“Vukovar Cellars,” working title of novel in progress
“I hope by writing a novel and going there, my enthusiasm and interest will spill over and people will see Croatia as an important country.”
May 16, 2003
Students earn honors
By Emily Garland
Three Linfield seniors and one recent graduate will spend next year researching or teaching in foreign countries with grants from the Fulbright Program and the French government.
These students competed against almost 5,300 students for 1,134 grants this year. Eleven out of the 13 Linfield students who have applied over the past five years have been awarded Fulbright grants or French Government Teaching Assistantships. Debbie Olsen, instructor of history and director of academic advising, said the number of Linfield students who applied for and received grants this year is the highest in her eight years as Linfield’s Fulbright adviser.
Created by the United States Congress in 1946, the Fulbright Program awards grants to students to study, research and teach abroad. Its purpose is to improve the understanding of other cultures and nations.
Paul Beck, an international business major and German minor, will travel to Saarbrucken, Germany in September with the money from his Fulbright award. He will research the impact of the Euro on the German economy, specifically on small and middle-sized businesses. He will spend his first few months studying the history of Europe’s introduction of the single currency system at the University of Saarland in Saarbrucken. For the remainder of the year, he will interview small companies and produce case studies documenting the Euro’s impact on the companies’ export sales throughout Europe.
Beck said although he doesn’t think he will see a significant change, he expects he will find evidence that the introduction of the Euro has been advantageous to smaller companies.
“The main theory is that the Euro will provide an advantage to small companies who export their products through Europe. Before they were at a disadvantage,” Beck said. “Were they able to increase their export sales in Europe since they’ve had the system two years? Or did things pretty much stay the same?”
Jennifer Cregg graduated from Linfield in December 2002 with a German major and political science and European studies minors. She is currently a graduate student at the University of Heidelberg in Heidelberg, Germany.
Cregg received a Padagogischer Austauschdienst teaching assistantship. She does not yet know where she will be teaching within Germany. After her assistantship, Cregg hopes to continue graduate school and become an English teacher in Germany.
Sarah Monfort will travel to Croatia next year where she will write a historical novel on the 85-day Siege of Vukovar of 1991.
Monfort will graduate this June with a creative writing major and history and Spanish minors.
“[A] Fulbright is a wonderful way to research this project,” Monfort said. “[It will give me the] opportunity to actually go to the site and interview the people who lived through the event, who are still in the process of rebuilding the town and their lives.”
Monfort has been studying the Croatian language over the past two semesters with a tutor she hired from the University of Portland and a Linfield student from Serbia. She plans to arrive in Croatia in July, when she will enroll in an intensive language program in Dubrovnik before her Fulbright fellowship begins in October.
Monfort will spend a semester at Zagreb University in the capital city of Zagreb, where she will gather information for “Vukovar Cellars,” which is the working title of her novel. She will travel to Vukovar for the remainder of her fellowship, where she will observe and talk to the residents and concentrate on writing her novel.
Monfort turned in the 40 pages of her novel she has already written as part of her Fulbright proposal.
Her main purpose in writing the novel, Monfort said, is to spur interest in Croatia and to convince people of its importance.
“Croatia is such a beautiful country with wonderful people, [but] it can be virtually overlooked by a lot of the world,” Monfort said. “I hope by writing a novel and going there, my enthusiasm and interest will spill over and people will see Croatia as an important country.”
Joelle Tybon, a history and English major and French minor, was awarded an affiliated French Government Teaching Assistantship. Students apply for this grant through the Fulbright Program. Tybon will teach English conversation classes to high school students for 12 hours a week. She does not yet know in what region she will be teaching.
Tybon has played soccer every fall for the past 15 years and said she hopes to play or coach the sport during her stay in France.
Tybon spent a semester in southern France and is eager to return.
"I really want to improve my language skills,” Tybon said. “I also want to share America with high schoolers who might not have any other experience with it.”