Five TCU seniors earned Fulbright scholarships to travel abroad, research and serve as teaching assistants.
“The Fulbright scholarship sends top American students all over the world,” Ronald Pitcock, director of prestigious scholarships, said. “Some of those students pursue research opportunities and others spend time working in the communities as English teaching assistants. “
Pitcock said the highest number of students from the university were accepted this year.
Twenty-five students applied for the Fulbright scholarship. Twelve were chosen as finalists, and five have been selected: Lyndsey Evans, Margaret Fleming, Will Hopper, Taylor Joyce and Emma Land, Pitcock said.
“It’s an interesting and diverse class,” Pitcock said. “All of them come from different majors and different colleges on campus, but each of them figured out what was unique about their application and expressed that in meaningful ways.”
Students will also engage in the community through side projects, Pitcock said.
Students are expected to become active members in the community, represent what it means to be an American and bring foreign culture to American students, Pitcock said.
“We have incredible students who have a global vision,” he said. “They see the world in terms of opportunities.”
Senior entrepreneurial management major Will Hopper will be teaching English in Malaysia.
“There may have not been another application to Malaysia like Will's because he wants to blend both teaching and business,” Pitcock said. “Will is business-minded, so he wants to engage the communities in Malaysia.”
Hopper suggested using entrepreneurship to teach English so students could learn business and English at the same time and be more competitive on a national scale.
“Last summer I went to a charter school in Santiago, Chile where the students spent half the time in class and the other half in an organic farm,” Hopper said. “Students sell the crops to help fund the school, so I suggested a project similar to that.”
Senior journalism major Lyndsey Evans will be an English language teacher in Thailand.
“It took me two and a half months to finish the application because this wasn't something that I wanted just to write the essays,” Evans said. “I did research, and I wanted everything to be perfect.”
Evans said that she grew up with Taiwanese, Chinese and Japanese students living with her family because her uncle and aunt were missionaries for southeast Asian cultures.
“I mentored a refugee family through Refugee Services of Texas that was from Thailand,” she said. "Thailand was just the one that I couldn't get out of my mind.”
Pitcock said, "Lyndsey is interesting because her training for her Fulbright Thailand actually started when she was a kid,” Pitcock said. “She used that to come up with a project and a reason to be placed in Thailand that was very persuasive.”
Senior German and political science major Emma Land will be traveling to Germany and working with the local Green Party chapter.
"As my senior year approached, I had been desperately looking for a productive way to spend a year off and give myself some time [before law school] to breathe after graduation," Land said. "I am an avid traveler and could never pass up an opportunity to see more of the world before I find myself settled down for three years in law school."
Pitcock said most of Land's application process was done over Skype because she was studying in Washington, D.C., at the time.
"Emma put a lot of work into it, but it wasn't face-to-face, it was over Skype," Pitcock said. "To get a Fulbright scholarship to Germany is very difficult because it is one of the most popular countries."
Senior English and Spanish double major Margaret Fleming will be teaching Spanish in Mexico.
"I chose to apply because I wanted to gain more fluency in the Spanish language and act as an ambassador for my country," Fleming said. "After spending 5 months living and studying in Nicaragua in the spring of my junior year, I realized how important it is that we, as United States citizens, represent our country in a positive manner."
Fleming said she hopes to complete a creative writing portfolio of poetry and non-fiction that documents her experiences in Mexico as a side project.
Pitcock said her interest in creative writing advanced her application.
"Her application was terrific, but her interest in creative writing really appealed to the Fulbright Commission in Mexico," Pitcock said. "It wasn't just her knowledge of the language, but also her passion for creative writing and the ideas she expresses through her writing."
Two Fulbright applicants, Bill Hamlet and Kelly Turner, are still awaiting responses, which could raise this year's Fulbright scholarship recipients to seven at the university.