Recent Linfield alumna receives Fulbright Award

Karina Mejia portrait with dogKarina Mejia, a recent Linfield graduate, has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award for the 2021-22 academic year. Mejia earned her degree in creative writing with a minor in political science in 2020. She received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, which will send her to Spain from September 2021 to June 2022 to serve as an English teaching assistant.

“Spain has many connections with my motherland, Mexico, so I have always been curious about the similarities and differences between the two,” Mejia said. “I learned about the country’s liveliness and vibrancy through Ernest Hemingway’s ’The Sun Also Rises’ and have wanted to immerse myself in the culture firsthand since. What better way to do that than by living and working in Asturias through Fulbright?”

Mejia, originally from Long Beach, Calif., is one of over 2,100 U.S. citizens who will study, conduct research, and teach abroad for the 2021-22 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected in an open, merit-based competition that considers leadership potential, academic and professional achievement, and record of service.

Linfield’s Director of Competitive Scholarships Tom Mertes said that Mejia possesses all the skills to find success in the role.

“Through hard work, she became a talented writer and student leader,” he said. “These qualities intersect very closely with Fulbright’s goals to bridge cultures by supporting scholars to host countries who demonstrate the diversity of US culture and its talented citizens. Her passion for creative writing, books and music are assets that will make a great representative of the U.S.”

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to forge lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, counter misunderstandings, and help people and nations work together toward common goals. Since its establishment in 1946, the Fulbright Program has enabled more than 390,000 dedicated and accomplished students, scholars, artists, teachers, and professionals of all backgrounds to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and find solutions to shared international concerns.

“Linfield has a strong commitment to internationalizing our students’ perspectives on our world,” Mertes said. “There are many reasons for this commitment that parallel Fulbright’s mission. If people understand each other more profoundly, they are less likely to go to war and more likely to come to common understandings. They develop their intercultural navigation and communication skills, critical reasoning, and humanity, especially if they are self-reflective.”

The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program, which operates in more than 160 countries worldwide.

For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit http://eca.state.gov/fulbright.