One Gustie Wins Fulbright; Three Others Semi-finalistsGustavus Adolphus College student Chris Ortiz '22 won the Fulbright ETA to teach in Madrid, Spain, next year.
Posted on April 6th, 2022 by

From left to right: Emily VanGorder '22, Sydney Stumme-berg '22, Samantha Raghu '21, and Christopher Ortiz '22

One Gustavus Adolphus College student was named a winner of this year’s Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Program Award, while three others received recognition as semifinalists.

The nationally competitive program places Americans in classrooms abroad to provide assistance to the local English teachers and to act as cultural ambassadors for the United States.

“Making it to the semi-finalist round for a Fulbright Award has always been an enormous accomplishment,” said Pamela Kittelson, biology professor and director of the fellowships office. “The competition intensified this year as well, as Fulbright received a record number of applicants.”

Christopher Ortiz has been named a winner of the Fulbright ETA Award to teach in Spain. He sees Fulbright as an opportunity to get involved with the community in Madrid in as many ways as he can.“I look forward to following through on my proposal of starting a club for the community focused on music and sharing both English, Spanish, and Latin-American music.” Ortiz’s proposal was originally laid out in his application for the Fulbright. “It was a long application that made me reflect on my past experiences and how I could specifically use those as a Spain ETA.”

Sydney Stumme-Berg has been named an alternate finalist for the Fulbright ETA Program in Norway. Stumme-Berg was looking for opportunities to study abroad after a semester in Spain was canceled due to COVID-19. In her search, she came across the Fulbright Program and Kittelson, who guided Sydney through the application process. “Pam was the biggest help I could hope for,” said Stumme-Berg. “My other professors at Gustavus were super supportive as well, and everyone I talked to was willing to help whenever possible.”

Emily VanGorder has been named a semi-finalist to the Fulbright ETA Program in the Czech Republic. The ability to learn Czech and experience the culture firsthand were what drew her to this program. “I would not have been able to complete this process without the wonderful support provided by Kittelson, who helped me get creative and make countless edits and revisions to my application. I’d also like to thank my professors, friends, and family for encouraging me to apply, writing me letters of recommendation, and supporting me.”

Samantha Raghu has been named a semi-finalist to the Fulbright ETA Program in the Czech Republic. Having received grants for previous study abroad programs in Thailand, Raghu holds a lot of experience and interest in travel. “Since I grew up in a small town, a favorite activity of mine has always been exploring different locations and comparing various cultural aspects to my hometown such as architecture, cuisine, clothing, and ethnic makeup. Through this form of comparative analysis, I began to immerse myself in cultures outside of my own and developed an appreciation for the presence of diversity.”

The application process for these applicants began in early August 2021. The application itself consists of a statement of grant purpose, in which the applications describe their goals, past experiences, and post-Fulbright plans.  “What Samantha, Christopher, Sydney and Emily achieved speaks highly of their ability to be leaders, mentors and cultural ambassadors.” Kittelson said. “Their success also reflects well on the caliber of Gustavus students as a whole.”


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Luc Hatlestad


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