USF Global Spotlight

Faye Ricker

Faye Ricker

Faye Ricker, Class of 2021

Receiving a Fulbright grant to Kenya was more than an accomplishment for Faye Ricker, it was validation that her hard work and determining mindset both paid off.

“Before receiving the Fulbright Grant, I was taking courses, teaching, and working on my research,” Ricker said. “It has been a long and challenging process but being part of USF’s Geography program has opened up a vast new academic terrain that I never imagined I would get to explore.”

Applying for a Fulbright award can be long and tedious, taking several months in most cases. For Ricker, it was more of an emotional journey because she had to continuously keep her expectations in check.

“I distinctly remember the point in the application process when I thought ‘I might actually be able to get this!’” she said. “There were definitely some tears of joy when I got the acceptance email.”

Receiving a Fulbright grant to Kenya earlier this year, Ricker has been conducting dissertation field research on gender socioeconomic impacts of geothermal development among a Kenyan community.

Once Ricker returns from Kenya, she will finish writing and revising her dissertation to then defend it. She also looks forward to being reunited with her friends, family and cat.

As for her plans after graduation, Ricker plans on working in the fields of conservation and sustainable development.

“I have always had an interest in making our energy system more equitable and sustainable,” she said. “I also would really like to thru-hike the Florida Trail and get better at playing mandolin!”