WALLA WALLA, Wash.--  Three Whitman seniors have received prestigious Fulbright scholarships this spring that will allow them to conduct research and teach next year in Germany.

    Suzanne Zitzer, a German Studies/history double major from Auburn, Washington, has received a research award for the 2008-2009 year. She will travel to Leipzig, Germany, to research the history of renewable energy practices and policy in Germany as they arose from the environmentalism movement of the 1970s. She will utilize government documents and oral interviews for her research. “My intention,” she said, “is to learn how the German renewable energy policy works and evaluate its success; in my future career I will use this knowledge as a basis for policy in the United States and internationally.”  Zitzer intends to earn a master’s degree in either international studies or urban and environmental policy and planning "to work for the United States government dealing with international renewable energy issues.” Zitzer has been active on campus with Action for Animals, Campus Greens, the Conservation Committee, and the modern and folk dance groups.

    An English major with a German minor,  Grant Margeson of Grants Pass, Oregon, will spend the 2008-2009 year as a teaching assistant in Saxony, Germany, teaching English to students. He said he will utilize the “fun and effective ways” he has developed over the years tutoring in an after-school detention program and on a one-to-one-basis. Upon returning to the United States, Margeson plans to pursue a career in teaching, beginning with a program like Teach for America, and eventually obtain a doctorate in English. His goal is to teach in a college setting, but he will also continue to use his free time to volunteer in animal shelters. A long-time advocate for animal rights who has volunteered for Action for Animals, Blue Mountain Humane Society and the Hurricane Katrina Animal Rescue, Margeson plans to use his out-of-class time in the coming year to volunteer at a German animal shelter and research animal rights in Germany. He said he hopes to get a better sense of German culture through his ability to speak the language.

    Janna Stone of Federal Way, Washington, will spend 2008-2009 as an English teaching assistant in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. “I believe it is important for Americans and Germans to have a strong understanding of each other’s cultures,” Stone said in her Fulbright application. An English/German double major, Stone said her knowledge of German and Germany, combined with her experiences in tutoring, will help her engage students in intercultural dialogue while she teaches them English. “I believe this interaction between individuals of different cultures is foundational to the creation of a more peaceful world,” she said.  Stone has worked as an America Reads/Counts intern while at Whitman, and during the summer of her junior year participated in the Der Grosse Grenzverkehr Projekt, in which she worked with children living on the old border between East and West Germany to promote interaction between young East and West Germans. After her year in Germany, Stone said she plans to take a year off and work with children in a daycare or an elementary school before pursuing her goal of becoming a professor.

            Two other German students were offered Fulbrights to study and teach in Germany, said German professor Robert Tobin, Cushing Eells Professor and Chair of the Humanities, but had to decline because they had already accepted other awards, including a Watson Fellowship. “They had to make some tough decisions,” said Tobin, “but having too many awards is a rare situation, and we’re very proud of our outstanding German students.”


CONTACT: Lenel Parish, Whitman College News Service, (509) 527-5156