(Walla Walla, Washington) — Six Whitman students and one alumnus will soon be packing their bags to continue their educational journey abroad thanks to Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants. They will travel to Mexico, the Czech Republic, Argentina, Germany, Colombia, Taiwan and Malaysia to teach or conduct research.
The grants are provided by the Fulbright Program, an international educational exchange organization sponsored by the State Department. About 1,700 students from the United States were chosen from more than 10,000 applicants for the 2015 – 2016 school year and were given grants to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and find solutions to shared international concerns.
This year’s Whitman College recipients are Janni Conrad ’15, Molly Emmett ’15, Rhiannon Clarke ’15, Wyatt Thomas ’14, Caitlin Morley ’15, Erin Campbell ’15 and Elana Simon ‘15. Beverly Li ’14 is an alternate still awaiting word.
“I’m especially pleased for this year’s group of recipients,” said Keith Raether, director of Whitman College’s Office of Fellowships and Grants. “Their success is a testament to everything about them: intellectual dexterity, initiative, unique promise and cultural understanding beyond the usual safe zones.”
Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected to teach or perform research abroad on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide with the goal of increasing mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.
Erin Campbell ’15 says her semester abroad in South Africa first opened her eyes to the complexities of life in the global south.
“I did an independent study project on the post-apartheid education system and became fascinated with the intersection between education, development and health,” said Campbell. Her experience led her to apply to a Fulbright teaching position in Malaysia.
“Malaysia is an incredibly diverse country that is experiencing rapid economic growth and has a very specific need for English teachers,” she said.
Janni Conrad ’15 is a recipient of a Fulbright research grant. She will focus on stopping the environmental damage of an arsenic-polluted water system in northern Mexico.
“It will provide a helpful model for water systems worldwide,” Conrad said. “Beyond that, researching abroad will inform me about my role in the international science community and how I can help foster greater collaboration between researchers abroad and at home.”
In addition to the seniors and alumni, Whitman student Mackenzee Borges ’18 received a Fulbright U.K. Summer Institutes Award. This is a fairly new, highly competitive Fulbright program which enables sophomores and first-years to study in the U.K. over the summer.
About Whitman College: Founded in 1882, Whitman College is a highly selective private, independent, co-educational, non-sectarian residential liberal arts and sciences undergraduate college located in Walla Walla, Washington. The college is home to approximately 1,500 undergraduate students exploring 45 departmental majors that lead to a Bachelor of Arts degree. Whitman College students develop capacities to analyze, interpret, criticize, communicate and engage. A concentration on basic disciplines, in combination with a supportive residential life program, fosters intellectual vitality, confidence, leadership and the flexibility to succeed in a changing technological, multicultural world.
About the Fulbright Program: The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 300,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.