Kiana Papin Named 2023 Fulbright Scholar

Kiana Papin

One of the things Kiana Papin ’22 had high on her bucket list of college experiences as a Syracuse University undergraduate was to spend a semester studying in France. Scheduled to go during Fall semester of her junior year, Papin’s study abroad fell victim to the pandemic.

But now as a 2023-24 Fulbright Scholar, Papin will spend seven months living in Montpellier, France, where she will teach English at a sports-related boarding school. “I feel like this trip has been years in the making,” she says. “I’m excited to experience French culture and use my skills in a meaningful way.”

Papin is one of 10 Syracuse University students or alumni awarded Fulbright Scholarships for 2023-24. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program funds study/research grants and English teaching assistantships in more than 140 countries worldwide.

At Syracuse, Papin majored in television, radio and film at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications while minoring in French at the College of Arts and Sciences. She’s spent the last year working on Disney streaming live sports operations for ESPN+ in San Francisco.

In addition to working, traveling and soaking up French culture, Papin plans to spend downtime from teaching working on law school applications. Her goal is to attend law school to become an entertainment lawyer. “I love the industry, I just want to work in a different facet of it,” she says.

Papin had initially reached out to Syracuse University’s Center for Fellowship and Scholarship Advising to inquire about assistance with her law school application. That wasn’t under their purview but, noticing her French minor, they suggested she might consider applying for a Fulbright. “They were very helpful in assisting me through drafts of my application,” she says.

Papin had low expectations. “I really didn’t think I had any chance of getting it,” she says. “So that’s my message—don’t be afraid to reach for something that might seem unattainable because you never know what might happen.”

An Our Time Has Come Scholar as an undergrad, Papin says she continues to be thankful for all the program has done for her. “Maria and Angela really encouraged me throughout the Fulbright process,” she says. “I appreciate their support.”

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