The University of Mary Washington continues its Fulbright tradition with the recent announcements of grants for two alumni.
Emma Bathke ’21 and Olivia Foster ’23 will teach English overseas as participants in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.
They are among 28 Mary Washington student Fulbright recipients since 2006, according to Professor of Middle East History Nabil Al-Tikriti and Professor of Biology Dianne Baker. Al-Tikriti and Baker are co-directors of the UMW Fulbright Committee, which works with student candidates to craft compelling applications.
Bathke, an international affairs major with a minor in business German, will travel to Germany in September to teach English. Until then, she’s working for the Library of Congress in the Congressional Research Service.
She’s a Fredericksburg native who chose UMW for the beautiful campus, small class sizes and opportunity to make meaningful connections with peers and professors.
Bathke studied abroad in Erfurt, Germany, until the Covid pandemic prompted an early return to the United States in February 2020.
She applied for the Fulbright student program after studying German for 10 years and teaching English language learners as a classroom volunteer. Associate Professor of German Jennifer Hansen-Glucklich supported her application.
“I absolutely love making connections with people about language and culture,” Bathke said. “When I found out Fulbright had grants that combined my two favorite topics, I knew I had to apply – it was a perfect fit.”
Foster, a history major from Richmond, will teach English in Argentina beginning in March 2024.
She chose UMW for the small-school experience and because she loved the campus and downtown Fredericksburg. A club tennis player during all four years at UMW, Foster was its president in her senior year. She also was a member and leader in the Young Women’s Leadership Program.
A summer internship working in the archives of the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society Museum in Saugatuck, Michigan, coincided with research for her senior thesis. But it was her experience volunteering with English language learners in area schools that motivated her interest in the Fulbright student program.
Former Associate Professor of Education John Broome suggested that she apply and helped her start the application process. Professor Emerita of History Allyson Poska “was also a huge inspiration for me to apply to Argentina,” Foster said. “Her classes on Latin American history sparked my interest in traveling to the country.”
Besides the student Fulbrights, Mary Washington also has two faculty recipients, Professor of Political Science Stephen Farnsworth and Professor Emeritus of Psychology David Rettinger. Read more.
Learn more about UMW student Fulbright recipients who taught English abroad in 2022.
Leave a Reply