University of Kentucky

Alumna Named Fulbright Recipient

Amanda Gatewood ’06 AS will conduct research in Kyrgyzstan

Amanda Gatewood ’06 AS has been selected as a recipient of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarships. She is among 1,700 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2012-2013 academic year through the prestigious program.

Gatewood, who currently works as an epidemiologist for the Kentucky Department for Public Health in the Early Childhood Development Branch, completed a Master of Public Health in maternal and child health at University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health in 2010. She will use the Fulbright grant to study the association between breastfeeding and early childhood stunting in Kyrgyzstan.

"My first job out of college was as an English teacher in Kashgar, East Turkestan, which is a colonized region of China near the border with Kyrgyzstan. There I saw widespread water- and food-borne illness," Gatewood said. "Sanitation and food storage are the low-hanging fruit of public health. It doesn’t take expensive laboratory equipment or pills to teach people to manage latrines. I knew this was an area where I could make a difference. It took six years, but I’m finally returning to Central Asia with the public health skills necessary to make a dent in the health problems I saw."

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.