Three Carlson School students earn Fulbright Awards

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

The Carlson School is proud to announce that two graduating seniors and a recent alum have been offered Fulbright awards to study or conduct research projects abroad next year!


The Fulbright U.S. Student Program supports one year of study, research, creative work, or English teaching in one of approximately 130 foreign countries. During their grants, Fulbrighters will meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the host country. The program facilitates cultural exchange through direct interaction on an individual basis in the classroom, field, home, and in routine tasks. 

Emma Mulhern, ‘21 BSB, will go to Finland to earn a master’s degree in supply management. Emma previously studied in Finland as a Rotary Scholar in high school and has completed a Finnish minor at the University of Minnesota. Mattea Rice, ‘21 BSB, will undertake a project in Brazil to develop and promote sustainable agriculture practices. Mattea had her semester of study abroad in Brazil interrupted by the pandemic last spring. Additionally, alumna Mahima Gupta, a ‘20 BSB graduate with majors in Marketing and Political Science, will spend next year in India completing a research project on the educational experience of Muslim girls in the Punjab.

Read more below about Emma and Mattea’s plans for their Fulbright awards.

Emma Mulhern

Emma Mulhern

  • Class of 2021
  • Major(s): Supply Chain & Operations Management; International Business
  • Minor(s): Finnish; Spanish Studies
  • Fulbright: Fulbright-LUT University Graduate Award; jointly funded by the Fulbright Finland Foundation and LUT University

What will you be doing with your Fulbright Award?

I will be completing a master’s degree (taught in English) in supply management with a minor in sustainable business at LUT University (Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology) in Lappeenranta, Finland. Outside of my coursework, I plan to get involved with different student organizations on campus (such as the Enklaavi guild, which is for business students) as well as use my Finnish language skills to get involved with the local community off-campus, such as through local hockey associations. For context, I played hockey for about ten years, and it was why I decided I wanted to go on exchange to Finland as a Rotary Scholar in high school in the first place. I heard Finns liked to play hockey so I picked Finland as where I wanted to go on exchange without knowing much else about the country and I actually got to play hockey on a local boys’ team while I was there. 

Why did you apply for a Fulbright? 

Ever since I went on exchange to Alajärvi, Finland, for my junior year of high school, I have continued to seek out international opportunities because I know how impactful they can be. I found out about the Fulbright program and upon further research discovered the opportunity to receive funding for a master’s degree in Finland. I found the supply management master’s program at LUT University in Finland and I was hooked. I knew I wanted to make a positive impact in the field of international supply chain management and the university’s strong emphasis on sustainability—such as through their green campus—was very intriguing to me. I thought it would be a great program to further develop my knowledge in the field before starting my career. 

I also thought the Fulbright program would be a great opportunity to not only learn, but to share my experiences with others (both Finns and Americans) to increase intercultural understanding and knowledge. I am looking forward to learning in a very international environment. Not only will I get to connect with other international students in my program and at my university, but the city itself, which is about 20 miles away from the Russian border, is a great place to see how two cultures interact. 

What prepared you the most for this opportunity?

From an academic standpoint, my coursework in supply chain at Carlson has given me a strong foundation that I can build off during my master’s program. From a cultural perspective, my exchange year in Finland as well as my studies in the Finnish language and culture at the University of Minnesota have helped me to further develop my knowledge in that area, which will allow me to more quickly integrate into the local community. I am very excited to return to Finland and use the opportunity to practice my Finnish language abilities and gain a different perspective on the Finnish culture. In addition, my study abroad experiences in Sweden, Mexico, and Spain during my time at Carlson have taught me how to be flexible, adaptable and resilient in the face of challenges. Especially now as I am currently studying abroad during the pandemic. 

What are your plans for the future following Fulbright?

After I complete my master’s program, I plan to begin my career in sustainable supply chain management. I would like to use what I learn from this experience, both technical and intercultural skills, to integrate sustainable business solutions across international supply chains. I’m not sure where exactly I will end up—in the U.S. or abroad—but I plan to pursue an international focus to my work regardless.

Mattea Rice

Mattea Rice

  • Class of 2021
  • Major(s): International Business, Supply Chain & Operations
  • Minor(s): Sustainable Agriculture
  • Fulbright Project Title: Utilizing Jucara Trees in Agroforestry for Environmental and Economic Benefit

What will you be doing with your Fulbright Award?

During my Fulbright, I will be researching agroforestry in the state of Santa Catarina in Brazil. My research focuses on the implementation of jucara trees on farms to promote sustainable agroforestry practices, or farming within a forest. This agricultural method is significantly better for the soil because forest growth brings more diversity. This integration is beneficial for soil, water, and crops, and sequesters carbon from the atmosphere. I will be working with local farmers, researchers, and environmentalists to bring this project to fruition for the betterment of not only the environment, but for the financial situation of Brazilian farmers as well.

When I’m not researching and planting, I will be doing a lot of surfing (I’ve been practicing), traveling, and working on my Portuguese!

Why did you apply for a Fulbright? What prepared you the most for this opportunity?

My dreams have always been internationally focused. When I came to the University of Minnesota and explained my rather lofty and idealistic goals to my advisor, Anny, she recommended I apply for a Fulbright grant. At that point, I hadn’t a clue of what I wanted to do in the long run. Through my international internships in Tel Aviv and Sao Paulo, as well as working in international agricultural development here in the States, I found my devotion to the land. I have worked in and researched the agricultural industry, and could see the massive impact agriculture has on the land. This impact can be positive or negative. I knew a Fulbright research grant would give me the tools to be part of the movement toward positive agricultural change, and it was important to me to give it a shot. To be able to research a topic so essential to our survival, a topic that I love, in a beautiful, interesting country, is an opportunity I still cannot believe I received.

What are you most excited about for this opportunity?

I am excited to be working in a field that I love. Knowing that I will be contributing to carbon sequestration and furthering my knowledge of agroforestry and regenerative agriculture is unbelievably thrilling for me. Working with Brazilian farmers on their farms allows me to get a better grasp of rural South America, and how conventional farming is affecting them, both environmentally and economically. I will always have more to learn than to teach, so I am looking forward to growing my knowledge through traditional practices taught to me by local farmers. Living on the beach isn’t too bad either. 

What are your plans for the future following Fulbright?

After Fulbright, I’d like to get my PhD in a regenerative agriculture/international development field. I am hoping to undertake this in Israel, but am looking forward to exploring schools all around the world for the rest of my education. I’ve got a soft spot for Australia as well. Eventually, I’m hoping to work in a role that allows me to utilize regenerative agriculture as a tool for environmental international development. Someday, I hope to have my own farm! I dream of having a farm in the Byron hinterlands of Australia, creating my own little forest.

We are #CarlsonProud and wish them the best of luck on their exciting year ahead!