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Eight Whitman College students receive prestigious Fulbright Scholarships

Six Whitman students and two alumni 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 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, Elana Simon ‘15 and Beverly Li '14.

"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."

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. 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, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected 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.

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 Institute 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.

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.

Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in government, science, the arts, business, philanthropy, education and athletics. Fulbright alumni are the recipients of 43 Nobel Prizes, 86 Pulitzer Prizes, 28 MacArthur Foundation Awards and 16 U.S. Presidential Medals of Freedom.

Published on Apr 28, 2015
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