Willamette student earns Fulbright to Germany

Caitlin Casebolt's interest in Germany began in high school through two exchange programs, and was cultivated at Willamette when she spent her junior year studying abroad.

After she graduates this May, she'll head back to Germany again — as a U.S. Student Fulbright Grant winner.

The prestigious grant program places recent graduates in more than 150 countries each year to take classes, pursue graduate degrees, teach English or undertake research or creative projects.

Casebolt '10, who won an English teaching assistantship, is one of three Willamette students and alumni to win the award this spring.

"What I like about Germany is that I found another landscape and people that taught me about cultural values outside what I have learned growing up in the U.S.," says Casebolt, who majored in anthropology with a minor in German.

"I appreciated the support I got from Willamette as I applied for the Fulbright, both from Monique Bourque in Student Academic Grants and Awards and from my professors who wrote recommendations and helped me develop my application essay."

At Willamette, Casebolt used the ethnographic methods she learned in anthropology and her relationships through the German department to focus her senior thesis on interviewing German-American women immigrants about ways they shape their identities.

Outside of class, Casebolt was active in several organizations relating to her interest in social justice, including Strength-Health-Equality (S.H.E.) and the Vagina Monologues. She also worked for two years as a community mentor in Kaneko Commons.

She hopes to turn her civic engagement into a future career, possibly by seeking a graduate degree in social work.

"I want to be active in improving the world," she says, "and social work offers a lot of ways to be engaged in the community."

For more information on national scholarships for students, visit Student Academic Grants and Awards.