Students earn Fulbright, fellowship awards for summer programs

April 23, 2024 (Volume 47, Number 17)

The idea of studying abroad in the United Kingdom has captivated sophomore Tyler Peery for some time. Thanks to a Fulbright Summer Institute Award, Peery will finally get his chance. 

Peery is set to embark on a three-week academic journey at Aberystwyth University after he was selected as one of the recipients of the Fulbright award. 

Peery joins a select group of eight students from across the nation who will be participating in the program at the Welsh university. While abroad, the students will explore Welsh nationhood through the perspective of the Welsh people. 

“I got an email from the Meijer Office of Fellowships, saying that I was qualified to apply,” Peery said. “It seemed really cool. I've always been super interested in the differences in culture between America and the UK.”

Peery, who’s majoring in elementary education with a minor in applied linguistics and a focus on teaching English as a Second Language, sees the opportunity as an extension of his current academic pathway at GVSU.

“I want to teach English abroad in the future, so it's important that I understand how people’s nationality impacts their identity,” Peery said. “I thought learning that in Wales would be a really good step toward that.” 

Brenda Tooley, associate director at the Center for Undergraduate Scholar Engagement, worked with Peery to develop his application and said the experience will open opportunities for him.

“It’s been a pleasure getting to know Tyler a bit throughout the application process,” Tooley said. “I am delighted for him, and am certain that he will benefit from — and also be a fantastic participant in — the summer Fulbright program at Aberystwyth University. 

“I’m so happy that he is planning on going into the field of teaching. This experience is certain to open up new doors for him, including future fellowship possibilities.”

– by Brian Vernellis

Accounting major earns public policy fellowship
Senior accounting major Laken Chapin has received the Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship.

“A fellowship can help diversify your educational experience outside of the classroom,” said Chapin.

This fellowship targets rising seniors in undergraduate programs to give them a preview of what graduate coursework in public policy looks like. This program is associated with six universities including Princeton, where Chapin will study.

“I hope this summer will help me figure out what my next step could look like in involvement in public policy,” said Chapin.

Although she is an accounting major, Chapin said she took an interest in public policy. “I really got interested in public policy with knowing the intricacies of the why behind things that exist in the tax code and tax legislation,” she said.

The application process consisted of multiple essays with topics like leadership, growth and future goals. The Frederik Meijer Office of Fellowship was a major help to Chapin throughout the application process. Brenda Tooley, an associate director at the Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement, has been in constant contact with Chapin to help refine her essays, beginning last fall.

“It was a challenge,” said Chapin. “I had to take time to reflect and think about what I really wanted out of this.”

Chapin said she feels that most students find fellowships daunting. Her advice: apply anyway and see where it takes you. 

– by Samantha Drougel



Across Campus

This article was last edited on April 22, 2024 at 9:56 a.m.

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