By Kenneth Edison, Editor-in-Chief
Follow him at @krazo1
EC senior Rebecca Vogt was selected to receive the 2018 Fulbright Award scholarship on Friday April 20, allowing her to spend a year teaching English in Argentina.
The Fulbright scholarship is a very competitive honor, with several thousand applicants vying for the award every year. Therefore, Vogt was understandably elated when she heard the news.
“It felt surreal and still does. I’m not a super emotional person but I’m pretty sure I shed a tear,” she said. “When I received the email that notified me that I received the Fulbright Award, I was just grabbing dinner at Chipotle before heading to a night class. Sitting there in Chipotle, I read the email about five times (because I didn’t believe it was real) to make sure I was reading it correctly.”
Part of the considering factors to receiving the award include the student’s GPA, in depth campus involvement and prior experience with studying abroad, something Vogt reflected on after receiving the scholarship.
“In the past, through Elmhurst, I studied abroad for two j-terms; one to Europe and one to Costa Rica. I also studied abroad for a semester in Ecuador, my junior year,” she said. “Those study abroad experiences provided me with countless areas of personal and professional growth; travel skills, Spanish language skills, a sensitivity and awareness of other cultures, and more. Outside of that, it really fueled my passion and desire to have more experiences abroad, especially leading me to apply for the Fulbright.”
The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program allows students to travel to classrooms abroad to aid local teachers. Vogt, who is majoring in Spanish and Special Education, will be traveling to Argentina to teach English, a decision that Vogt attributed to her love for the Spanish language.
“As soon as I had learned what a Fulbright Scholarship was, I knew I wanted to apply to a country in Latin America,” she said. “It’s a perfect intersection of many of my passions: teaching, service work, living abroad, and the Spanish language.”
Since the Fulbright’s inception in 1946, only six EC students have ever received the award.
While Vogt is the official recipient of this year’s award, another EC senior Monica Mazurek was selected as an alternate in the event that Vogt is unable to accept the award. Mazurek aims to use the scholarship to travel to Thailand for the English Teaching Assistant Program.
EC’s Fulbright Advisor is English Professor Mary Kay Mulvaney, who spoke out about the announcement that Vogt and Mazurek had received the award and alternate status respectively.
“They’re outstanding students. They really have curiosity about other cultures, they’re sensitive to other cultures and they have respect for other environments,” said Mulvaney in an EC press release on April 20.