Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

April 23, 2009

Whitworth Seniors Receive Fulbright Scholarships to Malaysia, Germany

Seniors Kendra Hamilton and Amy Whisenand have been awarded Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship grants to teach English as a foreign language in Malaysia and Germany, respectively. This marks the first time Whitworth students will use their awards to teach in those two countries.

Hamilton, a resident of Broomfield, Colo., is an international business and economics major and a leadership studies minor. She will stay in Malaysia for at least seven months and is looking forward to witnessing first-hand how education influences a country's development. In the future, she plans to contribute to improving living conditions in developing countries through providing business and educational opportunities. She also hopes to pursue a master's degree in international management and to manage a multinational corporation. 

"I can't believe how fortunate I am to have received this grant," Hamilton says. "It will allow me an opportunity to travel, to learn a new language, and to extend my intercultural competence while I attempt to introduce America, in some small way, to the people there."

Whisenand, a Spokane native, is a philosophy major with minors in English, German, music and theology. She plans to live in Germany for 10 months, and while there she hopes to enhance her German language skills, experience German culture, and create new friendships. Her long-term career goals include teaching history of philosophy and Greek in a church-related institution of higher education.

"For the past four years, my classes and assignments have stretched me both personally and academically, and my professors have infused the Whitworth experience with care, challenge and encouragement," Whisenand says. "I'm thankful for this new opportunity to apply what I've learned in the last four years and to watch all my seemingly fragmented, diverse interests intersect."
Both Hamilton's and Whisenand's scholarships are part of the English Teaching Assistantships (ETA) Program, an element of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, which places U.S. students as English-teaching assistants in schools or universities overseas, thus improving foreign students' English-language abilities and knowledge of the United States while increasing the Fulbright students' language skills and knowledge of their host countries. ETAs may also pursue individual study and research in addition to their teaching responsibilities.

In November 2007, the Fulbright Program named Whitworth a top producer of students who received Fulbright awards in 2007-08; Whitworth was ranked in the master's institutions category, along with 20 other institutions including Mills College, City University of New York, and Valparaiso University.

Since 2000, nine Whitworth students have been selected as Fulbright scholars: Hamilton and Whisenand, both '09; Beth Carlson, '08; Lindsey Kiehn and Leah Silvieus, both '07; Laura Thaut, '05; Carla DePriest, '04; Kelly Siebe, '03; and Alissa Johnson, '01.

Faculty members who have recently received the award include Professor of Economics Richard Schatz, in 2007; Associate Professor of Modern Languages Carol Smucker, in 2004; Professor of Art Gordon Wilson, in 2003; and Professor of Political Science John Yoder, in 2001.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program, America's flagship international educational exchange program, is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. For more than 60 years, the bureau has funded and supported programs that promote mutual understanding and respect between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Senator J. William Fulbright, of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has provided opportunities for approximately 286,500 people from the United States and from countries around the world to observe each others' political, economic, educational and cultural institutions, to exchange ideas, and to embark on joint ventures of importance to the general welfare of the world's inhabitants. The program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.

For more information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, please visit the organization's website at www.fulbright.state.gov.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,600 students, offers 53 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


John Yoder, professor of political science, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4432 or johnyoder@whitworth.edu.

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or eproffitt@whitworth.edu.

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