Three Broncos have been awarded Fulbright Scholarships for 2018-2019, continuing an impressive streak of eighteen undergraduate scholars awarded in the past eight years at Boise State. The competitive scholarship offers students the opportunity to travel abroad for up to a year while teaching and pursuing research projects.
This year’s Fulbright scholars are Margaret Bundy, Shea Golob and McKenna Strolberg. In addition, Erik Hadley, a lecturer in the Department of History and University Foundations, has been awarded a 2019-20 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Research Grant. Several students also were named Fulbright alternates.
“We are quite proud of this year’s Fulbright honorees,” said Andrew Finstuen, dean of the Honors College and interim vice provost of undergraduate studies. “Their awards are a testament to the Honors College’s excellent national scholarships program and to the excellent faculty from across campus who support our process. Most of all I want to congratulate the students’ hard work and compelling visions, which brought about their noteworthy achievement.”
“I’m extremely grateful for these experiences and my course of study at Boise State, all of which has led me to the next chapter in my journey – in Taiwan no less!”
– Shea Golob, Fulbright Scholarship awardee
Margaret Bundy was awarded an English Teaching Assistant grant to Rwanda. She is a lecturer in the English department and works with students in the Writing Center. She was an alternate for a Fulbright grant to Bosnia and Herzegovina last year.
Bundy has spent the last six years teaching English at Boise State, working with multilingual students from Nigeria, Sudan, Kenya, Bosnia, El Salvador, Brazil and Korea. Her time with these students taught her to better adapt to different cultures and perspectives.
“If it wasn’t for programs like English 101M – a course crafted and supported by Gail Shuck and Heidi Estrem to best support first year multilingual students – I may have never had the opportunity to learn these things,” she said. “Moving forward with Fulbright will only add to that knowledge.”
While teaching in Rwanda for nine months, Bundy hopes to strengthen her mentorship skills while also learning about the many women leaders present there (60 percent of Rwanda’s government officials are women).
“Everything in my life, from my hobbies to my degree pathway, rhetoric and composition with a focus in community literacy, centers around cultural awareness and this value of community and connection,” she said. “Because of this, it became clear that Rwanda was the perfect choice for me.”
Shea Golob was awarded an English Teaching Assistant grant to Taiwan. Golob will graduate this semester with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a minor in Chinese studies. Like Bundy, Golob also works in the Writing Center on campus. Last summer, he undertook a language immersion program in Taiwan through the American Council, where he “fell in love” with the “magical island” and its people.
“My Fulbright fellowship represents a culmination of experiences, opportunities and chance encounters,” he said. “Boise State is fortunate enough to have an incredibly supportive faculty that have been exceedingly important in preparing me for the path that I am on.”
Golob, who comes from an agricultural background, intends to engage with local farmers within Taiwan’s indigenous communities to cultivate a better understanding of traditional farming practices. He also hopes to collaborate with local teachers to develop a center in his assigned city of Taitung. He already is assessing opportunities provided by the Taiwanese Ministry of Education to study Mandarin full time at a Taiwanese university for an additional year once the grant is finished.
Golob credits his passion for Eastern culture and history to Shelton Woods, a professor and interim associate dean in the Honors College, and his strong foundation in Mandarin to Sharon Wei, a Chinese lecturer in the Department of World Languages.
“I’m extremely grateful for these experiences and my course of study at Boise State, all of which has led me to the next chapter in my journey – in Taiwan no less,” he said.
McKenna Strolberg was awarded an English Teaching Assistant grant to Germany. McKenna will graduate this semester with a bachelor’s degree in history, secondary education, and a minor in German.
Strolberg studied abroad in Saarbrücken, Germany, in 2016. She was inspired to pursue the Fulbright grant after an annual advising meeting with Emily Jones, assistant director of the Honors College.
“I don’t think I would have ever applied for Fulbright without that experience of studying abroad through a Boise State exchange program,” she said. “The Honors College courses I took really helped me elevate my thinking and gave me access to a variety of different topics from linguistics with [Michal] Temkin Martinez or the history of rituals with Erik Hadley. These classes tested my knowledge and helped me to grow and I know I will rely on those skills while I am abroad.”
Strolberg will be in Germany for 10 months to prepare her for a teaching career in history and German at the secondary level. She hopes that her time abroad gives her a rich understanding of Europe’s history, challenges her language skills, and brings in authentic observations and perspectives of German life into her classroom.
“I will make sure I use my time in Germany to reflect on and be exposed to different perspectives and different opportunities that I do not have access to in the United States,” she said.
Erik Hadley, a lecturer in the Department of History and University Foundations, was awarded a 2019-20 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Research Grant to study in Belgium for six months beginning in January 2020. The title of Hadley’s project is “Wallonian Folkloric Festivals: Historical Memory, Commemoration and Identity.”
He will be examining Old Regime origins, structure, and character of these rituals, the re-emergence of the festivals in the mid-19th century, and 20th-century standardization and commemorative efforts that positioned these festivals as authentic cultural artifacts.
“While these festivals are enormously popular and have attracted substantial media attention, there has been relatively little modern research conducted by professional historians,” he said.
Two Boise State students also were named Fulbright alternates, and two were named finalists. Alternates would have received Fulbright scholarships had more grants been available, and may still be awarded this year if one becomes available. Finalists were successful in the first round of review by the Fulbright National Screening Committee but ultimately did not receive the award.
- Matthew Clark, alternate for a research grant to Fiji. He currently is working on a doctorate in ecology, evolution and behavior. His project is titled “Balancing Human Well-Being and Fishery Conservation in Fijian Coral Reefs.”
- Sarah Knue, alternate for an English Teaching Assistant grant to Thailand. Sarah will graduate in bachelor’s in civil engineering. She also is a Boise State Top Ten Scholar.
- Paige Ashmead, finalist for an English Teaching Assistant grant to Nepal. Ashmead is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English with a linguistics emphasis.
- Elizabeth Almanza, finalist for English Teaching Assistant grant to Mexico. She is graduating with a master’s in social work.