Alumna to explore roots of communication and democracy as Fulbright Finalist in Greece
Georgia College & State University alumna Anagha Ramakrishnan, ’22, is set to engage in a yearlong cultural exchange in Greece as a finalist for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.
As a journalist with bylines in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and who fact-checks stories for CNN, Ramakrishnan will travel to the cradle of Western Civilization to explore the underpinnings of communication, research the roots of democracy and teach local students.
“Greece is the starting point for theatre, comedy, drama, politics, democracy and where communication really sparked up with Aristotle's theories of persuasion,” Ramakrishnan said. “To be in an area where those theories and practices were born out of and to experience that firsthand will truly help me become a stronger communicator and a stronger storyteller, which is my ultimate goal.”
Ramakrishnan graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication. Immigrating to the United States from India, her higher education experience coincided with her pathway to citizenship, swearing the Oath of Allegiance and becoming a United States citizen in 2021.
Ramakrishnan’s American experience is a culmination of her Indian heritage, her embrace of the diversity of American society and her optimism that this tapestry of cultures and ideals will continue to offer hope to anyone around the world who aspires to peace and prosperity. Ramakrishnan hopes to share these experiences with her students in Greece.
“I would say the fundamental fabric of America is bringing all those diverse perspectives together,” she said. “I hope to really showcase and exemplify that while I’m in Greece.”
Ramakrishnan intends to share her love of media and popular culture to illustrate this idea in ways that will engage the students she encounters through the Fulbright program. She identifies “The Hill We Climb,” which National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman read during President Joe Biden’s 2021 Inauguration, as an example of popular creative expression that has the power to shape perceptions of America’s present and future.
In return, Ramakrishnan hopes to see the United States through the eyes of the people she meets in Greece to better understand how people around the world view their relationship with the U.S.
She hopes her experience in the Fulbright Student program will have a direct impact on her ambition to be a successful journalist focusing on international affairs.
“This is a great opportunity to engage with a different culture and learn about international relations firsthand,” Ramakrishnan said.
Ramakrishnan’s inclusion in the Fulbright finalist class of 2023 marks another opportunity for Georgia College to showcase the leadership potential students and alumni are ready to exercise around the world.
“Our institution is strengthened by the passion and creativity our students and alumni bring to their scholarship and outreach,” said Georgia College & State University President Cathy Cox. “To know Anagha is to know how passionate and engaged she is with everything she undertakes. I will be excited to follow her Fulbright experience and learn more about the connections she draws through her research and teaching in Greece.”
Ramakrishnan first heard about Fulbright through Anna Whiteside, assistant director of Georgia College’s National Scholarships Office. Whiteside encouraged Ramakrishnan to apply and guided her throughout the entire process. After receiving the grant, Ramakrishnan felt grateful to her family, friends and the faculty at Georgia College.
"If it weren't for Ms. Whiteside, I don't think I would've applied to Fulbright in the first place. I am also grateful to Dr. Harold Mock, Dr. Kerry Neville and Dr. Kerry Evans who wrote letters of recommendation for me and who have supported me throughout," Ramakrishnan said. "My parents are my greatest cheerleaders and harshest critics. They truly helped me develop my statements and prepared me for my interviews. It is because of all of these people that I achieved this, and I owe this success to them."
Operating in over 160 countries worldwide, 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.
Visit Georgia College’s National Scholarships Office website to learn more about the Fulbright, and other national scholarships.