For a third straight year, Carthage is among the colleges and universities that produced the most Fulbright U.S. Students, according to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Top-producing institutions are highlighted annually in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Carthage is the only college or university in Wisconsin to make the new list, with five of its recent graduates winning Fulbright awards for 2017-18. Carthage was also named a top Fulbright producer in 2015-16 and 2016-17.
“It is a tremendous honor to be named again among the top 30 or so bachelor’s degree institutions nationwide in Fulbright awards,” said Carthage president John Swallow. “This result is a testament to the outstanding work of Carthage students, as well as the outstanding support and assistance Carthage faculty provide them during their undergraduate years.”
About the Fulbright Program
The Fulbright Fellowship is a prestigious, competitive program for American college and university students wishing to study or teach abroad after graduation. Fulbright Fellows serve as cultural ambassadors of the United States in over 140 host countries on six continents. Read more about the program.
Carthage students and alumni are eligible to apply through our campus Fulbright Program advisor.
Carthage has had 28 Fulbrighters since 2008. This year’s cohort won prestigious Research/Study Grants or English Teaching Assistantships to help local teachers with language instruction and serve as cultural ambassadors.
“As Fulbright fellows, our students represent our college and country exceptionally well in their placements all over the world,” said Professor Dan Choffnes, director of student fellowships at Carthage. “They are passionate, culturally sensitive, curious, and adaptable individuals.”
TJ Gaertig ’18
Graduating with a major in Chinese and minors in German and Asian Studies, the native of Frankfort Square, Ill., is honing his teaching skills and learning about his new host community of Erfurt in the state of Thuringia. “As an English teaching assistant, I will encourage students to use language creatively, and I will learn and refine my own teaching practices with the help of fellow teachers and students,” he wrote in his application essay.
Read more about Mr. Gaertig
Amerin Idell ’17
Having attended a German immersion school while growing up in Milwaukee and studied in Munich during her junior year, Amerin Idell is prepared to spend another year in a German host community. She is especially interested in the social aspects of cultural intersections, having undertaken academic research on Afro-German identity with the support of a German government grant, and written a senior thesis on the subject. Since graduating, Ms. Idell has taught English in China and, more recently works as an associate at Mueller Communications and volunteers her public relations skills for Courage MKE, a nonprofit organization supporting LGBTQ+ youths.
Read more about Ms. Idell
Samantha Johnson ’18
Samantha Johnson ’18, of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, has been selected for an English Teaching Assistantship in Bulgaria through the Fulbright program. Majoring in Environmental Science and Spanish, Ms. Johnson spent her junior year studying abroad in Ecuador, where she taught English in a remote village in the Andes, learning the local Kichwa language to better communicate with her students and their family members. She has a passion for learning language and experiencing new cultures and plans to do both while exploring the environment of her rural placement site. “Living in Bulgaria will open my eyes to a whole new way of life, quite different to anywhere I have lived before,” she wrote in her application essay. “Through classroom time, existing organizations, and my own, I hope to share my knowledge about the U.S. while learning all I can about Bulgaria through the everyday relationships I will make.”
Read more about Ms. Johnson
Zoe Rodriguez ’18
Major: Elementary Education
Inspired by her first Spanish teacher, who was from Colombia, Zoe Rodriguez ’18 has long been fascinated by the culture of that country. Now selected for a prestigious English Teaching Assistantship through the Fulbright program, she has the opportunity to experience Colombia firsthand. An Elementary Education major and Spanish minor, the Kenosha native hopes to connect to her students by linking the English language to their interests. As a tutor of Spanish and Education at Carthage, she plans bring the teaching strategies she has learned to Colombian classrooms. In addition to being an accomplished athlete, Ms. Rodriguez is also a singer and guitarist, a skillset she will bring with her to her placement location abroad. “I hope to imbed myself into the music community and find opportunities to collaborate with local musicians, church choirs, and others who make music,” she wrote in her application essay. “These collaborations will help me form strong connections and become a genuine part of the community, rather than a visitor.”
Read more about Ms. Rodriguez
Skye Rutherford ’18
Skye Rutherford ’18 has been offered a Fulbright Fellowship in Malaysia. The English major from Janesville, Wis., has served as a tutor in the English Department and writing fellow in the Brainard Writing Center, and now takes her language teaching skills across the Pacific for an English Teaching Assistantship. With a curricular concentration in creative writing and minors in both theatre and music, she hopes to use writing, music, and poetry to help students connect their own lives and culture to the English language. Beyond the classroom walls, Ms. Rutherford expects to immerse herself in a Malaysian host community and become involved in local choirs or theater groups. After Fulbright, she intends to earn a master’s degree in screenwriting, with the ultimate goal of becoming a screenwriter or playwright.
Read more about Ms. Rutherford
Peter Sproule ’16
Peter Sproule ’16 has been selected for a prestigious research fellowship through the Fulbright Program. A native of Houghton, Mich., Mr. Sproule majored in German and Studio Art with a minor in Art History. While studying in Munich during his junior year, he became acquainted with the work of the twentieth-century Bavarian fashion illustrator Hans Fischach, an encounter that led to deeper engagement with the field of art history at Munich’s Von Parish Costume Library, and later in internships at the Karin Wimmer contemporary art gallery and at the Kunsthalle Munich as a part of the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX) program in 2016-17. Before accepting the Fulbright placement, he worked as the cultural programs coordinator at Goethe-Institut Washington. Under this Fulbright study/research grant, he has returned to Germany to continue work at the Von Parish Costume Library. There, he will produce a monograph examining the life and contributions of Fischach, with the ultimate goal of publishing the work and curating an exhibit in the Munich Stadtmuseum.
Read more about Mr. Sproule
Alex Ash ’16
Alex Ash ’16, graduated with a major in Communication, served as a fellow at the Brainard Writing Center on campus, and worked as a third-grade teaching assistant after graduation. The native of Reading, Penn., aimed to create an enjoyable classroom environment in Thailand to keep his students’ attention on the learning goals, and facilitated language learning through interactive lessons that took English out of the textbook and put it in a real-world context.
Read more about Mr. Ash
Jessica Livingston ’17
Majors: Graphic Design, Public Relations
Jessica Livingston ’17, majoring in Graphic Design and Public Relations, served as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in the Czech Republic. She had extensive teaching experience both from her time as a teaching assistant for nonverbal autistic students and as a Writing Fellow in the Brainard Writing Center. In both contexts she developed visual learning strategies to make difficult concepts more accessible to her students, culminating in the design of a research-based “Visual Learners Kit” for tutors working with international students. She applied these visual language-learning strategies in her host school, where she also taught design.
Read more about Ms. Livingston
Jamie Tyrrell ’17
Major: Asian Studies
Jamie Tyrrell ’17, an Asian Studies major from Andover, Minn., received a prestigious Fulbright Fellowship to South Korea. She will serve as an English Teaching Assistant in schools on Jeju Island. This marked a return to the country where Jamie spent six months in her junior year as a student at Seoul’s Yonsei University. “I am enthralled with Korea’s rich culture, and I found my exposure to entertainment and media was only a small fraction of what it has to offer,” she wrote in her Fulbright application essay. “South Korea has become the place I want to both study and educate others about.”
Read more about Ms. Tyrrell
Lexi Wesselhoff ’16
Lexi Wesselhoff, who graduated with a degree in Psychology, was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to teach in Taichung, Taiwan. In recent years, Ms. Wesselhoff has been a tutor, teacher, therapist, and camp counselor, working with people of different cultures and level of physical and intellectual ability. Originally from Belvidere, Ill., she worked for one year in Colorado after graduation, as a behavioral therapist for people with autism.
Read more about Ms. Wesselhoff
Paige Whitney ’17
Paige Whitney ’17, an English major from Albany, Ill., serves as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in a South Korean high school. Also pursuing minors in Japanese and Theatre, Ms. Whitney became involved in numerous facets of academic and co-curricular life at Carthage. She traveled to China to perform with the Carthage Women’s Ensemble in 2015, put on a play at the CrisisArts Festival in Arezzo, Italy with students of the Theatre Department in 2016, and participated in the Kakehashi cultural exchange program in Japan during J-term 2017. She performed in several plays on campus, was an English Department Fellow, and president of the Merely Players improvisational comedy troupe.
Read more about Ms. Whitney
Jessie Bingaman ’16
Jessie Bingaman received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to teach in Taidong, Taiwan. She saw her time in Taiwan as being one filled with opportunity for herself, her students, and the community. After the completion of her teaching assistantship, she returned to Carthage as Johnson Hall Director.
Read more about Ms. Bingaman
Taylor Kloha ’15
St. Louis, Missouri
Major: Great Ideas
Taylor Kloha was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to teach in Czech Republic at a secondary school in the city of České Budějovice. Her skills had already been tested as a tutor of English language learners on the Carthage campus and as an instructor for a college preparatory course in Beijing, China. Ms. Kloha is now attending the University of Illinois at Chicago for a Ph.D. in philosophy, with the ultimate goal of one day teaching at a university.
Read more about Ms. Kloha
Michelle Nuetzmann ’16
Michelle Nuetzmann was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to teach in Germany. This placement in Germany came after a one-month high school exchange to Germany and a semester in Munich in spring-summer 2015. Ms. Nuetzmann also traveled to China as part of a J-Term class focusing on music and culture. Following her time abroad, she has been working in Illinois with an eye to enter graduate school in the coming years.
Read more about Ms. Nuetzmann
Evan Weyrauch ’15
This Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship returned Evan to Germany, where he spent six months studying abroad in 2014. He used elements of American culture, such as music and poetry, to bring the English language to life for his students and also coached swimming for a local club. After his time abroad, Mr. Weyrauch became a graduate resident director at the University of Nevada in Reno, with the goal of one day working as a college-level swim coach or professor.
Read more about Mr. Weyrauch
Ben Simington ’15
Ben Simington was chosen for a Fulbright Study/Research Grant and has spent the better part of his college career deepening his knowledge of India. First inspired by a course in Indian history with Professor Eric Pullin, and then gaining first-hand experience in India during a J-Term study tour, Mr. Simington knew he wanted to pursue a career in Indian religious traditions. He has studied Hindi language through several prestigious programs, including the Critical Language Scholarship, and lived in Varanasi, India for a semester during his junior year. During his Fulbright year, he conducted field research on the Kabir Panth religious movement, in collaboration with Professor Ravi Singh of Banaras Hindu University. He is currently a program coordinator and instructor in Texas A&M University’s Honors Program.
Read more about Mr. Simington
Update: Read how Ben has been connecting with Indian religions
Amy Bruckbauer ’15
Amy Bruckbauer received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship and taught in a Bulgarian school during the 2015-16 academic year. Through courses on campus and the College’s health mission to Nicaragua, she recognized her desire to share English language and American culture abroad. After her Fulbright year, Ms. Bruckbauer continues living and teaching abroad (in China, Israel, and Chile), intending eventually to attend graduate school in a field related to education and international affairs.
Read more about Ms. Bruckbauer.
Nicole Gaa ’15
Nicole Gaa was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Turkey. She was especially interested to learn about its geographic, religious, and ethnic diversity. Located at the historic intersection of Europe and Asia, Ms. Gaa found Turkey to be an excellent place to explore multiculturalism. Ms. Gaa currently teaches at an elementary school in Illinois.
Read more about Ms. Gaa
Update: Nicole Gaa reflects on teaching English in Turkey
Micole Gauvin ’15
Through the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience in 2014, Micole Gauvin worked with Professor Seemee Ali to analyze “The Iliad” and its connections to the past and present. Through the project, she was inspired to seek a fellowship in Greece. “My students and I will discover how past and present Greece and America overlap through reading and writing,” she wrote in her application essay. After returning from her Fulbright year, Ms. Gauvin taught for several years in a middle school in Wisconsin, and since 2018, is pursuing a teaching career in Greece.
Read more about Ms. Gauvin
Update: Micole Gauvin journeys from Carthage to Athens
Matthew Wehmeier ’15
After studying German language for eight years and traveling to Germany three times, Matthew was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship and immersed himself in local culture while teaching in a German school. While there, he also pursued his interest in German politics and engaged in community outreach and “the fight against poverty and oppression in all its forms.” After his Fulbright year, Mr. Wehmeier went on to earn a master’s degree in history at the University of Chicago.
Read more about Mr. Wehmeier
Update: Read how Matt has been able to share an American perspective in former East Germany
Katie Niemeyer ’13
Katie Niemeyer received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Mongolia for the 2013-14 year. Winner of the College Leadership Award, she demonstrated the ability to adapt to new surroundings during an internship with a nonprofit in Tanzania and J-Term study tours to Turkey, Greece, and Guatemala. Raised around horses, Ms. Niemeyer connected deeply with Mongolia’s equine culture. After completing her Fulbright year, she undertook graduate studies in international development at the University of California, Davis, and now works for an international-development focused non-profit organization in Minnesota.
Read about Ms. Niemeyer’s Fulbright Year
Read more about Ms. Niemeyer
Nick Tackes assisted English instructors in India during the 2013-14 academic year after receiving a Fulbright-Nehru English Teaching Assistantship. Living in India also gave him the chance to learn the Hindi language. While at Carthage, Mr. Tackes toured historical religious sites in India during a 2012 J-Term study tour and learned elementary Hindi through independent study. During his time at Carthage, he gained experience as a writing fellow at the Brainard Writing Center and a resident assistant/assistant hall director. He is now pursuing his graduate studies in religion at Columbia University, and ultimately hopes to teach Hindu religious culture at the college level.
Read more about Mr. Tackes
Kayleen Hannigan spent the 2012-13 academic year working in German secondary schools on a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship. While a Carthage student, Ms. Hannigan spent one semester of her junior year studying at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Germany, and was a student in Carthage’s 2010 J-Term study tour to Germany. She also held internships with the Racine Art Museum and worked as a Resident Assistant in the Oaks Residential Village.
Jean Brody spent the 2012-13 academic year working at a German high school, with a variety of classes and grade levels. Before receiving the Fulbright Teaching Assistantship, she was awarded a Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Scholarship, Carthage’s German Scholarship, and a DAAD Undergraduate Scholarship for study in Germany. Ms. Brody spent one semester of her junior year at the University of Heidelberg. She teaches middle-school students in Illinois.
Ms. Love was awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student grant to teach English as a foreign language for one year in Argentina. After graduating from Carthage, Ms. Love worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, supervising the Student Work and Mentoring Place at a public library branch in St. Paul, Minn. Ms. Love is a teacher in the Kenosha area and plans to join a religious order.
Ashley A. LaFontaine ’09
Ashley LaFontaine was awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student grant to teach English as a foreign language in South Korea during the 2009-10 academic year. At Carthage, Ms. LaFontaine conducted field ecology research, presented her research at regional conferences, led the Pre-Health Club, organized fundraisers for Carthage’s medical mission in Nicaragua, and served the Biology Department as an assistant in the Anatomy & Physiology classes. She is now a Physician Assistant in Minneapolis.
Stephanie Coulis was named a Fulbright Fellow after graduating from Carthage in 2008. She spent a year in France teaching English as a second language to first and second-year elementary students. During her junior year at Carthage, Ms. Coulis spent a semester studying at the University of Caen in Normandy, France. She also traveled to Guatemala and Mexico for J-Term courses. As a result of her many service projects and her work encouraging interest in language and culture, she won the Modern Language Department’s Iréne Kraemer Service Learning Award. After graduating with a master’s degree in international development from George Washington University, she went on to work for several Washington, D.C.-based non-governmental organizations. She is currently a corporate strategy analyst with RTI international.
Emily Mulder ’08
Emily Mulder received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in 2008 to teach German high school students about American culture and language. While a student at Carthage, Ms. Mulder completed two senior theses on the German physicist Werner Heisenberg, different versions for each of her two majors. She was able to employ both her German and physics studies during her junior year abroad at the Karl-Ruprechts-Universität in Heidelberg, Germany, where she served as a language tutor and worked as an intern at a German software company. At Carthage, she belonged to several organizations and played clarinet for the Carthage Pep Band. She currently teaches English to teachers in training at the Technical University of Dortmund in Germany.
DAAD Scholarship Winners
In addition to Fulbright Scholarships, Carthage students have received many other prestigious scholarships, including DAAD Undergraduate Scholarships. DAAD scholarships are awarded by the German Academic Exchange Service to study in Germany for a semester. Past winners of DAAD Scholarships are:
- Rosalie Esquivel ’15
- Matthew Wehmeier ’15
- Karin Wirth ’13
- Thomas Johnson ’13
- Philip Young ’07
- Jean Brody ’12
- Kim Likier ’12
U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarships
Critical Language Scholarship recipients are awarded fully-funded intensive summer language classes in less-taught languages.