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Six seniors set Lewis & Clark Fulbright record

May 27, 2008

  • News Image
    Ian Hooper
  • News Image
    Katie Loebner
  • News Image
    Matt Nelson
  • News Image
    Brandon Nichter
  • News Image
    Kate Phillips
  • News Image
    Katherine Spingarn

(Portland, Ore.)—In an unprecedented achievement for Lewis & Clark students, six seniors earned prestigious honors from the Fulbright Program this spring. The awards include five international teaching assistantship positions and one research grant, which the students will complete in communities in Thailand, Russia, Germany, Indonesia, and Chile. Though the recipients represent diverse academic programs and interests, they share a commitment to international education and engagement.

Established in 1946, the Fulbright Program offers educational and cultural exchange opportunities to both U.S. citizens and citizens of other nations. Operating in more than 155 countries, it is the largest U.S. international exchange program for students, scholars, and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide. Twenty Lewis & Clark students have received Fulbright awards in the past ten years.

Read about Lewis & Clark’s 2008 Fulbright recipients: Ian Hooper, Katie Loebner, Matthew Nelson, Brandon Nichter, Kate Phillips, and Katherine Spingarn.

Ian Hooper

Hometown:

Gig Harbor, Washington

Majors:

International Affairs and German Studies

Award:

Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Germany

Previous experience abroad:

Studied abroad junior year, in Munich, Germany

Preparing for his Fulbright work:

“As a double major in international affairs and German studies, I have obtained insight into the political and cultural relations between the United States and Germany and will be using my knowledge of German and American politics to reinforce my teaching of American culture and the English language to German students next year.

“As a German tutor for Lewis & Clark and a member of the International Affairs Symposium Steering Committee, I am used to working with peers and facilitating knowledge and ideas in group and peer-to-peer settings.”

Plans for the future:

“I plan to get involved with a multinational corporation, working between Germany and the United States. A new passion of mine, cultivated last year while working in the German Parliament in Berlin for a renewable energies politician, is international environmental policy and sustainable development. I would very much welcome the opportunity to get involved with a national or international environmental organization and work to influence environmental policy in the United States.”

Katie Loebner

Hometown:

Los Altos, California

Major:

Communication

Award:

Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Indonesia, where she will teach at the high school level

Previous experiences abroad:

Participated in the “North India: Arts and Culture” program with the School for International Training study abroad program, during fall of her junior year

Preparing for her Fulbright work:

“I have worked in ESL classrooms, art programs, outdoor education camps, and after-school women’s empowerment groups through Girls Inc., and while my new position is sure to have unique challenges, I hope that my youth work experiences have provided me with a tool belt of skills to draw upon. Working with immigrant communities during past jobs, as well as being immersed in a different culture while studying abroad, had me confronting cultural differences daily. Those cross-cultural interactions are inherent when taking part in international education, and I am eager to approach them with sensitivity and curiosity.”

Plans for the future:

“I feel honored to have this opportunity to continue my youth work, have my first formal classroom teaching experience, and take part in a reciprocal cultural exchange with the students and community I will be working and living with.”

Matthew Nelson

Hometown:

Norman, Oklahoma

Major:

Foreign Languages and Literature, with a concentration in Russian

Award:

Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Novosibirsk, Russia, where he’ll work at the Academy for Government Affairs, teaching English language classes, designing curriculum, and undertaking independent research on the role of public education in promoting and preserving minority languages in Russia

Previous experience abroad:

Studied in St. Petersburg, Russia during fall of his junior year

Preparing for his Fulbright work:

“I think that, more than anything, my foreign languages major at Lewis & Clark has prepared me for this work by familiarizing me with the language acquisition process and giving me many good examples of successful approaches to teaching a foreign language.”

Plans for the future:

“I would like to eventually go to graduate school, although it’s impossible to say for sure what I would like to study. Recently, my intellectual interests have been leading me toward the study of linguistics, especially the intersection of language and culture, society, and politics.

“I would also like to spend some time teaching in the public school system in order to use the tools and knowledge I have received through my education to benefit people outside of the college community.”

Brandon Nichter

Hometown:

Tucson, Arizona

Major:

Psychology, with an emphasis in developmental psychopathology

Award:

Fulbright Research Grant, which will take him to Santiago, Chile to study adolescent smoking and get involved in community- and school-based projects to curb smoking among Chilean youth

Previous experiences abroad:

Studied in Mérida, Venezuela the summer before junior year and in Granada, Spain fall of his junior year

Preparing for his Fulbright work:

“As a psychology major, I have taken courses involving aspects of child development, substance abuse, and risk factors that lead to addiction. My hope is that I will be able to apply concepts I have learned at Lewis & Clark about social cognition formation, individual differences, and psychological risk factors to contribute insights on why teens begin to smoke so early in Chile, and why the majority continue to smoke the entirety of their lives.”

Plans for the future:

“This research opportunity comes at an ideal time in my academic career. In the year following my project in Chile, I will be applying to graduate school for a PhD in Clinical Psychology. Because youth decisions to start smoking are highly related to psychosocial factors, conducting this research will have a profound impact on my ability to understand the underlying psychological mechanisms that affect the human decision making process, therefore enabling me to be a better researcher and clinical psychologist.”

Kate Phillips

Hometown:

Seattle, Washington

Major:

Sociology/Anthropology

Award:

Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in an area outside of Bangkok, Thailand, teaching conversational English to middle school and high school students

Previous experience abroad:

Studied in Australia in the spring of her junior year

Preparing for her Fulbright work:

“I think that my Sociology/Anthropology major has strengthened and developed my abilities to work with people and issues all over the world. Also, participating in community service at Lewis & Clark, and in the greater Portland area, has given me the opportunity to put my social awareness and drive into action. This will be a great and valuable tool in my future work with students and communities in Thailand.”

Plans for the future:

“I am very excited to challenge myself and my teaching abilities through the Fulbright experience. One of the underlying goals of the Fulbright program is to create and maintain bridges and connections between cultures. When I return, I plan to continue these connections and experiences by teaching elementary or middle school.”

Katherine Spingarn

Hometown:

Alamo, California

Majors:

History and German Studies

Award:

Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Saxony, Germany, where she will teach English language and American culture classes for students aged 12-18

Previous experience abroad:

Studied abroad junior year, in Munich, Germany

Preparing for her Fulbright work:

“I think that all classes at Lewis & Clark encourage students to examine and broaden their understanding of the world. My experiences in Munich, and in classes such as gender studies, history, and German, have taught me the importance of discussion in this process. I will be going to Germany to help facilitate a dialogue about the United States with teenagers studying the English language and American culture.

“My own experiences learning about Germany at Lewis & Clark and in Munich will be an important asset when explaining, in a relevant way, what life can be like in the United States. Professor Dodds and Professor Altpeter-Jones, as well as my friends in Munich, made clear the importance of highlighting different experiences and backgrounds when I began learning about Germany; a thirty year-old from East Berlin and a Turkish teenager living in Munich provide vastly different examples but equally important perspectives on life in Germany. I will do my best to provide my students with diverse examples of American experiences.”

Plans for the future:

“I plan to attend graduate school and pursue a career in public history. I hope to eventually work with German-language historical materials in archives, museums, or libraries. Institutions such as museums and archives often offer curriculum and programs aimed at educators that utilize the documents and artifacts found in their collections. My Fulbright experience will improve my language skills, but will also give me experience working with teachers and the development of curriculum.”

For more information about the Fulbright Program at Lewis & Clark, contact Associate Professor of Anthropology and Fulbright Program Adviser Deborah Heath: heath@lclark.edu.

For more information:

Emily Miller
Public Relations Coordiator
503-768-7960
emilymiller@lclark.edu