W&L’s Grist ’22 Awarded Fulbright to Australia Elizabeth Grist has been awarded a Fulbright research grant to Melbourne, Australia, to study the stigma and barriers associated with receiving medication for opioid use disorder.
Washington and Lee University senior Elizabeth Grist ’22 has been awarded a Fulbright research grant to Melbourne, Australia, to study the stigma and barriers associated with receiving medication for opioid use disorder (OUD) under Suzanne Nielsen, a leading addiction researcher in Australia. At W&L, Grist is double majoring in chemistry and classics and minoring in poverty and human capability studies. Grist is a Lexington, Virginia, native and a graduate of Rockbridge County High School.
According to Grist, her initial interest in addiction and the opioid crisis stemmed from her poverty studies minor at W&L. Last summer, Grist had the opportunity to conduct research with Dr. Caitlin Martin, an OB/GYN in Richmond, Virginia, who runs a clinic that predominantly sees pregnant and parenting women with OUD.
“Through this experience, I was motivated to apply for a Fulbright to conduct clinical research on OUD in Australia,” Grist said. “This is an important topic for me to pursue because the opioid crisis is global.”
Grist was ecstatic to hear about her award.
“I am still a little in denial about being awarded this research grant,” said Grist. “Not only will the opportunity to live abroad for an entire year allow me to continue conducting addiction research with a leader in the field, but it will be a personal and professional experience I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I am so excited and honored to take part in the Fulbright Program.”
On campus, Grist is an active member of the Outing Club and has served as a leader for the Appalachian Adventure Pre-Orientation trip for three years. She is the head of the Hearing Advisor Program, a group that advises and assists students accused of an honor or conduct violation in preparing and presenting their cases to the Executive Committee, the Student Judicial Council and the Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Board. She also has been a member of the Reformed University Fellowship servant team, a Christian ministry on campus.
After her one-year study in Australia, Grist plans to attend medical school with the intent to eventually practice addiction medicine. She believes that her experience with Fulbright will allow her to “develop a unique perspective of how addiction is addressed and treated in foreign countries, which will help me to be a better physician in the future.”
The Fulbright Program was established more than 75 years ago to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Fulbright is the world’s largest and most diverse international educational exchange program. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Washington and Lee University is proud to be included on the list of U.S. colleges and universities that produced the most 2021-2022 Fulbright U.S. Students for the fourth consecutive year.
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