Eleven alumni receive Fulbrights

  • Victoria RyanShe received an English teaching assistantship in Mexico.

    Victoria Ryan
  • Olivia LucasShe received an English teaching assistantship in Germany.

    Olivia Lucas
  • Robert LandichoLadicho will travel to Jordan to study Arabic and build on the research he began as an undergraduate.

    Robert Landicho

Eleven recent graduates of the College of William and Mary have been selected to receive Fulbright U.S. Student or Austrian government scholarships, and two have been selected as alternates.

The selectees will use the scholarships in the coming academic year to teach or study in countries around the world including Switzerland, Canada, Jordan and Kazakhstan. Many of the scholars will teach English through assistantships, and others will conduct research on a variety of topics.

This year’s large group of scholars continues a trend for William and Mary, which has seen greater numbers of its students and alumni selected for the Fulbright Program in recent years. Since 2000, about 60 William and Mary students and alumni have been selected as Fulbright scholars.

“The success of William and Mary students in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program is truly exceptional,” said Lisa Grimes, W&M Student Fulbright Program Advisor. “Selection for this national honor demonstrates our students' talent, intelligence, dedication, and desire to make a real difference in the world, and the range of disciplines represented by our Fulbright awardees speaks volumes about the faculty support for this program.”

As one of this year’s selectees, Ariel Hunsberger (’08) will travel to Andorra and be a teaching assistant in an Andorran high school. She will also research multilingualism and national and individual identity formation. 

“I will be working with a reading group and discussing the role of fairy tales and traditional stories on identity formation in this tiny multilingual country,” she said. “The study of languages and how they shape our lives and thoughts is my passion, and I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to study and teach in Andorra through the Fulbright program.”

Like Hunsberger, Olivia Lucas (’08) received an English teaching assistantship. The German studies and music double-major will travel to Ingolstadt, Germany to help with the English programs at two gymnasiums (or high schools).

“I think a very big part of the adventure for me will be adjusting to life truly on my own for the first time, and beyond that, in a foreign country,” said Lucas. “A lot of people underestimate the cultural differences that exist between Western Europe and the U.S. I know I did the first time I went there. And for me, learning to navigate all these differences and really adapt to a German lifestyle is a lot of the fun. So I guess you could say I am seeking a heightened awareness of what it means to live in our globalized world.”

Robert Landicho (’08) will spend part of his time in the Fulbright Program studying Arabic in Jordan and the rest of it building on research he conducted as an undergraduate.

“The good thing about the critical language program grant is that I’ll have six months to kind of sit there and observe everything while I’m going through the language institute, before I do any of my research,” he said. “So, I’ll be fairly open to new ideas and making contacts to facilitate those ideas.”

This year’s other Fulbright selectees and their destinations are: Greg Cooper (’08) – Switzerland; Naomi Dreyer (’07) – Germany; Kasey Hutson (’08) – Austria; Marianne McLaughlin (’08) – Chile; Carolyn Osinski (’08) – Austria; Christopher Pieper (‘08) – Kazakhstan; Victoria Ryan (’08) – Mexico; and Michelle Treseler (’07) - Canada. The two alternates are Robbie Hott (’07) – Hungary; and Victoria Yue (’08) - Taiwan.

Hutson and Olsinski’s English-teaching assistantships in Austria are funded solely through the Austrian government; however, the Fulbright foundation facilitates the placement of students in the program.

“I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to spend nine months in Mexico as an English teaching assistant, which I see as a unique continuation of my college studies as both an English Major and a Hispanic Studies Minor,” said Ryan. “I'm looking forward to still being a student, to taking part in the cultural and educational exchange of experiences, knowledge, and ideas that a Fulbright enables.”

The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. It operates in more than 150 countries across the globe and supports building mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the rest of the world. The scholarships fund one year of study or teaching for each of the scholars. Scholars are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement as well as on demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. This year, 1,450 U.S. citizens will travel abroad for the 2008-2009 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

For more information on the Fulbright Scholarships, visit http://fulbright.state.gov. For more information on scholarships, fellowships and awards at William and Mary, visit http://web.wm.edu/scholarships/.