St. Ambrose University Announces Alumnus Daniel Salazar Chosen as Finalist for Prestigious Fulbright Program


Davenport, IA – Amy C. Novak, EdD, president of St. Ambrose University, announced today that alumnus Daniel Salazar ’23 has been chosen as a Fulbright finalist, or award winner, for the English teaching assistantship in Spain. The Fulbright Program is a prestigious international grant that gives students, scholars, and professionals the opportunity to teach and study in more than 140 countries. Fewer than 20% of applicants to the Fulbright program achieve finalist status. Salazar graduated from St. Ambrose University in December 2023 with a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary History Education. The Muscatine, Iowa, native was hesitant to pursue the grant. Teaching abroad was not his intended path. But he was inspired by the sacrifices of his grandfather to seize every opportunity available to him. “As scary as it is to think of leaving all I have ever known, I can see no other way around what I consider my duty and responsibility. A duty to use the opportunities allotted to me thanks to a grandfather who had none,” Salazar says. “Manual labor left my grandfather with little feeling in his fingertips and required several surgeries. I thought about the loneliness he must have felt leaving all he had ever known to find a place abundant with opportunity not for himself but for his descendants.” As Salazar pushed himself to pursue this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, St. Ambrose faculty were there to support him through the Fulbright application process. “The most real moment for me was meeting with St. Ambrose faculty and staff, people I had gotten to know very well along the way, and being interviewed honestly by them. Here I stood before faces I trusted, faces I knew would judge me accurately and could determine the direction of my life entirely.”

Brittany Tullis, PhD, interim dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, was one of the faculty members who helped Salazar navigate the application process. She is proud of his tremendous accomplishment of reaching finalist status. “It is a testament to Daniel’s hard work, drive, and dedication as a lifelong learner and global citizen. I know that his time here at St. Ambrose has prepared him particularly well for the mission upon which he will soon embark as a citizen diplomat abroad,” Tullis says. Salazar attests that his St. Ambrose education has prepared him for the journey he is about to embark on. But he says it’s not just the tangible skills he is taking with him. It’s the values he’s learned about friendship, curiosity, duty, and courage that he hopes to emulate during his time abroad. Since graduating, Salazar has been working as a long-term substitute teacher in his hometown. He is also the state director for the League of United Latin American Citizens in Iowa. He will leave these positions to pursue his Fulbright English teaching assistantship which begins this September. This is the second Fulbright English teacher assistantship awarded to a St. Ambrose student in as many years. Laura Meloy ’22, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Studies, spent this past year completing her English teaching assistantship in Bulgaria.

About St. Ambrose University


Founded in 1882 by the Diocese of Davenport, St. Ambrose University’s commitment to academic excellence, the liberal arts, social justice and service is rooted in its Catholic intellectual tradition. The leading, private university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers 65 undergraduate majors, 10 master’s degrees and three doctoral programs. 140 years since its inception, St. Ambrose education remains centered on intentional, holistic and experiential learning, with a vision to be a vibrant, sustainable, and learner-focused model for Catholic higher education, preparing individuals from all walks of life to lead lives characterized by our core values of courage, wisdom, justice, and service. To learn more, visit

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