A record eight Valparaiso University graduating seniors and recent alumnae have received Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards for English Teaching Assistantships for the 2018–2019 academic year from the United States Department of State and the William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

“These young women are a credit to Valpo and to our faculty, and our success this year with the Fulbright program is simply outstanding,” said Mark L. Biermann, Ph.D., provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “This achievement is a confirmation of the exceptional education students receive at Valparaiso University, and I am confident that these bright young women will continue to represent us well in their future endeavors.”

In all, Valpo had 11 applicants, nine semi-finalists, and eight finalists for Fulbright grants this year. In the past 15 years, 43 Valpo students and alumni have been named Fulbright finalists.

“Having this many Fulbright finalists makes this a record-breaking year on our campus, but more than that, these remarkable women’s accomplishments epitomize values at the heart of our University’s mission: global engagement, meaningful service, and academic excellence,” said Jon T. Kilpinen ’88, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

The 2018 Valparaiso University Fulbright finalists are:

  • Kortney Cena ’18, finalist for an English Teaching Assistantship in Malaysia. Kortney will receive her bachelor’s degree in global service, with minors in engineering and Spanish. She will also receive a Christ College Scholar designation as a member of the University’s honors college. At Valpo, Kortney was involved with the Sweetwine Music Ministry, and she says her career aspiration is to counteract educational inequality.
  • Kathryn Fogleman ’17, finalist for an English Teaching Assistantship in Timor L’Este. Kathryn received her degree in international relations and humanities. In 2016, she received a CAPS (Calling And Purpose in Society) Fellowship to serve at Venn Strategies in Washington, D.C. This is the inaugural year for Fulbright grants in Timor L’Este, and Kathryn is one of two finalists being placed there.
  • Kelsi Hook ’17, finalist for an English Teaching Assistantship in Germany. Kelsi received her degree in German, with a minor in linguistics. During her time at Valpo, she was a member of the Red Cross Club, College Mentors for Kids, and the German Club. She also participated in Kinder Lernen Deutsch, an educational program for local children taught by Valpo German students. Since graduation, Kelsi has been pursuing her master’s degree in education and working as a teaching assistant. Her career aspiration is to teach German or English as a second language.
  • Kendall Kartaly ’18, finalist for an English Teaching Assistantship in Poland. Kendall will receive her bachelor’s in English and secondary education and is a Christ College Scholar. Throughout her time at Valpo, she has been a member of the English honor society, the Social Action Leadership Team (SALT) as a Spring Break service trip coordinator, and the Valparaiso Fiction Review as assistant editor. She has also served as a Christ College teaching assistant, an educational psychology peer mentor/tutorial assistant, and a GED tutor at the Porter County Jail. Kendall aspires to teach or work at a nonprofit.
  • Ariana Moore ’18, finalist for an English Teaching Assistantship in Germany. Ariana, a Christ College Scholar, will receive her bachelor’s degree in German with a minor in political science. Ariana is currently working toward being an advisor in a Study Abroad office and is also interested in teaching. She has been involved with the Valparaiso University Chorale and a sorority at Valpo.
  • Maia Moore ’18, finalist for an English Teaching Assistantship in Taiwan. Maia will graduate with degrees in Chinese and Japanese studies and international economics and cultural affairs. She will also receive a Christ College Scholar designation as a member of the University’s honors college. Maia studied abroad in Hangzhou, China, during the fall 2016 semester, and has participated in the competitive United States Foreign Service Internship Program in Washington, D.C., and, this summer, Tokyo. Maia would like to pursue a career in foreign service or translation.
  • Emily Owens ’18, finalist for an English Teaching Assistantship in Malaysia. Emily will receive her degree in psychology and global service, with a minor in humanities. She is also in Christ College — the Honors College and involved with SALT. During her time at Valpo, Emily has conducted independent research through the psychology department, completed an internship with Valparaiso Community Schools, and obtained leadership positions as a civic reflection facilitator at the Institute for Leadership and Service and on the Undergraduate Admission Student Leadership Team. During fall 2016, she studied abroad in southern Africa, where she interned with Namibian Women’s Health Network. Emily aspires to work in the field of community development and public policy.
  • Kathleen Prahlow ’17, finalist for an English Teaching Assistantship in Mexico. Kathleen received her degree in Spanish and secondary education, with a minor in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). She was highly involved in Valpo’s campus life as a member of SALT, Mortar Board, Dance Ensemble, a sorority, and the Spanish honor society. She also worked at the Fitness Center and was a CAPS Fellow last summer. Since graduation, she has been teaching Spanish at Morgan Township Middle/High School. Kathleen aspires to teach English as a second language in the United States and to help children who are new to the U.S. acclimate to school and life here.

The eight Valpo finalists are among more than 1,900 U.S. citizens who will study, conduct research, and teach abroad for the 2018–2019 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement as well as a record of service and leadership in their respective fields.

“I am delighted so many Fulbright committees across the United States and around the world this year recognized what we know to be true about our students,” said Anna R. Stewart, Ph.D., assistant dean in the College of Arts and Sciences and Fulbright program advisor at Valpo. “These remarkable women are setting off to do good and important work in the world. Indeed, they already have.”

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 380,000 participants — chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential — with the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

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