Imagine Fulbright: Benjamin Simington ‘15 named a Fulbright Alumni Ambassador
As a Fulbright Fellow in 2015-2016, Mr. Simington conducted an in-depth study of the Kabir Panth religious movement while living in Varanasi, India. Visiting shrines and interviewing adherents in Hindi, he developed a better understanding of life in India and its spiritual diversity. In turn, the many local people he befriended learned of his values and upbringing in the Chicago area. He has now been selected to promote the Fulbright mission of educational and cultural exchange as a Fulbright Alumni Ambassador. Of over 400 former Fulbrighter applicants, only 19 were chosen to serve in this prestigious role.
For Mr. Simington, who graduated with a degree in history, this Fulbright outreach position is a natural extension of his long involvement in international studies. First inspired by a course in Indian history with Prof. Eric Pullin and then gaining experience in India during a J-term study tour with Prof. James Lochtefeld, Mr. Simington also studied Hindi language through several prestigious programs, including the Critical Language Scholarship, and lived in Varanasi for a semester during his junior year. Following his Fulbright year, he became a program coordinator in LAUNCH (Learning Communities, Academic Excellence, National Fellowships, Capstones, and Honors) at Texas A&M University, where he is an advisor for students aspiring to fellowships such as the Boren and the Fulbright.
“I really enjoy the work that I am doing right now, both as a program coordinator for National Fellowships and University Scholars at Texas A&M University and as a Fulbright Alumni Ambassador. Working with the phenomenal faculty at Carthage helped me to improve my writing skills and articulate my experiences in a way that I was able to be competitive in National Fellowship competitions. I seek to advise the students I work with at Texas A&M in the same manner. The University Scholars program at Texas A&M has a huge emphasis on students being ambassadors for the university and pursuing knowledge for knowledge’s sake. In teaching seminar classes, I draw on my experiences in Western Heritage and the Great Ideas program. The ability to use good reasoning to create thought-provoking questions for discussion is one of the major things I bring to my classes. I learned this while at Carthage.
According to Fulbright, the Fulbright Alumni Ambassadors “represent the program’s rich diversity and play a key role in increasing knowledge about Fulbright opportunities.” Beginning with the influential experiences at Carthage College and abroad, Mr. Simington is well-suited to serve students across the U.S. and to advance “the Fulbright Program’s ultimate goal—to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries.”
“As a Fulbright Alumni Ambassador, I am excited to promote the Fulbright Program to a variety of students, professionals, and creative artists, Mr. Simington said. “I really hope to continue to encourage diverse and talented applicants to apply. It is important that the program continues to represent the full gamut of the U.S. experience. This will help to further the Fulbright Program’s aim of cultural exchange and increasing goodwill between the people of the United States and other countries.”
Congratulations to Benjamin Simington on being named a Fulbright Alumni Ambassador!