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Eight Carls score coveted Fulbright fellowships, adventures abroad

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This year, seven Carleton seniors and one recent alumni of Carleton were awarded English Teaching Assistant Grants (ETAs). A certain number of positions are given to each country that participates and students apply for specific countries’ positions. “ETA’s help teach English language while serving as cultural ambassadors for the U.S.,” said the official Fulbright website.

Some students know the language(s) of the country where they are going. For example, seniors Sonja Dangler and Anthony Harb are both Spanish majors and they are going to Mexico and Spain, respectively. Similarly, seniors James Browning and Kaylin Land are both Russian majors going to Russia. International relations/political science major Bailey Ulbricht is planning to learn Turkish for her Fulbright in Turkey, and chemistry/mathematics major Kit Pavlekovsky intends to learn Malay for her Fulbright in Malaysia.

All of the Carleton students who are have been awarded Fulbrights next year have done educational programs at Carleton that range from being a Teaching Assistant in their major’s department to starting a program. Three of the eight students have concentrations in Educational Studies, and all of the students are interested in education in unique ways.

American Studies major Ia Vang is going to Thailand for her Fulbright, and she said that she is sure that she wants to pursue a career related to education. However, the Fulbright program is not only for people focused on careers in teaching and educational policy, Bailey Ulbricht has an interest in education but is confident that she will pursue a career in U.S. foreign policy.

Many of the Fulbrighters have already engaged in teaching English to non-English speakers. Bailey Ulbricht founded and directed a program named Paper Airplanes Tutoring, which pairs Carleton students with Syrian refugees to help them learn English in order to better their prospects for continuing their education in Turkey, the U.S., or Europe.

Kaylin Land has been a tutor for the English as a Second Language program in Northfield, and Sonja Dangler spent a summer as a bilingual education intern. Additionally, many of the Fulbright Grant recipients have been Breakthrough Collaborative teaching fellows.

Most of the Fulbright grantees went on OCS, and many of the programs are in the same countries where they are going for their Fulbrights. James Browning described having to make the decision to declare his intention to apply while abroad with the advice of professor Diane Nemec Ignashev.

The Fulbright program emphasizes the importance of mentoring for their experience of the application process. Anthony Harb mentioned the important role professors Beatriz Pariente-Beltran and Palmar Alvarez-Blanco played in connecting him with Spaniards during his study abroad program and no they continue to do so as he nears his Fulbright experience. Charlie Bentley said that professor Roy Grow “encouraged him to pursue the adventure of a lifetime” in reference to the Watson fellowship, and Charlie described Fulbright as a continuation of this adventure.

Linguistics major Charlie Bentley’14 has been out of the Carleton bubble for a year now. He spent this last year learning sign languages and engaging with marginalized deaf communities in South Africa, Togo, Ghana, Ethiopia, and Indonesia with funding from a Watson Scholarship. He is going to Rwanda for his Fulbright and attributes in part his interest in Rwanda to the class The Holocaust with professor David Thompkins for its focus “on uncovering narratives in the aftermath of genocide.”

All eight of these Carls will be off in the real world making a contribution thanks to the funding that they will be receiving from the Fulbright program.

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