Three Seniors Honored With Fulbright Awards
by Emily Price BA ’18
For many years, Lewis & Clark has been a top producer of Fulbright winners. Established in 1946, the Fulbright Program fosters mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges.This year, three graduates will teach English in countries around the world, continuing Lewis & Clark’s stellar record of international engagement.
I am so thankful to Lewis & Clark for creating such an excellent study abroad experience, as my time in Munich turned out to be the best and most challenging part of my college career.Caia JaisleBA ’18
Kelley Koeppen BA ’18, from Kirkland, WA, will serve as an English Teaching Assistant in an upper-grade classroom in Malaysia, a position she welcomes as an opportunity to gain experience working as an educator. A chemistry major, she credits her experience on Lewis & Clark’s overseas program in Cuenca, Ecuador with inspiring her to apply to the Fulbright program in the first place.
“My study abroad experience had a huge impact on how I see myself as a citizen in this world,” Koeppen said. “It was a very rewarding experience living with a host family, volunteering on a farm, and living in a new culture. My experience as a whole made me realize that growth comes from challenging yourself to be a better and more informed citizen, and being open to new and different ideas.”
Bradley Davis BA ’18, who came to Lewis & Clark from Fairfield, CA, also sees his overseas study experience as a major factor in his win. A political science major, he will be returning to Morocco as an English Teaching Assistant, concentrating on teaching writing skills, English literature, and American culture.
“My interest in the program began while I was studying abroad,” Davis said. “I loved Morocco and the people I met there, so I was looking for any opportunity to return. Lewis & Clark’s Arabic language classes, and eventually the Middle East and North Africa studies minor, pushed me to further pursue my interest in the Islamic world. Without the support of teachers in these programs, I would neither have the Fulbright nor be prepared for life after graduation.”
Caia Jaisle BA ’18, from Encinitas, CA, will also serve as an English Teaching Assistant, in her case in Niedersachsen, Germany. A German studies major, she first heard about the program while studying on Lewis & Clark’s yearlong program in Munich. Since much of her family is from Southern Germany, she jumped at the opportunity to get closer to her roots after graduation.
“I am so thankful to Lewis & Clark for creating such an excellent study abroad experience, as my time in Munich turned out to be the best and most challenging part of my college career,” said Jaisle. “While abroad in Munich, I felt a greater responsibility toward critical thinking and global engagement as a representative of the United States in a foreign country. This pushed me to ask more questions, participate in more discussions, and create more international friendships with people from various cultures.”
All of this year’s winners see the Fulbright program as integral toward their future careers.
“My experiences in Germany thus far have strengthened my convictions and inspired me to challenge myself and to pursue a career in teaching,” said Jaisle, who minored in English. “Participating in the Fulbright program will enable me to improve my language skills, allow me to better understand pieces of my own family narrative, and help me gain a greater global understanding.”
Davis hopes the experience will prepare him to enter graduate study and help him explore his research interests in medieval Islamic philosophy.
“The Fulbright is the perfect next step for me,” he said. “I want to become a professor, and the classroom time this award allows me will be invaluable experience for graduate school and further teaching. I can’t wait to return to Morocco and apply the skills I’ve developed at Lewis & Clark to teaching for Fulbright.”