Rapid City native wins prestigious Fulbright Award

University of South Dakota's Ross Oyler receives coveted Fulbright Award for an English Teaching Assistantship in Tajikistan.


VERMILLION, S.D. — Rapid City native and recent University of South Dakota graduate Ross Oyler has received a prestigious Fulbright Award for an English Teaching Fellowship.

Oyler is one of 2,100 U.S. citizens who will study, research, and teach abroad for the 2021-2022 academic year. Recipients are selected in an open, merit-based competition that considers leadership potential, academic and professional achievement, and record of service.

“My application centered around leading outdoor education programs and clubs, so I am really looking forward to the opportunity to teach and share my passion for climbing and the outdoors,” Oyler said.

In 2019 and 2020, Oyler, a double major in international studies and political science, studied abroad in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, as the recipient of the David L. Boren Scholarship.


Oyler will likely live in a small village to teach English and American culture in Tajikistan’s American Spaces, which serve as dedicated information centers to introduce visitors to America’s story, platforms for public diplomacy, and English language programs that help build cultural bridges.

About the Fulbright Program

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to forge lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, counter misunderstandings, and help people and nations work together toward common goals. Since its establishment in 1946, the Fulbright Program has enabled more than 390,000 dedicated and accomplished students, scholars, artists, teachers, and professionals of all backgrounds to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and find solutions to shared international concerns. The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program, which operates in more than 160 countries worldwide.

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