Seven current students and one alumnus have been granted a Fulbright scholarship for the 2016-17 year so far.
The Fulbright recipients from the College are Harrison Gatlin ’16, Gabriella Kallas ’16, Lauren Moseley ’16, Luxi Qiao ’16, Margaret Richardson ’16, Katherine Shamsie ’16 and Anna Jayne Solovy ’15.
The Fulbright program was established in 1946 after Senator J. William Fulbright introduced a bill in Congress. The bill proposed using excess war property to fund student pro-jects internationally. This program is the largest U.S. exchange program for international graduate study, research and university, primary and secondary school teaching around the world.
Over 360,000 students have participated in the program since its creation; it awards approximately 8000 grants annually, working in over 160 countries across the world.
Qiao, a chemistry major from Tallahasse, FL and Solovy, an English and history major from Seattle, WA were awarded research grants to Germany and Austria respectively for one year.
Gatlin, Kallas, Moseley, Richardson and Shamsie received English Teaching Assistantships (ETA) for teaching abroad. Fulbrighters in this position serve in local English classrooms while also teaching about U.S. culture. They work in classrooms ranging from the kindergarten to the university level.
“I hope to use the ETA position, which includes giving presentations on and generally educating students about American history, culture and society, to experiment with the work I’ve done in American Studies in elementary, middle or high school education,” Kallas said.
Kallas received a grant to travel to Greece. She said she has always felt that learning the language and understanding the history and politics of Greece are important because of her family’s connection to the country. “I’m hoping to gain a lot from the experience – more broadly, intimate knowledge of an educational system different from the U.S. and teaching experience with students who have a different linguistic and cultural background than myself,” Kallas said.
Kallas founded and directs the Sexual Wellness Advocacy Group at the College, an organization that gives consent, healthy relationship and other sexual wellness-related workshops to elementary, middle and high school students in the community. She is also a member of the Williams Women Rugby Football Club (WWRFC) and Students for Justice in Palestine and directed the Brayton tutoring program and taught science classes there.
Shamsie, an Arabic studies major from Corpus Christi, Texas received an ETA to travel to Turkey. She said, “I want to make lasting friendships with the people I meet there, and from them, learn about Turkish culture, history and their views on Turkish and international politics. I also want to share the joy of learning languages with my students because it is something that I enjoy and am passionate about.”
One of the reasons Shamsie chose Turkey was a desire to explore a place she did not know much about. “I am particularly interested in learning more about Turkish history and politics,” Shamsie said. “Though I’ve learned a little about Turkish history at Williams, being in Turkey will both expand my knowledge and give it immediacy in a way a textbook can’t.”
At the College, Shamsie was a Junior Advisor to the class of 2018, rowed on the crew team, was a member of the WWRFC, served as a Williams Outdoor Orientation for Living as First-years (WOOLF) leader, worked on College Council, mentored and tutored students at the local elementary and high schools and currently participates in Ritmo Latino and the Honorary Degree Advisory Committee.
Richardson, a comparative literature major from Iowa City, was awarded an ETA grant to travel to Spain. “I wanted to go to Spain to experience a culture and a language that is new for me. I’m also really excited for Spanish food,” Richardson said. She was a JA to the class of 2018, a WOOLF leader, a captain of the cross-country and track teams and a member of Story Board. “I hope to make the world a more understanding and connected place. I want to do that by listening to the stories of the people I meet, and by telling them my story,” she said.
Moseley, an Arabic studies and chemistry major from Safety Harbor, FL was awarded an ETA grant to Turkey. “As a cultural ambassador, I hope to accurately represent the U.S. and informally study international relations and perceptions,” she said. “As an Arabic Studies major, I want to both put my knowledge to use in refugee communities and continue my education from within the region. Most importantly, I hope to gain a firsthand experience, independent from the biases and interpretations of Western media, of Turkey as home to a dynamic and varied population.”
Moseley studied at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies during her junior year. During this time, she studied politics, histories and cultures of the Middle East and found that Turkey dominated her interest. “I am excited to engage with Turkey differently as an English teacher with my feet on the ground and make discoveries no book could offer,” Moseley said.
While at the College, Moseley has played for the WWRFC, worked as a Science fellow with the Center for Learning in Action, and involved herself in student advisory committees for the Chemistry and Arabic Studies departments.