Hugh Schmidt '14, left, and Brian Forman '14 are two of the five students or recent graduates of Earlham College who earned prestigious Fulbright Scholarships for the 2014-15 academic year.
EC students, recent grads earn record 6 Fulbright grants to fund research, teaching experiences
April 18, 2014
Four students and two recent graduates from Earlham College have earned prestigious Fulbright Scholarships for the 2014-15 academic year. The six scholarships, a record for the College, will fund ambitious research or teaching experiences in locations spanning the globe.
The recipients — Hugh Schmidt ’14, Hanley Fultz ’14, Brian Forman ’14, Shannon Herbert ‘14, Chris Marshall '13 and Rosalyn Endlich ’12 — continue the College’s strong tradition of producing well-prepared, post-graduate scholars. In fact, Earlham has produced 25 Fulbrights since 2004 and was named to the Chronicle of Higher Education’s list of the Top Fulbright Producing Institutions in 2012. That year the College produced four Fulbrights.
“The Chronicle rates Earlham alongside the best institutions in the country, which is a testament to our talented students and the College’s emphasis on global engagement,” says Assistant Professor of History Elana Passman, the College’s Fulbright Grant Liaison. “There is fierce competition to make the list and we are positioned to be included on it again this year.”
After graduation, Fultz, Schmidt, Herbert and Marshall will travel to Taiwan, Austria, South Korea and Thailand, respectively, and serve as English-language teaching assistants. Schmidt also will conduct research on what he calls the untold story of the Anschluss, the German annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany.
Endlich, now the Peace and Global Studies program associate at Earlham, will conduct research on the transformative power of urban agriculture in Toronto with funding from the grant. The grant will also support her enrollment in the master’s program in Environmental Studies at York University.
Forman earned a Fulbright to research religion and witchcraft of the 14th and 15th centuries in France, but has declined his grant. He instead will carry out his research at Northwestern University, where he plans to pursue a Ph.D. in history, beginning this fall. That research delves specifically into the radicalization of late medieval demonology by exploring changing conceptions of the witches’ Sabbath in elite culture.
Designed to increase mutual understanding between people of the United States and other countries, the Fulbright program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the United States government. The grants cover living and travel expenses.
Earlham graduates have long been strong candidates for Fulbright scholarships, given the College’s emphasis on exceptional academics and international engagement.
“My Earlham education completed shifted the way I see the world and understand the world,” Schmidt says. “I feel so much more prepared to step out into the world and see it in a far more nuanced way.”
The Anschluss: Beyond the political rhetoric
In Austria, Schmidt will study archived journals to explore how the Anschluss impacted ordinary Austrians and push beyond the political rhetoric of the times.
“Most histories of the German annexation of Austria in 1938 have focused on important players and largely ignored ordinary Austrians,” Schmidt says. “I want to go beyond the Anschluss itself to view how the backgrounds of ordinary women shaped their impressions of Germany, Hitler, and the annexation of Austria.”
Schmidt, a German Language & Literature and History major, also wants to see first-hand if a career in teaching is right for him.
“I plan to use the Fulbright as a gauge to see how excited I really am about teaching history and politics,” he says. “Ultimately, I want to go to graduate school and be a history professor, but this will be the first real test to see if I’m on the right path.”
‘Invaluable experience’ in Taiwan
Fultz, an International Studies and Politics major, will use the Fulbright to add more depth to his teaching portfolio and international travels.
While in high school, Fultz studied abroad in Japan, an experience that helped him select Earlham for his undergraduate studies because of the College’s student body that is represented by nearly 80 countries.
“I’ve always had an interest in education and seeing the world,” Fultz says.
During his junior year at Earlham, Fultz studied abroad in Shanghai, China, and taught English at a migrant elementary school. Back on Earlham’s campus, Fultz’s work-study provided additional experiences at classrooms in Westview Elementary School, located about a mile away from campus.
“The experience I will have in Taiwan will be invaluable and I know that acclimating to life there won’t be too hard because of my time working in Shanghai,” he says. “I’m excited about getting to be a part of a school and the student’s lives for a whole year. I will get to truly engage in that community.”
Korea as a next adventure
Herbert says teaching is her “bread and butter,” even though she is a Japanese Studies major.
While at Earlham, Herbert has worked as a teaching assistant for the College’s International Programs Office and also off campus for AMIGOS where she taught English to a Korean woman as part of her responsibilities.
She was also a freelance English tutor through the College’s Japan Studies off-campus program at Waseda University in Tokyo.
“I loved every minute of it,” Herbert says. “So I knew after Earlham that I would be looking for a full-time job to teach and the Fulbright seemed like the best opportunity for me.”
Choosing to teach in South Korea though, she said, wasn’t an obvious choice.
“People always ask my why not apply for a Fulbright in Japan because that’s my thing,” Herbert says. “But I really like adventure, and I love crossing things off my bucket list.
“Since coming to College, I’ve been able to do so many exceptional things that I never thought I’d have the chance to do,” she says. “It’s like a wild roller coaster to me, and this new adventure really appealed to me.”
Step-mom’s influence, love of teaching inspires Thailand trip
Marshall has been fascinated with Thailand since he was 10.
“My stepmom is Thai and I spent a lot of time growing up around that culture,” Marshall says. “So when I was selected for a Fulbright to teach and experience living in Thailand for a year, I was incredibly excited.”
“I really see the Fulbright as another opportunity to expand my experience in education and will only serve to make me a better teach when I do finally have my own classroom,” he says.
Marshall, a History major while at Earlham, is now serving as a City Year Corps member in Milwaukee where he works with ninth-grade students. He plans to follow up his year in Thailand by applying to graduate school. His dream is to become a special education teacher.
From Detroit to Toronto: A comparative study
Endlich’s Fulbright project will build upon the research she did for her senior thesis while a Peace and Global Studies major at Earlham. That project looked at community-based urban agriculture projects in Detroit, where people and organizations are reclaiming land and repurposing it to grow food, with transformative effects.
“I am excited about the opportunity to delve into this research further in Toronto, a city that is emerging as a leader in the burgeoning urban agriculture movement,” Endlich says.
Endlich will study and work at the Black Creek Community Farm, while continuing her post-graduate studies at York University.
“Issues of food justice and security, economic inequality and environmental degradation are deeply complex and inextricably linked problems, and urban agriculture projects are just one of the many ways that communities around the world are responding to these issues,” she says. “I realized that a Fulbright grant could enable me to pursue research on a topic I care deeply about, while helping to fund further graduate study. That is a pretty unique opportunity.”
Apply for 2015 Fulbright grants
Students interested in applying for a Fulbright grant for the 2015-16 academic year should attend an informational session with Elana Passman at noon April 29.
The meeting takes place at the Center for Integrated Learning Commons on the first floor of the Landrum Bolling Center.
For more information, contact Passman at email@example.com.
— EC —
Earlham College, a national liberal arts college located in Richmond, Indiana, is a "College That Changes Lives." We expect our students to be fully present: to think rigorously, value directness and genuineness, and actively seek insights from differing perspectives. The values we practice at Earlham are rooted in centuries of Quaker tradition, but they also constitute the ideal toolkit for contemporary success. Earlham is one of only 40 national liberal arts colleges ranked among U.S. News and World Reports' "Great Schools at a Great Price."
Brian Zimmerman is director of media relations at Earlham College. He can be reached at (765) 983-1256 and firstname.lastname@example.org.