Professor, senior win Fulbright awards

From left, senior art major Jennie Magner, provost Dr. Robert Rhodes and political science professor Dr. David Dillman

For the first time in ACU history, both an undergraduate student and a professor have received a Fulbright award in the same year.

Dr. David Dillman, professor of political science, received a teaching grant to teach in Serbia, while Jennie Magner, senior art and design major from York, Neb., received the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grant to teach in the Czech Republic.

Magner is only the third undergraduate student at ACU to receive the prestigious award.

The Fulbright U.S. Scholar award is one of the highest honors the federal government gives with regard to scholarship and international exchange, said Dr. Neal Coates, J.D., professor and chair of the political science department.

“The fact that we have two winners this year, one in each category is exciting,” said Dr. Jason Morris, director of ACU’s Office of Major Scholarships, who helped Magner apply for the award.

Dillman will teach American politics at the University of Belgrade for four months. He said he looks forward to interacting with faculty in Serbia and learning their policies and their perspectives on U.S. policy.

Magner will represent the U.S. as a cultural ambassador, helping to enhance mutual understanding between Americans and people in the Czech Republic.

Magner said she applied for the award because she loves traveling and wants to get more experience before applying for graduate school. She looks forward to seeing the architecture and connecting to the art community in the Czech Republic, she added.

“I just hope to have a broader understanding of the world,” Magner said. “You learn so much about yourself, you learn how to connect with other people, and just how much your culture affects you.”


Founded by U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright in 1946, the Fulbright Scholarship ( is awarded by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. More than 300,000 people have been chosen for the scholarship to teach or do research in more than 160 countries.

ACU’s Office of Major Scholarships helps provide information and support for the students and faculty who apply for nationally competitive major scholarships and fellowships. Previous ACU students who have received the award are Laura Acuff, 2011-12, Bulgaria, and Wiepie Rojas Cross, 2013-14, Malaysia.