Celebrating Dickinson's Ongoing Fulbright Success

Four students from the class of 2024 were named Fulbright ETAs. From left: Naim Ezekiel, Maddy Hull, Rebecca Garcia and Peter Guma. Photo by Dan Loh.

Four students from the class of 2024 were named Fulbright ETAs this year, and a professor (not pictured) was named a Fulbright U.S. scholar. From left: Naim Ezekiel, Maddy Hull, Rebecca Garcia and Peter Guma. Photo by Dan Loh.

Four students, one professor named Fulbright recipients

by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson

It's another banner year for global education at Dickinson! This spring, we're celebrating five members of the campus community who've earned prestigious Fulbright honors.

Naim Ezekiel '24 (studio-art) and Rebecca Garcia '24 (history and Latin American, Latinx & Caribbean studies) will each travel to Colombia during the next academic year as Fulbright English Teaching Assistants (ETAs). Fellow ETAs Maddy Hull ’24 (anthropology and Spanish) and Peter Guma ’24 (mathematics and Russian) will teach English in Spain and Uzbekistan, respectively.

“I’ve always wanted to visit a Russian-speaking country, so applying to teach English in Uzbekistan made perfect sense to me,” says Guma, who learned about the college’s Fulbright program during his first year on campus. “I’m excited by the prospect of being immersed in Uzbek culture and studying the Uzbek language.”

Professor of Geosciences Ben Edwards will spend next spring researching in Chile as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar. Over the span of three months, he'll live at the base of the Villarrica, Chile’s most active and dangerous volcano.

“Villarrica is a spectacular mountain, with lots of interesting geology,” says Edwards, who first visited the site 20 years ago, “but more important, if we understand its history better, we may be able to reduce the risk from future eruptions.” As he continues his research on volcano-ice interactions, Edwards also will work with the staff at a university-led science museum and with local mountain guides to help develop volcano-related educational programs and tours.

Global education leadership

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government's flagship international academic exchange program. Fulbright alumni include 41 heads of state or government, 62 Nobel Laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize-winners and 80 MacArthur Fellows, among innumerable change-makers and leaders across a spectrum of fields. Spring 2024 marks the 10th time since 2011 that the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has recognized Dickinson as a top Fulbright-producing institution. More than 30 Dickinson grads have earned Fulbright honors within the past six years alone.

That distinction is primarily due to the college’s leadership in global education. In addition to celebrated world-language instruction and award-winning study-abroad programming, Dickinson offers global and intercultural learning opportunities across the curriculum and inside and outside of class.

For example, while Hull’s study-abroad time in Spain, Argentina and Ecuador deepened her appreciation for Spanish languages and for the cultures of Spanish-speaking nations, her enrollment in Dickinson’s Spanish for the Health Professions class provided hands-on, community-based intercultural experiences that helped distinguish her among other Fulbright applicants. Along with her fellow students in that intensive class, Hull provided translation services for health care providers and the migrant workers they serve. Garcia was inspired to apply for the Fulbright after completing an internship as a study-abroad student in Argentina, where she taught English to a small group of women. During her Fulbright year, she can expect to apply lessons learned from that experience as well as what she discovered through the student-led Latina Discussion Group and in class. 

Before he was named a Fulbright ETA, Guma sharpened his language and cultural knowledge as a Russian teaching assistant, built leadership skills and cultural understanding through the Russian Club and as a Presidential Fellow and studied abroad in the U.K. Guma also took part in a Russian-language-immersion program, conducted student-faculty research on Soviet films and presented that original research at a professional conference. “Dickinson expanded my horizons,” Guma says. “I would not have had all of those experiences anywhere else.”

Ample support

Dickinson’s Fulbright success also speaks to the personal, hands-on guidance applicants receive from the college's Fulbright advisors, along with Office of Experiential Learning & Fellowship staff members. As Garcia notes, that's essential, given the notoriously rigorous Fulbright application.

"Luckily, Dickinson provides a lot of support," she says. "I'm glad I went through with it, and I'm so grateful for the help."

And the skills, experience and insights applicants gain through that experience can lead to competitive fellowships, jobs or internships, graduate-school acceptances and other prime opportunities down the road, says Amity Fox, associate provost for experiential learning & internships.

“It’s a win-win," she says, "and it's especially important for students to plan ahead when vying for opportunities that require nomination."

To learn more about Fulbright opportunities at Dickinson, visit Dickinson’s Fulbright Program website or contact fulbright@dickinson.edu.



Published May 14, 2024