April 5, 2012

Knox boasts two Fulbrights

Seniors Erin McKinstry and Kathryn Frank will set off for Germany and Argentina, respectively, to teach English in the fall.

Fulbright fellowships offer post-undergraduate students, among others, the opportunity for international study. Thirty-five Knox seniors have received this prestigious fellowship since 1951 and have used this as an opportunity to continue their education throughout the world.

Dean of the College and Fulbright advisor Lawrence Breitborde described the reason for Knox’s success in receiving Fulbright fellowships: “These awards are for international study, and [Knox] attracts students with global interests.”

Frank is not the only Fulbright recipient in her family; her cousin received the same honor while working on his Ph.D.

“I visited him while he was in Poland. It was a chance for him to gain more control of the language and just become more worldly. I really admired that,” she said.

Fulbright scholars go through two rounds of applications where they must be accepted within the United States and a second where they are accepted by their host countries.

The application process “seems daunting, but once you begin the process, it’s not that bad. It’s mainly the waiting: the long, anxious waiting,” Frank said. “I was really appreciative of Knox’s support, especially [Breitborde]. It really helped me fine-tune my application and present myself in the best possible light.”

McKinstry is a modern languages major who studied abroad once in Germany and again in Barcelona. Frank is a Spanish and History double major who will be returning to Argentina after studying abroad with the Knox program.

Fulbright scholars like Frank, who will be placed in a teaching assistantship at an Argentine university for the 2012-2013 academic year, are given a living stipend and round-trip airfare, and their loans are deferred.

“I knew I wanted to go back [to Argentina]. I really connected with the country and the people, and now I have the chance to become fluent in Spanish and discover how Argentina works and just how they think as a nation,” Frank said.

With the goal to become a Spanish professor, Frank said that this was an opportunity that she could not pass up, one that will give her experiences that she will be able to share with her Spanish students when she becomes a professor and will provide her with a strong base for pursuing a career in Spanish academia.

Frank described the Fulbright process as “kind of surreal. Going back to Argentina is a dream of mine and it’s a dream I’m getting to accomplish sooner than I’d hoped.”

Samantha Paul
Samantha Paul is a senior double majoring in creative writing and Spanish. She previously served as both a news reporter and a copy editor for TKS. During the summer of 2012, Sam served as press chair of a literacy brigade in El Salvador. She has also interned with both Bloom Magazine and The Galesburg Register-Mail. At Knox, Sam is an organizational editor for Catch magazine.


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