Luther graduate Maddy Kofoed receives Fulbright award

The Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board has selected Maddy Kofoed as the fourth Luther graduate to receive a Fulbright award for the 2014-15 academic year.

The highly competitive Fulbright foreign scholarship award provides funds for a year's educational experience abroad, including travel, health insurance and a monthly stipend to cover living expenses.

Kofoed, daughter of Lisa and Brian Kofoed of Apple Valley, Minnesota, is a 2010 graduate of Eastview High School. She graduated from Luther in 2014 with a degree in Spanish and biology and will serve as an English teaching assistant in Argentina to fulfill her Fulbright award.

The Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship program, an element of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, fosters mutual understanding between the people of the United States and those of other countries by providing a native English speaker in their schools.

"I am enthusiastic about the ETA program's combination of teaching and research," Kofoed said. "As an ESL tutor for immigrant adults, I have come to realize how much I enjoy teaching, and how I have grown from the friendships that so often come with it. My creativity and flexibility to teach based on an individual's needs make me a resource students can trust."

Kofoed submitted her post-graduate education proposal to the Fulbright program through the college's honors committee. Final selections are made by the presidentially appointed 12-member Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

The Fulbright is sponsored by the State Department and is the largest U.S. international exchange program, offering opportunities for students, scholars and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide.

Grantees are expected to become involved in the communities in which they travel and serve during their year abroad to increase understanding between the people of the United States and those of the more than 155 countries that currently participate in the Fulbright Program.

"In Argentina, I hope to engage in the community in a way that enriches both me and the place in which I live," Kofoed said. "I would love to participate in community groups for gender and ethnic equity, and investigate youth activism and politicization in Argentina…after its financial crisis of 2001."

The program, introduced to Congress by Senator J. William Fulbright, was established in 1946 in order to foster leadership, learning and empathy between cultures. Since its inception, more than 325,000 Fulbrighters have participated in the program.

Fulbright scholars have been awarded 53 Nobel Prizes, 80 Pulitzer Prizes, and 28 have been named MacArthur Foundation Fellows. Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, cabinet ministers, ambassadors, heads of corporations, artists, university presidents, journalists, professors and teachers. Among the most prominent grantees are former Prime Minister of Haiti Gary Conille, founder of Grameen Bank and 2006 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus, composer Philip Glass, opera singer Renee Fleming and President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos.