Onalaska Graduate Earns Prestigious Fulbright Award


Onalaska High School graduate Riley Dolan has been given a prestigious Fulbright Award that will send him to Guatemala where he will teach English and continue his research into the political memory and representation of monuments to remember the country’s 10th century civil war and indigenous genocide, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. 

Dolan, who was born and raised in Onalaska and graduated in 2015, recently graduated summa cum laude from Pacific Lutheran University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and Hispanic studies. 

The Fulbright Award will allow him to continue a project he began in 2017 when he conducted research thanks to funding from the Wang Center and the Kelmer Roe Research Fellowship. A rough draft of the website Dolan created to map the monuments can be viewed at mappingmonuments.pludhlab.org.

Fulbright Award honorees are “selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement as well as their record of service and leadership potential in their respective fields,” according to the press release. 

“The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries,” according to the press release. “The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. 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 creation in 1946 through legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright, the program has provided more than 390,000 scholars, teachers, students, artists and professionals the opportunity to study, teach, research and work toward finding solutions to international concerns. 

“Fulbrighters address critical global challenges in all disciplines while building relationships, knowledge and leadership in support of the long-term interests of the United States,” the press release states. “Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in many fields, including 59 who have been awarded the Nobel Prize, 84 who have received Pulitzer Prizes and 37 who have served as a head of state or government.”

For information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State, visit eca.state.gov/fulbright.