MSU engineering students study abroad through Fulbright UK Summer Institute

Contact: Aspen Harris

Portrait of Payton Kelly-Van Domelen
Payton Kelly-Van Domelen (Photo by Jonah Holland)
Portrait of Kaleb Love
Kaleb Love (Photo by Jonah Holland)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Two Mississippi State students will study abroad this summer through the prestigious Fulbright UK Summer Institute, one of the most selective summer scholarship programs in the world.

The MSU scholars are Payton Kelly-Van Domelen, a sophomore biomedical engineering major from Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, and Kaleb Love, a junior computer engineering major from Madison. Kelly-Van Domelen will spend three weeks studying technology, innovation and creativity at the University of Strathclyde and Glasgow School of Art in Scotland, and Love will study global sustainability for four weeks at the University of Exeter in England.

Fulbright UK Summer Institutes cover participants’ major costs and provide distinctive support and cultural education, including comprehensive guidance before their departure, enrichment opportunities in the UK and the chance to be part of the Fulbright alumni network.

David Hoffman, director of MSU’s Office of Prestigious Scholarships, noted this is the second year in a row that two MSU students have been chosen to participate in these institutes.

“Considering the limited number of positions, this is really fortunate and reflects both the excellent preparation and unique stories that MSU students bring to the cohorts. Both Kaleb and Payton put together top-notch applications that demonstrated their interest in the UK, their intellectual curiosity and excitement about the themes of their institutes, and their desire to learn from the people they will encounter while on their journeys. We are so proud that they get to be cultural ambassadors for the state of Mississippi and MSU, and it will be exciting to see how they apply the lessons they learn in their future academic and professional endeavors,” said Hoffman, who also is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures.

Kelly Van-Domelen is a Louis Hurst Jr. Presidential Scholar and a member of the Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College. She said she chose her summer institute in Scotland because of the area’s appeal and the program’s focus of study.

“I’ve admired the beauty of Scotland for a long time, including its geography, unique sights to see, things to do and community to engage with. I’m excited to immerse myself in the culture, interact with the people there and try new things,” she said. “This summer institute offers the opportunity to study my favorite subjects as well, so it is the perfect fit for me. As a biomedical engineering major, the program’s aspects are central to developing a good work ethic, expanding knowledge and abilities, and ultimately becoming an outstanding engineer.”

Love, an MSU Freshman Reach mentor and Shackouls Honors College member, said he is thankful God “blessed me with such a great opportunity” and that Exeter’s program will provide him with the chance to immerse himself in a new culture and become a more impactful engineer.

“The University of Exeter is packed with culture and rich in knowledge. The university is a pioneer in global sustainability and is working proactively toward achieving its own sustainability goals,” Love said. “This program will allow me to obtain new knowledge and grow in my understanding of different cultures. I will learn things that will help me create solutions that are sustainable and international reaching. I look forward to using what I learn to significantly impact my community, state, country and the world.”

The US-UK Fulbright Commission selects participants through a rigorous application and interview process. In making these awards, the commission looks not only for academic excellence, but also for a focused application, a range of extracurricular and community activities, demonstrated ambassadorial skills and a plan to give back to the recipient’s home country upon returning.

For more information about Fulbright UK Summer Institutes, visit

Students interested in this program and other scholarship opportunities are encouraged to visit the Office of Prestigious External Scholarships online at or contact Hoffman.

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Thursday, May 16, 2024 - 9:54 am