Three seniors have earned Fulbright Scholarships, which provide funding for study or teaching abroad for one year to promote cross-cultural interaction and increase mutual understanding between people of the U.S. and other countries through educational and cultural exchange. Three others have been awarded Austrian Government Teaching Assistantships, under the auspices of the Austrian-American Fulbright Commission.
Laura Armstrong ‘12 • Costa Rica
In addition to pursuing a history major and teaching minor at Bowdoin, Armstrong has gained experience working with children by volunteering in various elementary and middle school classrooms and leading teen bicycle tours. She has been an active member of the Outing Club and dedicated her energy to women’s issues through her involvement with Speak About It and the Vagina Monologues, and by serving as the student director of the Women’s Resource Center.
In Costa Rica, Armstrong will draw upon all these experiences. She will teach English part-time and hopes to volunteer with at least two types of organizations — one focused on women’s issues and a second aimed at promoting sustainable business or conservation. Armstrong is also eager to learn more about Costa Rican public art. After her Fulbright experience, she plans to complete her teaching certificate in high school social studies through Bowdoin’s Teacher Scholars Program and says she would one day love to use her Spanish language skills teaching in a bilingual school.
Eli Garrard ’12 • Argentina
Having been a recipient of Bowdoin’s Surdna Fellowship, Grua/O’Connell Fellowship and Latin American Studies Grant, Garrard will graduate with a double major in Spanish and Latin American studies and a minor in film studies. He first became interested in language teaching while studying abroad in Buenos Aires, where he worked as an English tutor with adult members of the Kolla indigenous community. Since then, Garrard has worked on campus through the Center for Learning and Teaching as a tutor of both Spanish and English, as well as volunteering as an ESL classroom assistant at Portland Adult Education.
Growing up Seattle, Garrard performed alone and with his family at both national and international storytelling festivals. Currently, he is making use of his drawing and storytelling skills to create a graphic novel based on his family’s history. While in Argentina with the Fulbright, in addition to teaching English, he plans to involve local children in a community art project, teaching them to tell personal and family stories through the medium of comics. He also hopes to organize an oral history project to record the stories of community members and older citizens in particular. Upon completing his Fulbright, Garrard intends to continue teaching English in the U.S. and abroad, possibly as a member of the Peace Corps. In future, he expects to pursue an advanced degree in teaching English to speakers of other languages or Spanish.
Daniel Jeong ’12 • Korea
At Bowdoin, Jeong has pursued a double major in sociology and government and legal studies. Originally from New York City, his early love of music followed him to Bowdoin where he joined and held leadership positions with the campus a cappella group BOKA. Since his sophomore year, Jeong has also been a varsity diver for the swimming and diving team.
Jeong was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to teach English part-time to secondary students in Korea, where he would also like to join a local music group to learn about Korean music and undertake a small independent study examining delinquency among students. Following his Fulbright experience, Jeong is looking forward to graduate study in education and sociology.
Additionally, three seniors have been awarded Austrian Government Teaching Assistantships, under the auspices of the Austrian-American Fulbright Commission.
Zac Crawford ’12
Originally from New Orleans, Crawford is double-majoring in German and government and legal studies at Bowdoin. His strong interest in helping underserved populations has led him to intern at the Public Defenders Service in Washington, D.C., and in the office of U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, D-La., to volunteer for the Volunteer Lawyers Project, and to participate in the Common Good Grant Committee and Amnesty International.
During his teaching assistantship, Crawford will live in St. Pölten, a small town about an hour outside Vienna, and teach English to students in grades 5-13. Given his interest in government, Crawford also plans to intern with a political group or to start a blog for Americans about Austrian politics. Drawing upon his experience with the Outing Club, Crawford is looking forward to making the most of the St. Pölten’s outdoor culture in his free time. In particular, he’s hoping to start a backpacking or biking club and may even train for St. Pölten’s annual triathlon. Currently a teaching assistant for the German Department, Crawford’s future plans include teaching German at the high school level, participating in Teach for America and pursuing a master’s degree in German.
Derek Brooks ’12
Brooks is earning a degree in government and legal studies with a minor in German. He has been involved in the Bowdoin community in a number of ways, including serving as President of the Bowdoin Student Government this past year and acting in a variety of theater roles with both the Theater Department and Masque and Gown.
In keeping with his experiences at Bowdoin and given his French and German language skills, Brooks envisions joining the Foreign Service and pursuing graduate study focused on international relations or European history leading to a college-level teaching career. Brooks’ Austrian Government Teaching Assistantship will take him to Vienna where he will teach English and American culture, and work with an international refugee association. In his spare time he is looking forward to hiking the Austrian portion of the Way of St. James, or Jakobsweg.
Nicholas Powell ’12
A German major and philosophy minor from New Hampshire, Powell is looking forward to spending a year in in the small western Austria town of Rankweil, where he will teach English part-time to students in grades 5-13. A member of the Bowdoin men’s varsity soccer team, Powell is eager to play soccer in Austria as well as ski and hike the Alps.
He also plans to travel extensively throughout the country, to his former home city of St. Gallen, Switzerland, and to visit family in Germany. His evolving long-term goals may include using his German language skills in a workplace in Europe or the U.S.
The Fulbright program was created in 1946 through the efforts of Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright and sponsored by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Operating worldwide, the Fulbright Program provides funds for students, scholars and professionals to undertake graduate study, advanced research, university teaching and teaching in elementary and secondary schools abroad. Proposals were evaluated based upon the extent to which the candidates and the project might help advance the program’s aim.