Citizens of the World
This year, 10 Puget Sound students were selected as semi-finalists for the highly competitive Fulbright U.S. Student program, more than in any previous year. We talked to some of the Loggers who are hoping to perform research or teach English as 2021 Fulbright grant recipients.
Maggie Hatt ’21, semi-finalist
Economics major, mathematics minor
Maggie Hatt applied to the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant program with the goal of teaching in a secondary school in the small European country of Andorra, planning to use hands-on activities like playing board games and producing a school newspaper to ground her students in practical language usage.
“I chose to apply to the Fulbright program because it is a chance to combine language learning with teaching and furthering my ability to collaborate with students in a completely new sociocultural context,” Hatt said. “One of the reasons I wanted to work in Andorra is because of the coexistence of the Andorran, French, and Spanish languages and educational systems. I am excited to see, firsthand, the dichotomy and cooperation between the three systems.”
Emma Weirich ’20, semi-finalist
International political economy (IPE) and economics double major
Fascinated by foreign direct investment and the ways multinational corporations influence policy in the countries where they operate, Emma Weirich applied to the Fulbright program in the hopes of conducting an ethnographic study focusing on foreign investment in Zambia's mining industry, where copper is the main export and foreign companies control most of the mines.
“I chose Zambia because my IPE thesis used Zambia as a case study to research how China's changing foreign policy affected different African nations. While I focused on China in my thesis, I want to expand my research,” Weirich said. “You learn more and open more opportunities to learn by residing in the nation, rather than just reading about it. So, Fulbright is a perfect opportunity to temporarily engross myself in another culture and learn through experience.”
Samantha Lilly ’19, finalist
Philosophy major, bioethics emphasis
A previous Thomas J. Watson Fellowship gave Samantha Lilly the opportunity to study Argentina’s mental health care system. Unfortunately, the Watson research trip was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, Lilly was awarded the grant to return to Argentina and pick up the research.
“I chose Argentina because I developed a profound love and appreciation for Porteño culture. It is effervescent, it is progressive, and it inspired me,” Lilly said. “I suppose in the same way I was certain the Watson was right for me, I knew a Fulbright was what I was meant to do next. Not to mention, I felt I had unfinished business in Buenos Aires—I love the city and I love Castellano [Argentina’s Spanish dialect], and I knew that I was meant to return from the moment I left.”
Malcolm Willig ’21, finalist
Chinese major, education studies minor
After spending a semester studying in Taiwan, Malcolm Willig was looking for an opportunity to return and immerse himself in the culture. He hopes to be selected to teach English to middle school students while also strengthening his own Chinese language skills.
“I chose to apply to the Fulbright program because I appreciate its mission of fostering mutual understanding between members of the host country and the grantee,” Willig said. “I’m also interested in the transformations underway in Taiwan’s educational system, and I’d like to further understand those developments.”
Carly Cashen ’21, semi-finalist
Business Leadership Program and German studies double major
Early in her academic career, Carly Cashen struggled with school. Through the efforts of dedicated teachers, she was able to overcome her obstacles and succeed. Now, she wants to give back as a Fulbright-sponsored English teacher in Germany, where she can support students through cross-cultural engagement.
“Learning German at Puget Sound transformed my understanding of my identity and culture, and taught me compassion and flexibility. As I begin my path to becoming an educator, this mindset has influenced the way I work with students,” Cashen said. “I’m excited to learn how to be a better advocate for students as they experience new cultural situations and expand their understanding of the world and themselves.”
Amy Colliver ’20, finalist
Politics and government major
During a visit to India as part of a study abroad experience in 2018, Amy Colliver was inspired by food sovereignty activists seeking to promote local food production as a means of decolonization and lifting communities out of poverty. Colliver’s research would focus on how well-run food sovereignty programs intersect with gender justice issues.
“I was able to conduct several independent research projects during my time at Puget Sound, and I found the research process extremely rewarding,” Colliver said. “I’m interested in how these programs have the potential to empower women, who are the backbone of the agricultural industry in India, and to provide sustainable solutions to areas experiencing impacts of the climate crisis.”
Zoe Welch ’21, finalist
International political economy (IPE) and German studies double major
During a study abroad program in Munich, Germany, Zoe Welch helped lead a Bavarian model government with high school students—and loved every minute of it. She was surprised to learn how much German students wanted to learn English and how they integrate it seamlessly with their own language to create a hybrid vernacular. With the Fulbright, Welch plans to continue exploring Germany’s culture and role in European politics as an English instructor.
“I picked up German as a hobby in high school and was mostly self-taught for two years, but as soon as I got to study it on an academic level my interest in it immediately kicked up from a hobby to a passion,” Welch said. “Not only do I absolutely love the language and culture, I have also been able to explore Germany's role within the EU as an IPE major, which has become my pet interest and academic niche. For someone who's interested in Europe as a political region, there's nowhere better to be. (Plus, I really do just love the U-Bahn. What a great system of public transportation.)”
By Jonny Eberle
Photos courtesy of students
Published April 8, 2021