posted June 11, 2008

Recent Hope Grads Receive Teaching Fellowships

Several graduating Hope College seniors or recent graduates will spend next year abroad teaching English through fellowships, including three through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

° Alexander Behm, a 2008 graduate, has received a Fulbright award to teach in Germany.  Behm is a German major from Ann Arbor.

° Brianne Carpenter, a 2008 graduate, has received a fellowship from the French government to teach in the region of Nantes on the west coast.  Carpenter is an English and French double major from Midland.

° Lauren Eriks, a 2008 graduate, has received a fellowship from the French government to teach in the region of Nantes.  Eriks is an English and French major from Grand Rapids.

° Jill Pardini, a 2006 graduate, has received a Fulbright award to teach in Malaysia.  Pardini is an English and psychology major from Williamsburg, and has been serving with the Peace Corps in Kyrgyzstan.

° Karen Russell, a 2008 graduate, has received a Fulbright award to teach in South Korea.  Russell is a German education major from Berkeley, Ill.

° In addition, Jonathan Sprik, a 2008 graduate, was chosen to receive a Fulbright award to teach in Spain but has instead opted to pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree in theatre at the University of Houston, in connection with the Alley Theatre, through a graduate assistantship.  Sprik is from Grand Rapids and a psychology and Spanish major.

The fellowships are not the only way that members of the most recent graduating class will be teaching English abroad.  Colin Lawrence, who double-majored in international studies and Japanese, has been hired through the Japan English Teachers exchange of the Japanese ministry of education to teach English in Satsuma, Kyushu, Japan.  Hope will be represented in Spain by Julie Robinson, a history major from Warsaw, Ind., who has been hired by the Spanish Ministry of Education to teach English and American culture.

All of the fellowship awards were made based on the graduates' applications to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.  Awards are made both through the program itself and directly by the governments of some of the nations that participate.

Fulbright grants are made to U.S. citizens and nationals of other countries for a variety of activities, primarily university lecturing, advanced research, graduate study, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools. Grant recipients include recent college graduates and graduate students, college and university instructors, and professionals in other fields.

The U.S. Student Program is designed for recent college graduates, master's and doctoral candidates, young professionals and artists. The program awards more than 1,500 grants to U.S. students annually, supporting an academic year of study, research or teaching assistantship experience. The program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.

The Fulbright Program advisors at Hope are Dr. David S. Cunningham, who is professor of religion and director of the CrossRoads Project, and Dr. Janis Gibbs, associate professor of history and chairperson of the department.