trice, who is originally from Springtown and has lived in Austin since 1996, will work on a Master of Arts in communication studies at the University of Leeds’ Centre for Digital Citizenship in England.

Spangler earned her B.S. in geography and B.A. German in 2008. She concentrated on developing skills in German and Spanish at Texas State. In the geography department, she studied natural resources and the environment, training in a number of research and analytical tools used in geographic information science.

Spangler received the GIS Award from the Student Organization for Achievement in Geography, and the Outstanding Achievement Award in International Education. She was a member of the University Honors Program.

In 2002-2003, Spangler lived in Germany as a high school student in the Rotary International youth exchange program.

“I have wanted to go back to Germany ever since then,” she said. “So I am very excited to return as a teacher. I look forward to learning more about the German philosophy of teaching and to discussing German and American culture with the students and teachers.”

Spangler said working in a German school should provide her with direction for her future career path. This summer, Spangler is in New York City, doing an Americorps/Student Conservation Association internship in environmental education.

Trice earned his M.A. in technical communication from Texas State in 2008 with a cognate in mass communication focusing on new media. His research looks at how groups use specialized wikis — collaborative websites whose content can be edited by anyone who has access to them — to store community histories and practices.

Trice said he hopes to work with groups as diverse as countryside garden hobbyists, Welsh preservationists and Chinese nationals living in London. He said his research should be valuable in developing wiki software for schools, newspapers, non-profits and social communities that live near each other.

Named the 2009 Outstanding Graduate Student in English at Texas State, Trice served as assistant editor for Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology and Pedagogy. He has presented papers at several professional conferences.

“Studying in England has always been a dream of mine,” he said.  “Part of my fascination with social media is the promise that Jorge Luis Borges’ Aleph might be realized in such a way that all knowledge and stories can be preserved, no matter how minor or fringe the community.  I have little doubt that growing up in Springtown, a tiny rural town in north Texas, influenced this drive.”

Trice’s chapter about online rhetoric in sports communities will be published in a collection called The Digital Generation. He has received awards for nonfiction writing and for volunteer work. After his Fulbright year, he hopes to pursue a doctoral degree.

“My family and I couldn’t be more proud or honored by the opportunity offered by the Fulbright program,” Trice said. “I come from a long line of soldiers who served the country from World War II through the first Gulf War. Consequently, my ability to serve the country as an ambassador-scholar holds a great deal of meaning to all of us.”

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0 thoughts on “Two Texas State grads receive Fulbrights

  1. Congratulations to these two students and to everybody at Texas State who helped them accomplish so much during their studies and activities!

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