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 in their final year are eligible to apply through our campus Fulbright Program advisor, as are alumni for one year after graduation.
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
Carthage senior TJ Gaertig’s educational history reveals a lifetime passion for language learning. Next year, he will continue to pursue linguistic exchange as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Germany. TJ was selected to teach English in Germany during the 2018-19 academic year as a Fulbright Fellow.
Graduating in May with a major in Chinese and minors in German and Asian Studies, the native of Frankfort Square, Illinois, says he looks forward to honing his teaching skills and learning about his new host community. “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, Samantha spent the past year studying abroad in Ecuador, where she spent countless hours teaching 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 will have the opportunity to experience Colombia firsthand next year. 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, Zoe is also a vocal musician 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, Wisconsin, has served as a tutor in the English Department and writing fellow in the Brainard Writing Center, and now plans to take 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, Skye expects to immerse herself in a Malaysian host community and become involved in local choirs or theater groups. After Fulbright, Skye 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, Michigan, 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. He is currently working as the cultural programs coordinator at Goethe-Institut Washington. Under a Fulbright study/research grant, he plans to return 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, who graduated with a major in Communication, served as a fellow at the Brainard Writing Center on campus, and since leaving Carthage has been a third-grade teaching assistant. The native of Reading, Penn., is looking forward to creating an enjoyable classroom environment in Thailand to keep her students’ attention on the learning goals, and plans to facilitate language learning through interactive lessons that take English out of the textbook and put it in a real-world context.
Read more about Ms. Ash
Jessica Livingston ’17
Majors: Graphic Design, Public Relations
Jessica Livingston ’17, majoring in Graphic Design and Public Relations, has been offered a Fulbright Fellowship to teach English in the Czech Republic. She has 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 Jess 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 plans to apply these visual learning strategies as an English Teaching Assistant in the Czech Republic.
Read more about Ms. Livingston
Jamie Tyrrell ’17
Major: Asian Studies
Jamie Tyrrell ’17, an Asian Studies major from Andover, Minn., has been selected to receive a prestigious Fulbright Fellowship to South Korea. She will serve as an English Teaching Assistant in an elementary school classroom. This marks a return to the country where Jamie spent six months last 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, has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship. She will spend the next academic year teaching English and sharing U.S. culture in a Taiwanese elementary or middle school. 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, Illinois, she has been living in Colorado since graduating, working as a behavioral therapist for people with autism. While abroad, Ms. Wesselhoff plans to establish a video exchange program between her classroom in Taiwan and a partner classroom in Illinois, allowing her Chinese-speaking students to practice their English and learn about life in the U.S.
Read more about Ms. Wesselhoff
Paige Whitney ’17
Paige Whitney ’17, an English major from Albany, Ill., has been selected to serve as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in a South Korean high school next year. Also pursuing minors in Japanese and Theatre, Paige has become 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 has 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 and will teach English at an elementary or junior high school in Taiwan. She sees 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 is considering pursuing a graduate degree in educational leadership or working for the U.S. State Department.
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 have 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. Taylor plans to attend the University of Illinois at Chicago after her Fulbright year to pursue 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 comes after a one-month high school exchange to Germany and a semester in Munich in spring-summer 2015. Michelle also traveled to China as part of a J-Term class focusing on music and culture. Following her time abroad, Michelle plans to work and travel while deciding on a field of graduate study, with the hopes of one day becoming a college professor.
Read more about Ms. Nuetzmann
Evan Weyrauch ’15
This Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship returns Evan to the country where he spent six months studying abroad in 2014 — Germany. He expects to use elements of American culture, such as music and poetry, to bring the English language to life for his students. After his time abroad, Mr. Weyrauch plans to pursue a graduate degree 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, Ben 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. Recently selected for a second summer CLS award, Ben will use the Fulbright study grant to conduct a year of field research on the Kabir Panth religious movement, in collaboration with Professor Ravi Singh of Banaras Hindu University.
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 will teach English in a Bulgarian school. Through courses on campus and the College’s biannual health mission to Nicaragua, she recognized her desire to share English language and American culture abroad. After her Fulbright year, Amy plans to continue living and teaching abroad before returning 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 to teach in Turkey. She is especially looking forward to experiencing its geographic, religious, and ethnic diversity. Located at the historic intersection of Europe and Asia, Nicole believes Turkey will be an ideal place to explore multiculturalism. She believes those experiences will be useful in a career in college-level student affairs. Nicole developed her teaching skills as a participant in the Milwaukee Center for Urban Teaching’s elementary school summer program in 2014. English professor Alyson Kiesel predicts Nicole will “make a remarkable ambassador” for the country.
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. Micole was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to teach in Greece. “My students and I will discover how past and present Greece and America overlap through reading and writing,” she said. After returning from her Fulbright year, Micole plans to teach in an elementary or middle school in Wisconsin and pursue a master’s degree in education.
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 looks forward to immersing himself in local culture while teaching in a German school. An academic year in Germany will give Matthew the change to pursue his interest in German politics, an area that he began to explore during his 2014 study abroad semester in Berlin. He plans to engage in community outreach and “the fight against poverty and oppression in all its forms.” After his Fulbright year, Matthew plans to pursue a Ph.D. and become a university professor.
Read more about Mr. Wehmeier
Update: Read how Matt has been able to share an American perspective in former East Germany
Katie Niemeyer ’13
“I owe a lot to the faculty for pushing me and, at the same time, supporting me along the way. They empowered me to do these things.”
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 began graduate studies in international development at the University of California, Davis.
Read about Ms. Niemeyer’s Fulbright Year
Read more about Ms. Niemeyer
“As I come out of my four years at Carthage, I feel confident in my communication skills, my critical thinking skills, and also my ability to adapt to new and potentially challenging surroundings.”
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
“All of the professors at Carthage are excited; not just about what they’re doing, but about what you’re learning. It’s that personal attention that makes coming here so awesome.”
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.
“The people at Carthage helped me find my center, by throwing me off center. The professors prepared me academically, professionally and creatively.”
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 plans to teach German at the high school level.
“Carthage allowed me to do a triple major, in fields as diverse as Spanish, English, and accounting. I’ll be using all three in Argentina.”
Ms. Love was awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student grant to teach English as a foreign language 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. Her 10-month Fulbright commitment began in Spring 2012. Ms. Love plans to pursue graduate studies, perhaps in a field related to international business, either in the United States or a Spanish-speaking country.
Ashley A. LaFontaine ’09
“Prof. Hegrenes really helped me throughout my years at Carthage and pushed me to try even harder and do my best in everything.”
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.
“At Carthage I found the people and resources to make me a fuller, more well-rounded individual. My studies helped me become more observant, listen more skillfully, and ask better questions.”
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 business development specialist at IMPAQ 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.