In October 2010 The Chronicle of Higher Education, the world’s leading news publication in academia, named Wittenberg one of the nation’s top producers of Fulbright Scholars among bachelor degree-granting institutions. The tradition continues again this year as one faculty member and two students prepare to study abroad on prestigious Fulbright awards.
Sponsored by the United States Department of State, the Fulbright Program is the largest U.S. international exchange program, offering opportunities for students, scholars, and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide. In the last 13 years, Wittenberg faculty have received 17 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Awards, and Lauren Crane, associate professor of psychology and chair of East Asian Studies, is the latest recipient. Joining her in earning Fulbrights this year are also two recent graduates, Amy Stamon ’13 and Craig Osterbrock ’13.
About the Scholars
When he wasn’t earning All-America honors on the golf course for the Wittenberg Tigers, Craig Osterbrock from Wilmington, Ohio, was making the most of the educational opportunities at Wittenberg.
After concluding his collegiate career with a North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Scholar-Athlete Award, given annually to the top male and female senior student-athlete at each member institution, Osterbrock will soon head to Brazil to spend a year as an English Teaching Assistant (ETA) through the United States Fulbright Commission.
Osterbrock has a unique opportunity to make a difference in Brazil, which is preparing to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. He was one of 120 American students who have been selected to serve as an ETA, working closely with Brazilian English language graduate students at one of the 59 federal universities in the South American nation.
“My function as an ETA is to contribute to the improvement of English education in Brazil as well as to promote U.S. culture,” said Osterbrock, an English major and Spanish minor. “I can pursue a course of study, participate in volunteer programs, or conduct research. My plan is to take Portuguese language classes in Brazil in order to prepare myself for graduate study in comparative literature, which is a discipline that demands proficiency in at least three languages.”
Stamon pursued a double major in English and Spanish at Wittenberg, in addition to a minor in women’s studies. She will pass her light on to others in the historic Spanish capital city of Madrid in September, when she will begin her teaching assignment at a high school as a Fulbright Scholar.
Stamon credits Wittenberg’s talented professors for supporting and encouraging her to pursue “big goals and aspirations.”
In her words, “They have seen gifts and talents in me that I might not have discovered on my own, and they have always challenged me to not only be an excellent student but also to be a global citizen and a person of integrity.”
Sponsored by the United States Department of State, the Fulbright Program is the largest U.S. international exchange program, offering opportunities for students, scholars, and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide.
Through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, Osterbrock and Stamon “will meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences,” according to its website. “The program facilitates cultural exchange through direct interaction on an individual basis in the classroom, field, home, and in routine tasks, allowing the grantee to gain an appreciation of others’ viewpoints and beliefs, the way they do things, and the way they think. Through engagement in the community, the individual will interact with their hosts on a one-to-one basis in an atmosphere of openness, academic integrity and intellectual freedom, thereby promoting mutual understanding.”
While Osterbrock and Stamon are just beginning their professional journey through the Fulbright program, Associate Professor of Psychology Lauren Shapiro Crane has earned a prestigious award to continue her groundbreaking research in India during the 2013-14 school year.
As a Fulbright Scholar, Crane will investigate “the possibility that attending a religious school rather than a secular one may have consequences for an adolescent’s developing self-concept,” according to her department announcement.