HUNTINGTON — Mary Anna Ball, a West Virginia native and recent Marshall University graduate, has received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award to the United Kingdom in dance from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.
Ball will study dance at University of Roehampton as part of a project to study the change in perception of both dance and performer from classical antiquity to the modern era.
“I have had the privilege of knowing Mary Anna as a student in my classroom and as an Honors College student,” said Honors College Dean Nicola LoCascio. “She is dynamic and epitomizes the best of Marshall University. She is so deserving of this award.”
Ball majored in humanities and Latin at Marshall University, and has worked with the Charleston Ballet Company since 2015. In 2019, she received a regional Emmy Award for Best Arts/Entertainment Program for her role in the documentary, “Andre Van Damme and the Story of the Charleston Ballet.” During her Fulbright project, she hopes to especially focus on the images and perception of ballerinas in the Romantic era.
“I am very excited, honored and humbled to have been selected for this award,” Ball said. “This is an opportunity I never thought I would be able to experience, and I cannot wait to engage and explore all the Fulbright, London and my research have to offer.
“This is all thanks to the Marshall Classics Department, Honors College, National Scholarships Office and the Charleston Ballet. All of these led me to a dream-come-true program, and I could not have done it without their support and the support of my family and friends. It truly is an honor to be able to represent Marshall and my community in this way.”
Ball is one of more than 1,900 U.S. citizens who will conduct research, teach English and provide expertise abroad for the 2020-21 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement as well as record of service and leadership potential in their respective fields.
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the program, which operates in over 160 countries worldwide.
Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has given more than 380,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, professionals and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
Fulbrighters address critical global challenges in all areas, while building relationships, knowledge and leadership in support of the long-term interests of the United States. Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in many fields, including 59 who have been awarded the Nobel Prize, 82 who have received Pulitzer Prizes and 37 who have served as a head of state or government.