J. William Fulbright, a former U.S. senator from Arkansas, created the Fulbright Program in 1945 to provide opportunities for graduates with four year college degrees to strengthen the connection between the United States and other countries. It is estimated that over 300,000 scholars have participated since the program began, traveling to over 150 countries worldwide.
Wheaton has a proud and successful history of Fulbright Scholars. Last year, nine Wheaton students were awarded Fulbright Scholarships, and this year three more have been added to the list: Lindsay Powell ’13, Lucy Cayard ’13 and Lindsay Cieslik ’13. All three seniors will be traveling abroad to both share and experience culture in their respective sites by teaching English and forging stronger channels of communication between the United States and the world abroad.
Powell, Student Government Association President on the Wheaton campus, will be traveling to Malaysia to teach English in Malaysian schools.
“I chose Malaysia because I am interested in the multicultural and multiethnic society,” said Powell. “I also wanted to be a part of a Fulbright program that taught at the middle school/high school level and to have the opportunity to really engage with Malaysian youths.”
Powell said that with the opportunity to connect with students comes an opportunity for travel abroad. Powell has traveled frequently since first coming to Wheaton and looks forward to being on the road again soon.
Cieslik will also be spending next year in Malaysia as a teaching assistant for English classes.
“I’m looking forward to learning about a new culture and [experiencing] a new part of the world,” she said, adding that she wants to be pushed out of her comfort zone.
Both Powell and Cieslik mentioned the importance of communication outside of the United States. Cieslik stressed that communication is a key aspect, particularly in today’s globalized society.
“Teaching English is a way to improve global communication so there is an easy way for ideas to be exchanged,” said Cieslik.
Cayard will travel to Germany, where she will teach high school English. In stressing the importance of representing the United States abroad, Cayard said, “the aspect of the Fulbright program that I really like and find incredibly important . . . is its focus on forging stronger international relations among countries.”
Germany has grown in personal importance for Cayard, who has connections through family and time spent abroad in the country. She has a positive message for those considering applying for Fulbright Scholarships in the future: “I am incredibly fortunate to be on the track [that I am on]. And I can only say to anyone else interested in this grant, and in general: trust yourself to be great.”