Four from Linfield earn Fulbright awards

Fulbright award winners 2017Three Linfield College seniors and an alumna have been selected to participate in upcoming experiences abroad after earning awards from the Fulbright Program.

Seniors Christopher Munjar of Banks, Mackenzie Fraser of Salem and Grant Cates of McMinnville, along with 2015 graduate Chandler Collins of Cleveland, Miss., will teach and conduct research abroad.

Munjar, a chemistry major, will conduct research in Vienna, Austria, this fall on the effect surfaces have on bacterial growth. He will also teach English to students at Austrian secondary schools and volunteer with local organizations, including FOOTPRINT, which empowers abused women by providing them with information about their legal rights and a support network. His plans after his return to the U.S. include earning his Ph.D. in organic chemistry, then teaching and researching at the university level.

Fraser, an English major, will teach English to youth in Costa Rica. She will also volunteer with local groups, supporting domestic and sexual violence survivors and their families. After returning to the U.S., she plans to pursue a master’s degree in women, gender and sexuality studies at Oregon State University.

Cates, a physics and mathematics major, will research and mentor in Stuttgart, Germany. His area of study is ferroelectricity, spontaneous electric polarization that can be reversed by the application of an external electric field. A former ASPIRE volunteer, Cates will also mentor students at Stuttgart University who want to study in the United States. When he isn’t researching and mentoring, he hopes to join a vocal group at the university.

Collins, who studied Spanish and psychology at Linfield, will teach English in Madrid, Spain. Originally from Beaverton, Collins began her teaching career through Teach For America in Mississippi shortly after graduating from Linfield. She has been a Spanish teacher in the Sunflower County School District in Indianola, Miss., for two years. She plans to incorporate cross-cultural lessons from her Fulbright experience in the classroom after her return to the U.S. Ultimately, she hopes to earn a master’s in counseling, focused on working with at-risk youth.

Munjar, Fraser, Cates and Collins are four of more than 1,900 U.S. citizens who will study, conduct research and teach abroad for the 2017-18 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. The program promotes mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. Recipients of Fulbright grants 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 140 countries worldwide.