WT Student Body President Named Fulbright Scholar, Will Teach in Spain

Chip Chandler Apr 08, 2024
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WT Student Body President Named Fulbright Scholar, Will Teach in Spain

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124,


CANYON, Texas — The student body president of West Texas A&M University soon will be working with a new group of scholars an ocean away from Canyon.

Filiberto Avila, a senior digital media and communication major from Spearman, recently won a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Program award for the 2024-2025 academic year from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

He will be celebrated during WT’s Fulbright Day event from noon to 1 p.m. April 9 in the Jack B. Kelley Student Center on the Canyon campus.

As a Fulbright participant, Avila will study, conduct research and teach abroad for the upcoming academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected in an open, merit-based competition that considers leadership potential, academic and/or professional achievement, and record of service. As Fulbright alumni, their careers are enriched by joining a network of thousands of esteemed alumni, many of whom are leaders in their fields. Fulbright alumni include 60 Nobel Prize laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize recipients, and 39 who have served as a head of state or government.

Avila, who will leave in September, will work on the Madrid and Segovia campuses of Spain’s IE University as an English teaching assistant in the IE University Language Center and Writing Center. More than 75 percent of the student body is international, hailing from more than 140 countries, and Avila will help them refine their English speaking, writing and reading skills. He also will help with Spanish lessons for IE University’s full-time professors.

“The Fulbright program represents the pinnacle of cultural exchange and education, and I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to its legacy while continuing my personal and professional growth,” Avila said.

Avila said he applied to the program because of his commitment to education and fostering cross-cultural connections.

“Becoming a cultural ambassador is the aspect of the Fulbright program that excites me the most,” he said. “Spain is a country so rich in culture and history, and I’m very excited to immerse myself in its vibrant traditions and community.”

“Fili joins our list of extraordinary WT students to win a Fulbright,” said Jonathan Cordova, director of WT’s Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships. “Not only does this showcase his passion to teach and travel abroad, but it also shows how amazing a student he is at our University. WT is lucky to have Fili as student body president, and our office is even more lucky of his passion to travel abroad.”

“Fili represents the best of our WT students,” said Dr. Chris Thomas, vice president for student affairs. “He is intelligent, thoughtful, kind and a very hard worker. I am not surprised he was chosen by this prestigious program; he brings all the qualities they are looking for to serve as cultural ambassadors for America.”

Previously, Avila worked as an intern at Momoc Real People in Madrid in summer 2023. The brand is committed to sustainable, ethical and vegan fashion. As community manager, Avila developed and implemented social network strategies and provided professional translation services.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is administered at WT through the Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships.

Anyone interested in applying for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program or other nationally competitive opportunities, or in learning more about such opportunities, can contact Cordova at Additional information can be found at

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world. 

Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 400,000 participants from over 160 countries the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright program is an annual appropriation 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 in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support.  

For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State, visit or contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Press Office by telephone 202-632-6452 or e-mail

Promoting quality, both in education and student work, is a cornerstone of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic One West comprehensive fundraising campaign, which reached its initial $125 million goal 18 months after publicly launching in September 2021. The campaign’s new goal is to reach $175 million by 2025; currently, it has raised nearly $160 million.



About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. WT, a Hispanic Serving Institution since 2016, boasts an enrollment of about 10,000 and offers 59 undergraduate degree programs and more than 40 graduate degrees, including two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 14 men’s and women’s athletics programs.