The Columns

Deborah Newell ’08 Awarded Fulbright Fellowship to Teach in Germany

— by on May 5th, 2008

Debby Newell ’08 of Troy, Michigan, is a recent recipient of a Fulbright grant to teach English in Germany. A German literature and medieval and Renaissance studies major, Newell will teach the English language to 12-18-year-olds.

Newell is a University Scholar, a tutor at the Writing Center and a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority. She enjoys traveling, running and hiking and has acted in W&L’s annual German department play for the past four years.

In addition to teaching part time, Newell will be responsible for completing a mini research project which will deal with German language radio dramas in the wake of WWII.

“I’m a radio DJ here for WLUR and an NPR addict,” she said. “I’ve always been struck by the power of radio to transcend economic and social barriers and to enliven literature. In my research I’ll be focusing on the impact of radio in the midst of postwar devastation.

“The Fulbright will give me the opportunity to explore several loves: teaching, travel, and radio, while also allowing me to act as a cultural ambassador and, I hope, foster lasting relationships with German students and teachers,” she added.

“There are few academic honors available to German majors at W&L that Debby has not earned,” said Roger Crockett, professor of German at W&L. “If we sent more young people like Debby abroad as teachers and ambassadors, we would be better understood and appreciated as a society.”

Newell is the recipient of the Stephenson Scholarship for German as well as the Craig Hinkel prize for English and German. She served as an exchange student to Bayreuth, northern Bavaria.

She undecided about her plans beyond her Fulbright year. “I’ve been accepted to law school, but I’m still considering a career in archiving or library science,” she said.