Wingate's Anna Holmquist earns prestigious Fulbright Scholarship

Wingate's Anna Holmquist earns prestigious Fulbright Scholarship

Wingate, N.C.----Wingate University senior All-American Anna Holmquist has been piling up the awards and honors since stepping on campus and even with her prestigious playing career over, she continues to pick impressive accolades. Holmquist has earned a Fulbright Scholarship to go to Brazil in 2020. She also earned a $10,000 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship in February.

"The Fulbright scholarship really came onto my radar when I read the Wingate Bulldogs article about Grace Krauser receiving her Fulbright scholarship to Brazil," Holmquist says. "I was always interested in public service and international affairs and it was the kind of thing that I wanted to go for but was intimidated by. I remember being so inspired that a Wingate volleyball alum was doing something so incredible. My junior year, Dr. Steven Hyland (a history professor and one of the best mentors I have ever had) approached me saying that I should go for it. I knew I couldn't pass up the opportunity, so I went out on a limb and applied fall of senior year. I really had no expectations when I started the application process, and now that I have received the scholarship I can hardly believe it. It really has not hit me yet. What I feel most now is gratitude to all of the people at Wingate and elsewhere that have helped me get to this point. There is no way that I would have gotten this opportunity without the Wingate community and I am so grateful to have spent four years as part of this campus."

The Fulbright Program is devoted to increasing mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Fulbright is the world's largest and most diverse international educational exchange program. Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, CEOs, and university presidents, as well as leading journalists, artists, scientists and teachers. They include 59 Nobel Laureates, 82 Pulitzer Prize winners, 72 MacArthur Fellows, 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, and thousands of leaders across the private, public and non-profit sectors. Since its inception in 1946, more than 390,000 "Fulbrighters" have participated in the Program.

"We are all so proud of Anna for doing so many things to put her in a position to be the recipient of such a prestigious opportunity," head coach Shelton Collier says. "These types of scholarship opportunities are awarded to students who have exhibited special qualities in a wide range of areas, so it is awesome for Anna to receive this particular award. She is leaving Wingate as an AVCA All-American, as the player with the highest single-season hitting percentage of any Wingate volleyball player, as an NCAA Academic All-America honoree, as an NCAA post graduate scholarship recipient, and now as a Fulbright scholarship recipient. That is a pretty amazing list of accomplishments. She is off to do some more incredible things with her life after Wingate."

The Fulbright Scholarship was originally created to foster cultural exchange and mutual understanding between the U.S. and other nations. About 2,000 grants are given annually to U.S. applicants, for English Teaching Assistantships (what Holmquist will be doing), research, and study opportunities combined.

Holmquist will be working as a language learning assistant for 20-25 hours per week at a University in their Teaching College, helping students who are studying to be English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers. The grant period is February through November of 2020.

Holmquist is one of the most decorated student-athletes in the rich history of Wingate volleyball. An All-SAC and All-Region middle blocker for the Bulldogs, Holmquist earned third team All-American honors from the AVCA in 2017, while also earning Academic All-District accolades and the SAC Elite 20 Award. Holmquist ranked fifth nationally with a school-record .406 hitting percentage as a junior.

In her senior season, Holmquist helped lead the Bulldogs to the SAC regular season and tournament championships, along with the NCAA Southeast Regional title. Her illustrious playing career ended in the NCAA Division II national quarterfinals. Holmquist earned the prestigious SAC Scholar-Athlete Award in 2018, while earning second team Academic All-America accolades. In her four years at Wingate, Holmquist won three regular season SAC titles, a pair of SAC Tournament championships and an NCAA region title. The Bulldogs went 116-17 during her four-year career, with a 75-9 record in league play. Wingate went 32-2 in 2018, leading the nation in winning percentage. Holmquist finished second in career hitting percentage in school history.

Holmquist has a 3.94 GPA, majoring in Political Science. She has earned a spot on the SAC Commissioner's Honor Roll every year. Holmquist has also earned a spot on Wingate's President's List every semester of her college career. A part of the Wingate Honors Program, Holmquist earned the Outstanding Student in Political Science Award in the spring of 2018.

Holmquist has also made her impact around the Wingate community and around her hometown in Nebraska. An academic tutor each of her last three years, she has also been a research assistant with a political science professor since her sophomore year. Holmquist has interned at American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska, a non-profit organization, while also volunteering at a Nebraska health/civic awareness festival and with the Inspector General of Child Welfare of Nebraska.

A Peer Mentor for Gateway 101 at Wingate, Holmquist was an undergraduate presenter at the North Carolina Political Science Association annual conference last spring. She is currently volunteering at Lincoln Lighthouse, an after-school nonprofit that helps at-risk youth graduate from high school and gives them a safe and engaging place, while also volunteering at Lincoln Literacy, helping to connect non-English speakers with tutors.  

ABOUT FULBRIGHT SCHOLARSHIP

- The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers research, study and teaching opportunities in over 140 countries to recent graduates and graduate students

- A network of over 1,650 volunteer Fulbright Program Advisers on campuses nationwide assist in the recruitment and advisement of applicants

- IIE convenes National Screening Committees in the subsections of academics, arts, and English Teaching Assistantships to review applications by world region or discipline. These committees recommended applications for final consideration in the host country

- In 1945, Senator J. William Fulbright introduced a bill in the United States Congress that called for the use of surplus war property to fund the 'promotion of international good will through the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture, and science.'

- On August 1, 1946, President Harry S. Truman signed the bill into law, and Congress created the Fulbright Program, the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Government

WINGATE UNIVERSITY
 
A comprehensive, independent and growing university, Wingate serves more than 3,600 students in North Carolina. Founded in 1896, the University offers 37 undergraduate majors as well as graduate and professional programs. Wingate is home to the Cannon College of Arts and Sciences, the Levine College of Health Sciences, the Byrum School of Business, the Thayer School of Education and the School of Sport Sciences. Wingate blends in-class exploration with out-of-class application to deliver an uncommon and life-changing educational experience.
 
In addition to a robust intramural athletics program, Wingate student athletes compete in 22 NCAA Division II sports. The University has won the South Atlantic Conference Echols Athletic Excellence Award for the past 12 years. Wingate is first in the 2000s among NCAA Division II and North Carolina's colleges and universities with 106 CoSIDA Academic All-America® selections. Wingate is tops among all SAC schools with 115 lifetime Academic All-America® honorees. For more information on WU athletics, go to www.wingatebulldogs.com. Current news and videos can be found at www.wingate.edu.