Alumni secure fellowships for study abroad, public service

June 14, 2022 (Volume 45, Number 18)
Article by Brian Vernellis

a globe placed on the floor, in the background are two vertical banners, Explore! and Study Abroad

Alumni will head to Japan, Germany and San Francisco for fellowship programs or to teach.

Photo Credit: University Communications

Grand Valley graduates will be making a difference around the world, thanks to several prestigious scholarships and fellowships.

Stella Sterling, who majored in statistics, received the JET Award from JET Program USA, allowing her to teach English in Japan. 

More than 1,000 U.S. students are selected each year to participate in the teaching exchange program, the only one of its kind managed by the Japanese government. 

Since its foundation in 1987, more than 70,000 global participants have worked in schools, boards of education and government offices throughout Japan. 

“I very much enjoyed working with Stella as we set up a mock interview for her,” said Brenda Tooley, associate director of the Center for Undergraduate Scholar Engagement for the Frederik Meijer Office of Fellowships. “I am sure she will be brilliant in her classrooms, and I hope and expect that she will find the experience of living and working in Japan to be deeply rewarding.”

Zsolt Palmer is also heading overseas after receiving the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Young Professionals Award. The exchange program’s fellowship allows students and recent graduates to spend an academic year in the United States or Germany. 

Palmer is the third GVSU student to participate in the program since 2019. 

“I didn’t think I had much of a chance when I first applied, but laboring over the essays and preparing for the interviews ended up paying off,” said Palmer. “I’ve always been interested in Germany, and have studied the language here at Grand Valley. 

“I am thankful that I now get the opportunity to explore the country in person and represent GVSU abroad. It’s a multi-faceted program, including a language school, university, and several months of internship at a company in my field of cell and molecular biology.”

Angel Bista has received the San Francisco City Council Fellowship, giving her a year to work with the City and County of San Francisco and gain public service experience. While a student, Bista received the Critical Languages Scholarship. Upon graduation, she taught English in South Korea, thanks to the English Program in Korea Fellowship.

The Frederik Meijer Office of Fellowships supports interested Grand Valley undergraduate, graduate students and alumni in pursuing major national and international award opportunities.


Across Campus

This article was last edited on June 14, 2022 at 10:0 a.m.

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