Fellowships Foster Cultural Connections

Five Kenyon graduates were awarded Fulbrights and a faculty member was named to its specialist program, while another student won a State Department scholarship to study language abroad.


Five Kenyon graduates have been awarded J. William Fulbright Fellowships, just months after the college was named a top producer of the distinguished international scholars.

A Kenyon professor was selected as a Fulbright Specialist as well, while another student was honored through a different State Department program with the Critical Language Scholarship.

Recipients of the coveted Fulbright fellowship receive grants to serve as English teaching assistants or conduct research abroad. Kenyon has long been a liberal arts leader in producing these scholars, and earlier this year it was recognized for the number of applicants it had selected for the 2022-23 student and faculty scholar programs.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Fulbright program provides funding for students and young professionals seeking graduate study, advanced research and teaching opportunities worldwide.

This year’s recipients are:

  • Chris Bechtol ’23, an international studies and Russian double major with a minor in history from Torrance, California, will teach English in Tajikistan.
  • Ngone Fall ’23, a biology major from Newark, New Jersey, will teach English in Senegal.
  • Felix Heisch ’23, an English and Spanish double major from Berkeley, California, will teach English in Spain.
  • Katie Hileman ’22, a German major from Washington Depot, Connecticut, will teach English in Germany.
  • Madeline Vonk ’23, an English and Spanish double major from Ada, Michigan, will teach English in Spain.

The Fulbright Specialist Program, established in 2001, provides U.S. academics who have significant expertise with the chance to take part in short term project-based exchanges around the world. 

  • Julie Brodie, professor of dance, has been selected to the Fulbright Specialist roster for the next three years, when she can be matched with different institutions. Brodie previously was awarded Fulbright grants to teach in Cairo (2010) and Latvia (2016).

Another initiative from the State Department that is welcoming a participant from Kenyon is the Critical Language Scholarship Program, which was created in 2006 and offers enrichment in studying languages and cultural experiences. Since its inception, the program has awarded 22 Kenyon students scholarships. 

  • Aram Ebrahimian ’25, from Roslyn, New York, is studying Persian this summer in Tajikistan as part of an eight-week program.