Fawcett and Larson receive Fulbright awards

The Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board has selected Luther students Betsy Fawcett, class of 2017, and Patrick Larson, class of 2017, to receive Fulbright awards for the 2017-18 academic year from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Fawcett and Larson received Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants for English teaching assistantships in Ukraine and Bulgaria, respectively. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement as well as record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields.

The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant 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.

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

Betsy Fawcett

Fawcett, from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, will graduate from Luther in May with a degree in political science and psychology, and will serve as an English teaching assistant in Ukraine.

As a 2016 Peace Scholar, Fawcett spent seven weeks studying peace and conflict resolution in Lillehammer and Oslo, Norway. The summer Peace Scholars program is designed to deepen students' understanding of the central issues and theories regarding conflict, war and peace.

"While studying in Norway, I was fortunate to interact with several Ukrainian students who described fascinating aspects of the country's politics," Fawcett said. "That drew my interest to Ukraine as a place to examine politics, language and culture."

After her Fulbright experience, she plans to attend graduate school in international relations or peace studies to prepare for a position with an embassy or non-governmental organization.

Patrick Larson

Larson, from Decorah, Iowa, will graduate from Luther in May with a degree in economics, and will serve as an English teaching assistant in Bulgaria.

"I hope to promote productive inter-cultural dialogue with my students and serve as a positive cultural ambassador in the classroom," Larson said. "I also hope to start a running club with my students and use this as a way to strengthen our relationships."

A January Term study abroad experience in Vietnam sparked Larson's interest in how economic and political institutions can be used to serve the common good. After his Fulbright experience, Larson plans to attend graduate school and pursue a career in public policy, focusing on global and national affairs and working with marginalized groups of people.

Emily Crowe, class of 2017, from Davenport, Iowa, has been designated as an alternate for her Fulbright open study/research proposal to Norway titled "Studying Indigenous Sami Peoples and Social Law." Fulbright open study/research grants support self-designed projects that foster cultural exchange and mutual understanding through university coursework; independent library, lab, or field research; or special projects.

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 370,000 participants—chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential—with the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. More than 1,900 U.S. students, artists and young professionals in more than 100 different fields of study are offered Fulbright Program grants to study, teach English, and conduct research annually. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program operates in over 150 countries throughout the world. Lists of Fulbright recipients are available at: www.fulbrightonline.org/us.

The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the United States Congress to the Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support.

In the United States, the Institute of International Education administers and coordinates the activities relevant to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program on behalf of the Department of State, including conducting an annual competition for the awards.

The Fulbright Program also awards grants to U.S. scholars, teachers and faculty to conduct research and teach overseas. In addition, some 4,000 foreign Fulbright students and scholars come to the United States annually to study for graduate degrees, conduct research and teach foreign languages.

For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit http://eca.state.gov/fulbright.

Fulbright scholars have been awarded 57 Nobel Prizes, 82 Pulitzer Prizes, and 29 have been named MacArthur Foundation Fellows. Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, ambassadors, heads of corporations, artists, university presidents, journalists, professors and teachers. Among the most prominent grantees are:

·        Gary Conille, former prime minister of Haiti;

·        John Hope Franklin, noted American historian and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient;

·        Muhammad Yunus, founder, Grameen Bank, and 2006 Nobel Peace Prize recipient;

·        Juan Manuel Santos, president of Colombia;

·        Riccardo Giacconi, physicist and 2002 Nobel Laureate;

·        Amar Gopal Bose, founder, Bose Corporation;

·        Renée Fleming, soprano; and

·        Daniel Libeskind, architect.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,150, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.

Betsy Fawcett '17
Patrick Larson '17