The Columns

Fulbright Awards and French Government Teaching Award Announced

— by on May 12th, 2009

Four Washington and Lee University seniors have been awarded grants for postgraduate study under the Fulbright Programs while a fifth student has won a teaching assistantship through the French government through a Fulbright application.

They are:

• Katherine (Kassie) Bagley of Midlothian, Va., has been awarded the Fulbright Teaching Assistantship in Germany;

• Katherine Bastian of North Wales, Pa., has been awarded a distinguished Fulbright Research Fulbright in Germany;

• Paul Stack of Baltimore, Md., who has been awarded the Fulbright Teaching Assistantship and will be teaching English in the Lorraine region of France;

• Elizabeth Webb of Middleburg, Va., has been awarded a distinguished Fulbright Research Grant at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.

In addition to those four Fulbright winners, Kelly Bundy of Moseley, Va., has been awarded a Teaching Assistantship in English through the French government.

“We are delighted with the results of the Fulbright applications this year,” said George Bent, head of the department of art and art history and W&L’s liaison to the Fulbright Programs. “These students will be excellent ambassadors for the University. They have all worked extremely hard on their applications and are deserving of these honors.”

Katherine (Kassie) Bagley is a German and politics double major. She will be an English teaching assistant in Hamburg, Germany, where she hopes to be involved in volleyball coaching at the school where she’s placed. Bagley chose as her research project Germany’s unique experience of reunifying as a country while politically and economically integrating within the European Union.

While at W&L, Bagley played varsity volleyball four years, was captain of the volleyball team and was the volleyball representative to the Student Athlete Advisory Council. She has a radio show on WLUR, has worked with the Peer Tutoring program and is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. Bagley is unsure of post-Fulbright plans but is considering either law school or a graduate program for international affairs.

Katherine Bastian is a politics and German language double major. She will be studying and taking classes at the University of Bonn for 10 months and will explore how Germany’s energy policies affect its foreign policy choices. According to Bastian, “The subject dovetails nicely with the work I have done for my honors thesis on alternative energy development in Germany.”

Bastian is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Sigma Alpha politics honor society and the University Chorus. She is active in the German Club and was a recipient of the James Wood Prize in German. After the Fulbright in Germany is over, Bastian will attend law school at the University of Virginia where she hopes to study international or corporate law.

Paul Stack is an English and French double major. While teaching English in France, he will pursue a research project on the interplay between contemporary music and culture as it relates to France’s “banlieues” or suburbs. “I plan on focusing on immigrant communities’ appropriation of the French language through the medium of music,” Stack says, “and how different ethnic groups have effectively used music to give shape to their own ethnic consciousness while at the same time redefining French national identity in terms of multiculturalism.”

Stack is president of Students Against Rockbridge Area Hunger which raised roughly $7,000 for local food pantries this year, and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Chi fraternity. He is public relations chair for Traveller (W&L’s safe-ride home transportation system) and a Writing Center tutor and a Peer tutor.

Elizabeth Webb, a biochemistry major, will use her research grant to explore the connection between the KITLG gene and malignant melanoma at the University of Queensland. Webb is interested in this research because of a high incidence of melanomas in her family. Her mother’s case inspired her project. There is also a high incidence of melanomas in Australia and she will work at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland.

Webb has run varsity cross country and track for the past four years, serving as captain of the teams the past two years. She is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Eta Sigma freshman honor society and Alpha Epsilon Delta premed honor society. She’s also a member of the student chapter of the American Chemical Society. Webb plans on attending medical school next fall after her Fulbright in Australia.

Kelly Bundy is a French and politics double major. Through the assistantship she will be teaching English and is awaiting her placement. “The Fulbright Program forwarded my application to the French Embassy,” said Bundy. “The Institute of International Education (IIE) gives only a few grants a year, including the Fulbrights, but the embassy gives more so I’m delighted to be able to have this opportunity.” Unlike the Fulbrights, this program does not request a research project but Bundy is hoping to volunteer with at risk youth and learn about, investigate and analyze the differences in penal systems.”

Bundy has been a member, officer and president of Chi Omega sorority, was a Bonner Leader Volunteer at Natural Bridge Juvenile Detention Center, volunteered at Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center, has participated in two Mock Trials and had a Shepherd Poverty Alliance Internship in London, Ky. She also studied abroad in Paris at the Sorbonne. After teaching in France, Bundy plans to attend law school and is interested in studying international criminal law and human rights law.

The Fulbright Program, administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE), offers fellowships to U.S. students for study, research, and/or teaching assistantships abroad. Established in 1946, the Fulbright Program aims to increase mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and other countries, through the exchange of persons, knowledge and skills. The Fulbright teaching assistantship program places students in host countries to teach English and complete a research project. The host country provides the student with international travel expenses, a living stipend and in some cases, tuition assistance.