Luther students and alumnus honored in national Fulbright competition

May 11, 2009

Tiffany Choi, a Luther College senior and Nate Preus, a 2006 graduate, have received Fulbright awards for 2009-10.

Choi will serve as an English teaching assistant in France and Preus will teach English in Belgium.

Choi, a French major at Luther is the daughter of Kit and LeEtta Choi from Centennial, Colo. She plans to teach in a public high school in the Paris region.

Preus, the son of Nicholas and Corby Preus from Decorah, Iowa, is currently working at a preschool and living in Madison, Wis.

The Fulbright commission also recognized Luther senior David McKay, who was selected as an alternative grantee for his research project in India. McKay, a political science major, is the son of Robert and Jill McKay from Iowa City, Iowa.

A highly competitive award, the Fulbright grant provides funds for travel, health insurance and a living stipend for up to a year in a foreign country. Applicants submit a project proposal to be evaluated first by the Luther College Honors committee and then the Fulbright committee.

"The Luther Honors committee was very impressed with the quality of all the applicants, which speaks to the excellence of Luther students and the commitment of the college to global understanding," said Terry Sparkes, Luthers director of college honors and Fulbright advisor.

Since 1989, seven Luther students have been granted a Fulbright award. Recent Luther faculty recipients of the award include Norma Hervey, professor emeritus of history, Kim Powell, professor of communication studies, Jim Langholz, associate professor of education and David Kamm, assistant professor of art.

Sponsored by the State Department, the Fulbright 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. The program, introduced to Congress by Senator J. William Fulbright, was established in 1946 in order to foster leadership, learning and empathy between cultures.

Fulbright alumni occupy a range of professions including heads of state, cabinet ministers, ambassadors, heads of corporations, artists, professors and teachers. The most notable grantees include actor John Lithgow, composer Philip Glass, opera singer Renee Fleming and economist Joseph Stiglitz.