Three receive Fulbright nods

Two Linfield College students and one alumnus have been selected for upcoming experiences abroad through the Fulbright Program.

Christopher Norman of Bellevue, Wash., a 2010 Linfield graduate, and senior Gregory Larson (pictured left) of Oregon City, have both earned Fulbright scholarships, and sophomore Clara Martinez of Monroe, Wash., has been named a summer institute participant.

Norman, who earned a degree in political science with a minor in German at Linfield, will teach English to students in Germany. He hopes to promote constructive dialogue about the United States with his students. He spent a semester studying at the Austro-American Institute of Education and Universität Wien, where his love for the German-speaking world grew. During his time at Linfield, he served as Associated Students of Linfield College vice president and senator for the German Club. He was also involved in Model United Nations and participated on the Linfield College Board of Trustees.

Norman is eager to begin his English teaching assistant position. In his application essay he wrote, “the skills and cultural awareness I gained from learning another language are irreplaceable and have spurred my desire to educate German students about the United States while I teach English.”

Upon his return to the states, Norman will join the Teach for America program, after which he plans to attend graduate school and pursue a career in education or education policy.

Larson, who will earn a degree in English during Linfield commencement exercises May 27, will teach English to students in the Dominican Republic. The teaching assistantship will combine his passion for learning with a talent for leading, and help him to further develop his understanding of different cultures. At Linfield, he served as student director of the Writing Center and was involved in the Literary Arts Club, Linfield Mentoring Program and KSLC, the student-run radio station. His passion for the Spanish language became clear when, to complete his Spanish minor, he studied abroad in both Costa Rica and Mexico.

“Throughout college, my professors have allowed me numerous opportunities to lead discussion in classrooms,” said Larson. “The more I get to experience, the more I understand my calling to be an educator.”

Upon his return to the states, Larson plans to pursue teaching certification and graduate studies in English literature. He hopes to one day become a university professor while coaching basketball and slam poetry.

Martinez (pictured right) has been selected as a Fulbright Summer Institute participant. She will spend six weeks in the U.K. at Cardiff University, Bangor University and Aberystwyth University studying the contemporary industry, politics and culture of Wales.

Martinez, a political science and communication arts major, is interested in education policy, specifically the current controversy in Wales on whether or not the Welsh language is being preserved while English is taught in schools. Her interest on the subject was sparked by her own cultural identity struggle.

“I wish I could identify more with my Hispanic heritage,” Martinez said. “Although I can speak Spanish, I cannot read or write the language and it has always been something I’ve struggled with.”

Martinez hopes to gain insights into how cultural identities are formed, understood and preserved in Wales. She plans to incorporate her first-hand research into an eventual senior thesis at Linfield.

Martinez serves as the secretary of the Associated Students at Linfield. As a competitor for the Linfield College Forensics Program, she has won numerous debate and speech awards. After Linfield, she hopes to attend law school.

The U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission is the only bi-lateral, transatlantic scholarship program, offering awards and summer program for study or research in any field, at any accredited U.S. or U.K. university. The Commission is part of the Fulbright program. Award recipients and summer program participants will be the future leaders for tomorrow.

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 155 countries worldwide. Linfield was named a top producer of Fulbright awards for bachelor’s institutions in 2006 and 2010.