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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Four students named Fulbright scholars for upcoming year

<f April 21, 2011, four seniors at the college have received Fulbright Scholarships for the upcoming year. Jimmy Dreese, Eric Reich, Michael Phan Knudson and Francesca Chubb-Confer were announced as recipients of the prestigious award.

The Fulbright Scholars Program is an international educational exchange program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Since it was founded in 1946, the program has given about 300,000 students the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research in over 155 countries.

Carleton has a strong history with the Fulbright Program. Last year was one of the program’s most successful years. Generally speaking, about half of the college’s final applicants make it to the final round of the application process, and about a quarter receive Fulbright Scholarships. Last year, however, 11 of the 12 applicants who made it to the final round received Fulbright Scholarships. One person was over-qualified and did not receive the Fulbright Scholarship.

Carleton ranked fourth in the number of students to receive Fulbright Scholarships in liberal arts colleges, tied with Pomona. However, while Pomona initially had 63 applicants, Carleton began with only 24.

Dreese will use his Fulbright Scholarship to teach English in Germany through their English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) scholarship. He will be working with high school students, helping them improve their conversational skills, reading and cultural knowledge.

Dreese is passionate about German language and culture. “When I’m not in the classroom,” he said, “I’m going to be getting involved in the German knitting community and learn some new awesome techniques!”

Dreese is currently in Carleton’s teaching licensure program, and feels that the Fulbright will allow him to receive teaching experience before he becomes a student teacher in the Twin Cities upon his return. He said, “I wanted the opportunity to go out into the world and teach for a while. Right after college is, I feel like, the best time to do this, and the Fulbright looked like a wonderful opportunity to go somewhere different, improve my German and teaching skills and be of service to others.”

Reich also received the ETA Fulbright Scholarship to Germany, but decided to accept a job with the French Ministry of Education as a teaching assistant.

Francesca Chubb-Confer was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study Hindi and Urdu literature in India. However, she has decided to attend the University of Chicago Divinity School with a focus on Islamic Studies.

Michael Knudson will be studying at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim with the materials science department, researching crystallization of silicon for solar cell application. He will also be taking classes with the university’s international master’s program.

Norway is at the forefront of energy technologies and produces about 98% of its electricity from hydroelectrical power. This, along with Knudson’s own Norwegian heritage, made him apply to study there.

“I saw the Fulbright program as a meaningful way to take a year off after college before diving into a graduate school program,” he said.

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