Six Fulbrights tie record set in 2008
June 21, 2012 By Diane Johnson
Fellowships or Fulbright-recommended teaching assistantships
in France this year. Above, Brian Klosterboer ’12 (left), Maria
Lohr ’12 and Jim Ransdell ’12, winners of Fulbright Fellowships.
William Wayne Bowles ’10 will be teaching English in Taiwan
and conducting research into international trade for his
Fulbright year. “For a boy who grew up in Western Kentucky,
opportunities [to experience ways of life in other places] make
me realize how blessed I am,” he says.
Five Centre students and one recent graduate won Fulbright Fellowships or Fulbright-recommended teaching assistantships in France, tying the record set in 2008.
William Wayne Bowles ’10 went by “Wayne” as a student, but hopes that one day he will be addressed as “ambassador.” For his Fulbright year, he will be teaching English in Taiwan and conducting research into international trade.
A history and international relations major from Sturgis, Ky., he embraced study abroad, spending a January CentreTerm in India and a fall term in Shanghai. But it was his summer working for the American Embassy in Riga, Latvia, that most influenced his career goals. In the short term, he hopes to be a trade consultant helping small- to mid-sized businesses enter the global market.
He has spent the last two years teaching seventh- and eighth-grade science Uniontown, Ala., as a Teach For America volunteer and starting a track team that made it to the state tournament in only its second year.
“For a boy who grew up in a small Western Kentucky town, and became the first person in my immediate family to graduate from college, opportunities [to experience ways of life in other places] make me realize how truly blessed I am,” he says. “Without Centre College, many of these opportunities would remain far out of my grasp.”
Brian Klosterboer ’12 of Round Rock, Texas, will be in Kampala, Uganda, taking classes at Makerere University and working on a project titled “Peace and Conflict through the Lens of the Ugandan Media.”
“I am especially interested in the intersection between China and Africa, since China is now the largest investor in Africa,” he says. He has already spent time on both continents: a fall term in Shanghai and CentreTerm in Cameroon.
A history major, Klosterboer wrote a John C. Young honors paper on violence and transitional justice in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and presented a draft of the paper at the African Studies Association Conference last year.
“Since Uganda borders the Congo, their conflicts are interrelated,” he notes. “Although I would love to visit or do research in the D.R.C., it is very difficult to get a Fulbright there since violence remains ongoing.”
Besides, he adds, in Uganda, most scholars speak English.
Klosterboer deferred his acceptance to Harvard Law School for his Fulbright year, but eventually hopes to become a public interest attorney, working to expand “the human rights and civil liberties of marginalized groups in the U.S. and abroad,” he says.
Jim Ransdell ’12, an East Asian studies major from Louisville, will return to Japan, where he previously spent a semester as a sophomore at Centre’s program at Yamaguchi Prefectural University as well as an additional month doing research on his own.
“I plan on interviewing Japanese aid workers who have returned from Africa to see how they regard their volunteer experiences and Japan's larger mission abroad,” he says. “Unlike America, which has large databases detailing the experiences of, for example, Peace Corps volunteers, little is known or available regarding Japan's efforts, which is somewhat problematic since Japan's national aid organization is actually the largest bilateral development agency in the world.”
This summer he is helping recently retired Centre historian Richard Bradshaw edit a book on Japanese-African relations in the pre-World War II period. After his Fulbright year, Ransdell plans to earn a law degree and either a master’s or Ph.D. in East Asian studies in preparation for a career in international law or university teaching.
Harry Chalmers ’12 and Nathaniel Spears ’12 both received Fulbright-recommended teaching assistantships in France. A philosophy major from Murfreesboro, Tenn., Chalmers will be in the Nantes region.
Spears, an English major from Lexington, Ky., will be in Lille.
A Spanish major from Louisville, Maria Lohr ’12 received a Fulbright to teach English in Andorra (between Spain and France), but turned it down to work in healthcare in Canada prior to studying to be a nurse practitioner. Internships at the Hope Clinic in Danville for those below the poverty line and at a public hospital in Merida, Mexico, convinced her that her calling was to provides medical services, particularly for Hispanic populations who do not speak much English.
“When I am not working,” she adds, “I want to travel as much as possible, ideally visiting every continent before I reach the age of 30.”
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Centre College, founded in 1819 and chosen to host its second Vice Presidential Debate in 2012, is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges, at 42nd in the nation, and ranks 27th for best value among national liberal arts colleges. Forbes magazine ranks Centre 34th among all the nation’s colleges and universities and has named Centre in the top five among all institutions of higher education in the South for three years in a row. Centre is also ranked fourth in the nation by U.S. News for its study abroad program. For more, click here.