Click here for information and updates about the University’s response to COVID-19.

MTSU Honors College hosts Fulbright Scholar Howell

MTSU Honors College hosts Fulbright Scholar Howell

MTSU alumna and Fulbright Scholar Kaitlen Howell will discuss medical research she conducted during her 16-month stay in Munich, Germany, during a University Honors College public lecture this week.

Howell, a Murfreesboro resident, will make her presentation at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17, in Room 106 of the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building. The public is invited.

While an MTSU undergraduate student, Kaitlen Howell, right, found a mentor in biology professor Dr. Gore Ervin, who answers her question in class. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

While an MTSU undergraduate student, Kaitlen Howell, right, found a mentor in biology professor Dr. Gore Ervin, who answers her question in class. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

Howell was awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award in 2010. She was chosen to study in Germany, which later awarded her a Fulbright internship that extended her stay.

The Fulbright U.S. Student program provides grants for individually designed study and research projects or English teaching assistantships for one academic year in a foreign country. Fulbright recipients will meet, work, live and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences.

Working primarily with cardiac arrest survivors, Howell will explain to attendees how many who suffer cardiac arrest and then receive CPR will experience a lack of oxygen to the brain, resulting in a coma.

During the course of her research, Howell examined test results of these patients and then challenged a supposed “100 percent poor outcome” predictor.

Critical to her study, she says that patients with this marker still can improve, but people in intensive care units all around the world are being removed from life support within days of receiving CPR because these outcome predictors are present.

Through her address, Howell hopes to convey all the benefits that a study abroad can provide.

“Fulbright enriched my life in so many ways; professionally through research, but I also grew personally through the relationships I developed,” she said. “It provided me an opportunity to show my own character and develop strengths that I didn’t even know I had.”

Established in 1946, the Fulbright Program is part of the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Fulbright gives selected students, teachers and scholars the opportunity to travel abroad to study, teach and research in more than 155 countries.

Fulbright logoComing home to the States this past March, Howell continues to work with her German research team preparing several papers for upcoming publication.

Passionate about education, she also tutors grade school through college students in math, biology, chemistry, physics, English and German language skills.

“I love learning and I love sharing that knowledge with others,” Howell explained.

Participating in mentoring programs, Howell works with young girls and foster youth one-on-one, embracing every chance to invest in others through guidance and by telling her story.

Having spent much of her own childhood in the foster care system, Howell entered MTSU at a significant educational disadvantage. Through intense dedication she has proven that anything is possible with enough determination. Amid preparing for multiple speaking engagements and presentations and continuing her research and writing, Howell is applying for medical school.

For more information about this event or the Honors College, contact Laura Clippard at For more on MTSU Fulbright winners visit

To learn about the Fulbright scholarship, visit the award program’s main website at

— Lauren Price (