For the second year in a row, multiple graduating Hope College seniors have received highly competitive fellowships through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

Danielle Johnson of Kalamazoo, Robin Litscher of Lebanon, Ind., Lani Pickard of Minnetonka, Minn., and Molly Smith of Urbana, Ill., all of whom graduated in May, have received fellowships to teach English abroad during the coming year.

Last year, four graduating seniors or recent graduates also received Fulbright fellowships to teach abroad, and Hope has had multiple other recipients through the years.  During 2008-09, Hope tied for 30th nationally among Bachelor's institutions for the number of students receiving the awards.

"That we have multiple students receive Fulbrights makes it look easy, but that's far from the case," said Dr. David Cunningham, who is a professor of religion and director of the CrossRoads Project and serves as the Fulbright Program advisor at Hope along with colleague Dr. Janis Gibbs of the college's history faculty.  "The Fulbright program is highly selective - only about 1,500 fellowships are presented nationwide each year.  It is a tremendous compliment to our students to have received them, and a strong affirmation of the high quality of a Hope education that we have had multiple students receive them."

Danielle Johnson, who majored in English with a writing emphasis and Spanish, will be teaching in Spain.

Robin Litscher, who majored in philosophy and German, will be teaching in Germany.

Lani Pickard, who graduated with a Latin American humanities composite major, will be teaching in Colombia.

Molly Smith, who majored in athletic training, will be teaching in Malaysia.

In addition to the three students who received Fulbrights, multiple graduating seniors or recent graduates have received English teaching assistantships from the French government.  The French-government awards are also made based on the recipients' applications to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

° Allison Templeton, a 2009 graduate and chemistry major from Appleton, Wis., will be teaching in Montpellier.

° Sarah Williams, a 2009 graduate and dance and French major from Indianapolis, Ind., will teach in Nantes.

° Ashley Holtgrewe, a 2007 graduate and communication and psychology major from St. Peters, Mo., will teach in Martinique.

° Anna West, a 2008 graduate and English major from Birmingham, will teach in Caen.

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, with awards supporting an academic year of study, research or teaching assistantship experience. The program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.