Katie Izenour, a doctoral student at Auburn University, was awarded a Fulbright scholarship, bringing Auburn's total to six this academic year.
Sponsored by the U.S. government, the Fulbright is a prestigious scholarship aimed at forming connections between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries. Recipients are chosen based on academic and professional achievement as well as leadership potential.
Five other recent Auburn graduates were awarded Fulbright scholarships in June. Izenour's scholarship brings Auburn's total to 31 Fulbright scholars over the past 10 academic years and ties last year's record of six in a single year.
Pursuing a doctorate in Auburn's College of Veterinary Medicine's department of pathobiology, Izenour will conduct research for a year in Egypt.
"I cannot say enough to express my gratitude to the governments of both the Arab Republic of Egypt and the United States for working together to afford me this opportunity," she said in a news release from the University.
Her research will focus on human and animal interaction from a public health perspective.
Growing up in Sarasota, Florida, Izenour earned a bachelor's degree in biomedical sciences from the University of South Florida in 2007.
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Izenour developed a passion for studying infectious diseases around the world while she was on her way to earning a master's degree in public health epidemiology from Tulane University in 2009. Specifically, she has an interest in zoonotic diseases in domestic animals.
Before coming to Auburn in May, Izenour worked as a government contractor for several years at the CDC, U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force.
She decided to pursue a doctoral degree after volunteering for two months with animal rescue groups in Cairo, Egypt.
"I believe the Middle East is particularly underrepresented in international conversations about public health preparedness and response," she said. "I hope my research on zoonotic diseases will fill valuable knowledge gaps and provide a platform for other organizations to collaborate with Egypt."
Paul Harris, Auburn's former associate director for national prestigious scholarships and current chair of the department of political science, said Izenour will represent herself, Auburn University and the U.S. with distinction.
"Katie is inquisitive and engaging with a range of interests and activities that go well beyond the research lab and range from volunteering with animal rescue to the study of the cultures of the Middle East and Arabic," Harris said.
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