Germany and Taiwan soon will become the new home addresses for three Lawrence University seniors awarded Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarships.
Amanda Barrow, a double major in music and Chinese language and literature from Savannah, Ga., and Elise Mozena, an English major from Iowa City, Iowa, will travel to Kaohsiung, Taiwan and the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, respectively, as English-as-a-foreign-language instructors and unofficial goodwill ambassadors.
Katelin Richter, of Watertown, Minn., who will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in German and a bachelor of music degree in oboe performance, also will travel to Germany, where she will begin an orchestra management master’s program at a university in either Frankfurt or Munich.
All three students will be initiated June 9 into Lawrence’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest honorary society in America, which awards membership to seniors who have demonstrated superior scholarship.
14 Lawrence Fulbright Winners in Last Five Years
Since 2008, 14 Lawrence seniors have been awarded teaching or research scholarships through the Fulbright Program. The flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, it is designed to increase mutual understanding between Americans and peoples of other countries. Fulbright recipients are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.
“We are very excited about the Fulbright awards,” said Provost and Dean of the Faculty David Burrows. “The recipients have done excellent work at Lawrence. They are intelligent, thoughtful persons who are embarking on a commitment to being citizens of the world, engaged in effective and ethical action.”
Barrow, a self-proclaimed language lover, studied Spanish throughout high school, but upon arriving at Lawrence, wanted to try something completely new, which turned out to be Chinese.
She spent six months in Beijing in 2010 at the Minzu University of China on a study-abroad program and returned to China last summer for two months as part of a small field studies program that traveled to rural communities throughout the country setting up camps to teach English and music. The 12-month-long Fulbright appointment will be her first trip to Taiwan and, much to her delight, will take her to the country’s second-largest city, where she will be assigned to either an elementary or middle school.
“I was interested in being part of a large community and all the opportunities that are available in an urban area. I really enjoy the large-city environment,” said Barrow, who plays the flute. “I’m hoping to get involved in the school’s music curriculum and combine my language and music skills, something I haven’t had a chance to do much yet. I’m looking forward to seeing if teaching is what I really want to do. This will be a great opportunity to find out.”
Mozena spent four months as a 17-year-year-old au pair near Frankfurt, Germany in 2007. Tutoring six-and eight-year-old brothers on the basics of English were among her duties. She’s still waiting for confirmation as to what level of students she’ll be teaching on her 10-month Fulbright position, with possibilities ranging from fifth grade through high school.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge of teaching and living on my own in a foreign country,” said Mozena. “I fell in love with the German people and German culture when I was there five years ago and am excited about returning and re-immersing myself in all things German.”
Exploring opportunities to feed her interests in theater, either in her eventual school’s theater program or possibly in a local community theater, will be high on Mozena’s priority list once she arrives in Germany.
Job or Scholarship?
Richter already had a good job offer from a national company when news of her Fulbright study/research grant arrived, presenting a tough decision. The choice became easier after Deloitte agreed to hold its consulting job offer in Washington, D.C., until she returns in 2013.
During the 11-month grant period, Richter will pursue research on financial innovation in the nonprofit symphony orchestra sector in Germany, with a focus on strategies potentially adoptable for American orchestras.
“I’m interested in orchestra management and today symphonies across the world are facing structural financial challenges,” said Richter. “Germany has a long cultural history of orchestras, which presents a unique environment in which to do my research. German orchestras in general receive more state support than American orchestras, but state support there is becoming less certain. I’m interested in investigating how German orchestras are meeting current financial challenges and whether there might be the opportunity to synthesize cross-cultural knowledge of benefit to orchestras both in the U.S. and abroad.”
Richter, an oboist in the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra, is no stranger to Germany. In addition to visiting relatives there, she spent the summer of 2010 on a Lawrence-sponsored internship, helping to promote a statewide, 120-concert classical music festival. She returned to Germany last summer on an internship through the U.S. State Department, working in the Political-Economics Section of the U.S. Consulate in Munich.
Since its establishment in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided approximately 300,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in government, science, the arts, business, philanthropy, education, and athletics. Forty Fulbright alumni from 11 countries have been awarded the Nobel Prize, and 75 alumni have received Pulitzer Prizes.
Lawrence University, "Three Lawrence University Seniors Awarded U.S. Fulbright Scholarships for Teaching, Research Programs" (2012). Press Releases. Paper 202.