May 27, 2010

Students travel far with Fulbright

While most seniors graduating next week will either head to graduate school or into the workforce in the fall, seniors Tasha Coryell, Jessa Dahl and Karin Rudd will each spend a year abroad with the support of Fulbright Fellowships.

The Fulbright Program is one of the most prestigious of its kind in the country. Every year, it awards millions of dollars in grants to students, scholars and professionals for study and teaching in foreign countries. The program also helps bring foreign scholars to the United States.

About 1,500 grants are awarded each year to students for post-graduate study, making the application process extremely competitive. Thirty Knox students have received Fulbrights throughout the college’s history. In 2008, Knox was among the top 50 liberal arts schools in the country whose students earned the most Fulbright awards.

Coryell, a creative writing major and German and gender and women’s studies double minor, will spend next year teaching English in Austria.

“I am excited to get better at speaking German,” she said. “It’s hard to improve upon your language skills after a certain point when you aren’t immersed in the culture.”

Coryell hopes that the experience will enrich all areas of her life.

“I like to try new things a lot,” she said. “I’m also excited to meet new people. I’m really shy…but I think it will be good to go somewhere new.”

Dahl, an Asian studies and history double major, will travel to Nagasaki, Japan to continue research she began this year as part of an Honors project.

“My individual project involves research into the lives of women in Nagasaki during the Bakumatsu Period (c. 1853-1868),” she said.

Dahl will expand upon her research in partnership with a professor at Nagasaki University in addition to taking Japanese language classes.

“I’m looking forward to immersing myself in Japanese culture and eating lots and lots of Japanese food,” she added.

Rudd, an elementary education major and dance minor, will teach English in New Delhi, India.

“As an ed major, I’m especially interested in the different methods and philosophies surrounding teaching and learning in a country so different from the United States,” she said.

In December 2008, Rudd taught English in Anhui, China as part of a winter break trip for Knox education majors and minors. She looks forward to teaching English again in a country with a very different culture.

“I’m excited about…learning about a new culture,” she said, “especially the dancing and the food!”

“It’s great that our students have developed this record of achievement,” said Dean of the College Lawrence Breitborde. “It says something about the quality of their work.”

Anna Meier

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