WALLA WALLA, Wash.-- Whitman students and alumni were awarded a record number of prestigious national Fulbright scholarships this year that will send them around the world conducting research and teaching English from Botswana to China.

Anthropology major Daniel Beekman ’07 will travel to China to study “how Beijing will present itself to a global audience when it hosts the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. These games, said Beekman in his Fulbright proposal, “represent an about-face, a colossal gamble. The Chinese have invited the world in to scrutinize three decades of development. For better or worse, the Games will punctuate China’s quest for modernization and global legitimacy.” Beekman plans to experience, research and report on the intensification of pre-Olympic activity and visibility of Olympic symbols in Beijing.

Ezra Fox ’07 will teach English in Malaysia. A philosophy major, he is going to Malaysia “to gain first-hand experience of a Muslim country and give my students a view into the United States, thus facilitating a unique opportunity for cultural exchange.” While in Malaysia, Fox also plans to explore the country’s multiethnic culture through its foods, specifically curry, and document the experience in writing and photography.

Kyle Martz ’07 will travel to Germany to teach English as a second language. Martz hopes to use the experience to help German students access the views of America and other English speaking countries and provide the students with a better understanding of other countries though conversation and exposure to current U.S. culture. “I plan to use cultural ‘points of orientation,’ such as classic and contemporary literature, film and music to compare and contrast cultures,” he said in his application.

Katherine Pease ’07 is embarking on a journey to Korea where she will serve as a South Korean High School teaching assistant. She, too, hopes to promote interactive cultural exchanges in the classroom and out. “If feasible, my lessons will complement existing curricula with presentations and projects on an intentionally diverse array of American foods, entertainment and events,” she said in her application. Pease also intends to volunteer in Korean agencies that provide human and educational services to their local communities, as she did during her college years at United Way of Walla Walla and other service organizations.

Ari van Schilfgaarde ’07 plans to teach English to high school students in Indonesia. “As a teaching assistant,” he said in his application, “I would like to empower my students to take advantage of the resources of the English speaking world while maintaining their innate Indonesian identity.” During his college years, van Schilfgaard has negotiated a variety of cultural differences while traveling with the college’s Semester in the West program; working on Native American environmental issues through Northern Arizona University’s Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals; and volunteering  for the Walla Walla Basin Watershed Council, where he learned of the Valley’s tensions between environmental and development issues.

In Botswana next year, Veronica Willeto ’07 will study cultural tourism. “One form of tourism in Botswana is indigenous cultural tourism,” she said in her proposal. “Though cultural tourism is an alternative preferable to industrial tourism, there are still negative impacts.” Willeto plans to study cultural tourism and its implications.

Fulbright fellowships also went to two alumni. Tanya Henderson ’05 will serve as a teaching assistant in Germany and Emily Marr ’04 will conduct research in South Korea.

Editor's note: After this story was posted, two more Fulbrights were awarded. For details go to



CONTACT: Lenel Parish, Whitman College News Service, (509) 527-5156
Email: parishlj@whitman.edu