Three graduating Hope College seniors have received awards to go abroad to pursue graduate study, teach or conduct research through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

Vicente Bickel of Ann Arbor will pursue graduate studies in Spain through a Fulbright Fellowship; Anne Bruebach of Naperville, Illinois, will teach in Bulgaria through a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship; and Rachael Grochowski of Crystal Lake, Illinois, has received a research Fulbright Fellowship for a project that she will conduct in Japan.

Bickel will enroll in a Global and International Studies master’s program at the University of Salamanca.  He is graduating from Hope with a composite major in cultural anthropology and a major in Spanish.  He studied abroad in Athens, Greece, in the spring of 2021, and in Quito, Ecuador in the fall of 2021.

During his freshman year, he participated in the Phelps Scholars Program, a residence hall-based academic program through which students explore topics related to cultural diversity.  His co-curricular activities have included the Center for Diversity and Inclusion; Latino Student Organization; and Vox Populi, a bi-partisan student civic engagement group.  He is a 2018 graduate of Black River Public School in Holland.

Bruebach will teach seventh-12th graders at Tsar Simeon Veliki Private Secondary School in Ivanyane, which is a suburb outside Sofia, starting in September.  She is graduating from Hope with an elementary education and a minor in Teaching English as a Second Language.  She will be participating in the college’s Vienna Summer School in Austria this May.

Her co-curricular activities have included serving as a small-group leader through Campus Ministries, on the leadership Dream Team of the student-organized Dance Marathon held on behalf of Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, as a teaching assistant in the departments of biology and education, as a volunteer tutor with the Children’s After School Achievement (CASA) program, and as an Orientation Assistant; she is also a member of the Alpha Phi Zeta (Alethean) sorority.  She is a 2018 graduate of Naperville North High School.

Grochowski will study Japanese and conduct a research project titled “Warming Up: ‘Tsundere’, Intimacy, and Gender Roles in Japanese Young Adult Literature” (“Tsundere” describes characters who initially seem hostile to their love interest but warm up across time). She is graduating from Hope with majors in Japanese studies and English, and a minor in French-speaking culture and society.  She has been studying abroad in Nantes, France, this semester, and participated in a Hope May Term course in Japan in 2019.

Her co-curricular activities have included coaching Even-Year Play for the Nykerk Cup competition, in which members of the freshman and sophomore classes compete through songs, plays and oration; and serving as a program assistant for the college’s summer exchange programs with Ferris University, Technos College and Waseda University of Japan, as a teaching assistant for the college’s British Literature course, and as a research assistant with the Joint Archives of Holland.  During her freshman year, she participated in the Phelps Scholars Program.  She is a 2018 graduate of Crystal Lake Central High School.

Since 2004, 41 Hope students or recent graduates have received awards, and several others have been named alternates or semi-finalists.  Hope’s students are mentored through the application process by Dr. Janis Gibbs, associate professor of history and department chair; Dr. Stephen Maiullo, associate professor of classics and department chair; and Dr. Stephen Remillard, who was a member of the physics faculty from 2007 to 2021 and is continuing to conduct collaborative research in physics with students at the college.

Established in 1946, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide.  The program awards grants annually in all fields of study, and operates in more than 140 countries worldwide.