Gates Millennium Scholar, Kirby Parnell, Cherokee, receives Fulbright Award

ICT editorial team

Parnell, Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma has received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award to Denmark in Biology research

News Release

The American Indian Graduate Center

Kirby Parnell, an American Indian Graduate Center Scholar (AIGCS) alumna who was awarded a Gates Millennium Scholarship, has received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award to Denmark in Biology research from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Parnell, a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, graduated from Eckerd College in 2016 and is currently pursuing a graduate degree at the University of California Santa Cruz, will conduct research at the University of Southern Denmark as part of her project focused on harbor seal communication and reproductive behavior.

Parnell, who hails from Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, is one of over 1,900 U.S. citizens who will conduct research, teach English, and provide expertise abroad for the 2018-2019 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement as well as record of service and leadership potential in their respective fields.

About the Fulbright Program

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright Program 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 support to the Program, which operates in over 160 countries worldwide.

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has given more than 380,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, professionals, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and con-tribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Fulbrighters address critical global challenges in all areas while building relationships, knowledge, and leadership in support of the long-term interests of the United States. Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in many fields, including 59 who have been awarded the Nobel Prize, 82 who have received Pulitzer Prizes, and 37 who have served as a head of state or government.

For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State, please visit , or contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Press Office at

About the AIGCS/Gates Millennium Scholars Program

In 2001, American Indian Graduate Center Scholars (AIGCS) was selected as one of the four partner organizations for the Gates Millennium Scholars Program by UNCF, the program administrator. Collectively, the American Indian Graduate Center Scholars (AIGCS), the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF), the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) have provided scholarship opportunities and support to 20,000 students from low-income backgrounds. Three thousand outstanding American Indian and Alaska Native students from federal and state recognized tribes throughout the United Stated have been awarded the Gates Millennium Scholarship and supported throughout their educational journey by AIGCS.

The Gates Millennium Scholars Program, funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was established in 1999 to provide outstanding low-income African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American, and Hispanic American students with an opportunity to complete an undergraduate college education in any discipline they choose. Continuing Gates Scholars may request funding for a graduate degree program in one of the following discipline areas: computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health or science. The goal of GMS is to promote academic excellence by providing thousands of outstanding students, who have significant financial need, the opportunity to reach their full potential.

The class of 2016 was the final cohort of Gates Millennium Scholars, as the program funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation met its goal of selecting 20,000 students from low-income backgrounds.

For further information about the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, please visit, or contact AIGC Scholars at 1-866-884-7007 or email us at

About the American Indian Graduate Center

AIGC and AIGC Scholars are the largest scholarship providers to American Indian and Alaskan Native students throughout the United States. We award $15 million annually to deserving undergraduate and graduates and have awarded over $200 million since inception. We are proud to empower tribal students from 400 tribes in 50 states, with over 20 educational funding opportunities and support services. AICG is a national non-profit organization located in Albuquerque, N.M.

The American Indian Graduate Center

3701 San Mateo Blvd NE #200 Albuquerque, NM 87110

Phone: 505-881-4584 Toll Free: 800-628-1920



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