Roanoke students win Fulbright awards for teaching, study in London and Peru

Two Roanoke College students are bound for London and Peru as part of the competitive Fulbright Program.

Kaitlyn Bell '14, has been accepted into the Fulbright's English Teaching Assistant Program to teach English in Peru.

Erin Keating '17 will spend three weeks this summer studying at Shakespeare's Globe in London. This U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission summer institute is part of the American Institute for Foreign Study. Students study Shakespearian drama, participate in sword play, voice and movement workshops, learn from Globe actors and more. The institute runs from June 16 to July 4.

The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, offers funding for students, teachers and professionals to conduct research, teach and study.

Bell, a Spanish major from Howell, N.J., has spent much of her time at Roanoke College preparing for a career in education. Last year, she wrote and illustrated her first bilingual children's book, "Maggie La Maleta," a story of the travel adventures of a Spanish-speaking red suitcase named Maggie. Bell recently published her second book in the series, "Maggie La Maleta: Costa Rica," and she's working on a third book.

Though Bell has traveled to some Spanish speaking countries, including Costa Rica and Ecuador, she said her goal has been to visit Peru. She said landing the Fulbright grant encompasses all that she has done while at Roanoke.

"I'm doing what's in my heart," said Bell, an Honors student.

Of 32 applicants, five ETAs in Peru were awarded for 2014-15, according to the Fulbright program. Bell does not yet know where she will be teaching in Peru, nor the date that she will start the program. Typically, it begins in March and lasts for nine months to a year, she said.

While in Peru, Bell hopes to do a project alongside her English teaching that involves working with Peruvian children to help them learn English through story creation.

Keating, of Whippany, N.J., is one of three U.S. applicants, out of six interviewed, to earn a spot in the Globe's competitive summer institute, according to Jennifer Rosti, Roanoke's director of major scholarships and fellowships.

Keating's strong interest in theater, as well as encouragement from Roanoke assistant professor, Dr. Kenneth McGraw, led her to apply for the program. Keating took McGraw's British literature class last semester, and she was assistant director of the drama department at her high school.

At Roanoke, she is majoring in Literary Studies and minoring in Creative Writing.

"In addition to a deeper understanding of Shakespeare's works, I am hoping to bring back a new view of the world, given that this will be one of my first times out of the country," said Keating, who hopes to become a professor one day.

Of the nine programs that the U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission offers for U.S. undergraduates, the Globe program is the most sought after and the most competitive.

Keating is the second Roanoke College student to receive a Fulbright Summer Institute award. Patrick Dowling '16 received an award to the University of Bristol last summer.

Roanoke College, a classic liberal arts college in Salem, Virginia, combines firsthand learning with valuable personal connections in a beautiful, undergraduate setting. Roanoke is one of just seven percent of colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society. The Princeton Review lists Roanoke as the 18th most beautiful campus in its "Best 376 Colleges" 2012 guidebook.

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-Published April 21, 2014

Released: April 21, 2014