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Fulbright Grant Program Recognizes Boise State Graduates, Lecturer

Four Boise State graduates and a lecturer in the Department of English have been recognized by the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

Since the inception of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, 17 students/alumni applying through Boise State have received grants. Thirteen of those were awarded since 2013, when the Honors College began focusing its efforts and staff support on international and national fellowships advising.

“Our acceptance rate has been running at about 50 percent since 2014,” said Kate Huebschmann, academic and fellowships advisor in the Honors College. Huebschmann worked with students to prepare their applications. “It’s fun this year to have such a spread of grant recipients with different backgrounds, including health science and political science,” she said.

This year’s recipients include:

Ashley Bates, who graduated in May with a B.A. in elementary education and a minor in English, has received an English teaching assistant grant to India.  She plans to create an after-school theatre and literacy program in which students will write and perform short plays.

Ashley Bates

“As we put on these small performances throughout the school year, we would invite students’ families and other community members to attend and participate,” said Bates. “If feasible, I would also like to explore the possibility of extending the program to anyone in the community who is interested in the opportunity to write or perform.”

Megan Beiler

After returning to the U.S., Bates plans to continue teaching and engaging in school theatre and literacy programs as well as continuing her studies in teacher education. She hopes to teach at the university level.

Megan Beiler, who graduated in 2017 with a B.A in Spanish and a B.S. in health sciences, received a teaching assistant grant to Spain. She intends to volunteer with a Spanish organization that advocates for and provides programs for people with physical and mental disabilities.

“This will allow me to connect with the wider community and observe how Spain’s medical and educational systems work together to serve people with disabilities,” said Beiler.

After returning to the U.S., Beiler plans to attend graduate school for occupational therapy with a focus on pediatrics.

Davita Eichner, who graduated in 2014 with a B.A. in Spanish and political science, has been awarded a teaching assistant grant to Colombia. She plans to establish a mentorship program in which high school students would work with current university students.

Davita Eichner

“The college students could share knowledge from their own experiences while developing their mentoring skills and giving high school students a helpful ally in their quest to higher education,” said Eichner.

She plans to attend graduate school after returning to the U.S., and work as a licensed high school Spanish teacher.

Cody Wetherelt, who graduated in 2017 with a B.A. in English, linguistics emphasis and a minor in Arabic studies, received a teaching assistant grant to Brazil. Wetherelt was a Fulbright alternate in 2017.

Cody Wetherel

He is currently in Brazil where he is working to create a conversation group where students “can connect and practice English in a low-stakes setting while drinking coffee and sharing food,” he said. He plans to take courses in Brazilian history or literature at his host university as a way to further connect with the local community.

After returning to the U.S., Wetherelt will attend a graduate program in teaching English as a second language, either in secondary schools in the U.S. or abroad.

Margaret Bundy, a lecturer in the Department of English who works with first-year writing students, is an alternate for an English teaching assistant grant to Bosnia-Herzegovina. This grant may be awarded if an English teaching assistant spot opens or the program receives additional funding.

Margaret Bundy

If she receives a grant, Bundy said she plans to work with English language learners in Bosnia-Herzegovina by hosting classes at a local library. Her ultimate goal is to gain new knowledge about this culture — one with a deep foothold in the Treasure Valley.

Students are eligible to apply for the grants as soon as they are entering their senior year. Graduate students or alumni who have not yet earned their Ph.D.s are also eligible to apply. The application includes writing essays and presenting before a faculty panel.

Nine Boise State applicants applied for the most recent round of Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants. Michael Wallingford, an English teaching assistant candidate to Malaysia, was shortlisted but did not receive a grant.

To learn more about the grants and application process, contact Huebschmann:

BY: ANNA WEBB   PUBLISHED 7:32 AM / MAY 30, 2018