Luther College graduates receive Fulbright awards

June 18, 2020

Two Luther College graduates have been selected as Fulbright teaching assistants for the 2020-21 academic year. The U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board announced that Shannon Baker and Madeleine Flom-Staab, both class of 2020, have received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award.

Given the coronavirus crisis and the U.S. State Department advisories against international travel, the Fulbright program has delayed the start of grants until after January 1, 2021.

Shannon Baker '20, from Duluth, Minnesota, graduated with majors in English (Writing) and Spanish. She was selected for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Peru. Baker's interest in teaching English began on a mission trip to Nicaragua her first year at Luther, during which she volunteered each day at local schools.

"I absolutely loved it - the challenge of teaching one's own learned-from-birth language, the job of connecting with the kids and watching them learn, I loved all of it," said Baker.

Her interest in Peru grew during her semester studying in Chile, where she learned about the culture and history of Peru through the eyes of its South American neighbors.

One of the reasons Baker chose to apply for a Fulbright award is the program's commitment to community engagement and mutual understanding across cultures. She looks forward to helping students share their culture and stories in their English classes. When not teaching, Baker hopes to connect with her host community by volunteering in a children's home or other youth organizations. After completing her year in Peru, Baker plans to continue teaching, either in the U.S. or abroad.

"I could see this leading me on many paths: Spanish education, ESL education, linguistics"¦whatever it looks like, I am excited to see how my passions for Spanish, teaching, writing and sharing stories manifest within it all."

Madeleine Flom-Staab '20, from St. Paul, Minnesota, graduated with majors in German and psychology and a minor in social welfare. Flom-Staab received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Germany, however, she has declined this award to accept a United States Teaching Assistantship in Austria.

Joseph Keeley '20, a history and political science major from of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, has been named an alternate in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program for 2020-21 and may receive a Fulbright grant if funding becomes available for an English Teaching Assistantship in South Korea.

Luther College is home to more than 1,900 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at


The Fulbright Program

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to forge lasting connections between the people of the U.S. and people of other countries, counter misunderstandings, and help people and nations work together toward common goals. Since its establishment in 1946, the Fulbright Program has enabled more than 390,000 dedicated and accomplished students, scholars, artists, teachers and professionals of all backgrounds to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and find solutions to shared international concerns. The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program, which operates in more than 160 countries worldwide.

For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State, please visit