Two Farragut High School alumnae, Kristi Phillips and Jaime Ragos, both graduates of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, each have earned national Fulbright Student Awards.
The scholarship provides study, research and teaching opportunities in foreign countries.
Phillips and Ragos were among 17 Fulbright honorees.
Phillips plans to teach English in Belarus as part of her Fulbright fellowship.
“(Receiving the scholarship) means being able to develop connections with people in Belarus and gain experience in teaching that I can bring back here, teaching Russian perhaps,” said Phillips, from the FHS Class of 2016 who was among the UTK Class of 2020 graduates. “I’m very excited. It means I’m going to be able to have a richer career.”
Phillips earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in language and world business with a concentration in Russian. She plans on working toward a master’s degree in library science, “Using library as a way to help children be knowledgeable and versed in Russian,” she said.
Phillips, who speaks Russian, lived in Minsk last summer while teaching English. She plans
to eventually pursue a master’s degree in library science with the goal of becoming an elementary school librarian.
While at FHS, Phillips said her Russian language teacher, Anna Arapakos, was a significant influence.
Ragos graduated from FHS in 2015 and UTK in 2019.
“I applied last year for the
Fulbright to go to Guatemala,
and I was designated as an alternate but I was unable go,” she said. “I tried again this year ... I got it, and I was in such shock. I was really, really proud, excited about it.”
Earning degrees at UT in food science and technology, language world business and Latin American and Caribbean studies, Ragos will use the award to teach English in Taiwan.
Her goal is to attend medical school and, at the same time, earn a doctorate degree in epidemiology. “I see medicine as
some form of teaching because when you’re interacting with
patients, you really do need to teach how this medicine affects your body and other things
like that,” Ragos said. “The communication aspect is very critical.
“I believe it’s very important to learn about other cultures, especially if you want to work with people so you know how to work with them,” she added.