Seniors and Alumna Receive Fulbright Grants

Recipients of Fulbright U.S. Student Grants are selected on the basis of academic achievement and leadership potential, with the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

“We are exceptionally proud of all of our Grinnell College Fulbright applicants for the 2018-2019 grant year,” said Ann Landstrom, assistant dean and director of global fellowships and awards in the Center for Careers, Life, and Service. “The recipients of the grant year are excited for their journeys and well-prepared to take on the rigors of their assignments serving as ambassadors of the United States and Grinnell College.”

Sara Ashbaugh ’18

Sara Ashbaugh ’18 of Columbia, Mo., is majoring in political science and Russian.

Ashbaugh was selected for an English teaching assistantship in Russia to teach English and U.S. culture and serve as an adviser at the university level. For her supplementary project, she plans to continue research on contemporary Russian science fiction and its popularity, appeal, and differences from American science fiction.

She participated in off-campus study through the Grinnell-in-London and Bard-Smolny Summer Language Intensive in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Ashbaugh has served as a research and office assistant in the political science department and conducted a mentored advanced project and served on the Student Educational Policy Committee through the Russian department. She was also an assistant teacher in a Grinnell after-school arts program and an ESL assistant teacher at a local community college. Ashbaugh has had several leading roles in the theatre department over the course of her four years at Grinnell.

Emma Friedlander ’18

Emma Friedlander ’18 of Overland Park, Kan., is majoring in history and Russian.

She was selected for an English teaching assistantship in Russia to teach English and U.S. culture and serve as an adviser at the university level. During her assistantship, she hopes to support a student journalism club and her supplementary project is to start an oral history project, interviewing community members about how their community has altered and what remnants of the past remain present today.

Friedlander participated in off-campus study through the Bard-Smolny Study Abroad Program in Saint Petersburg, Russia. At Grinnell she served as a Russian language tutor, library research tutor, writing lab mentor, and History Student Education Policy Committee member. Friedlander has contributed significant time to The Scarlet & Black student newspaper since 2015, and served as editor-in-chief in 2017-2018. She also conducted historical research and community engagement for the Prison Public Memory Project and had summer internships at Macmillan Publishers, N.Y., and the Museum at Eldridge Street, N.Y.

Ryan Hung ’18

Ryan Hung ’18 of Alhambra, Calif., is majoring in theatre and dance. He was selected for an English teaching assistantship in South Korea to teach conversational English to middle and high school students. He is a Posse Foundation Scholar and a recipient of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for his off-campus study in South Korea.

At Grinnell, Hung is a performer and choreographer within the theatre and dance department. He served as a global envoy for the Institute for Global Engagement and a tutor for Korean language with the alternative language study option program for the Language Learning Center. Hung was also a leader and member of the Asian American Association, Theatre/Dance Student Educational Policy Committee, and indoor track and field team.

Isabel Monaghan ’16

Isabel Monaghan ’16 of Oak Park, Ill., is an English major selected for a special Community-Based Combined Grant in Austria to facilitate community service, internships, capacity-building, and other community-based projects. This work is combined with university coursework and an English teaching assistantship.

She is completing her second year as an assistant language teacher for the Japanese Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program in Nagasaki, Japan, and she will then transition to her grant year in Austria. Monaghan has secured an affiliation with the Austrian NGO EDUCULT in Vienna, where as an intern she will focus on creative intercultural education. She will collaborate on projects that bolster intercultural dialogue and learning through creativity. In addition, she will serve as a part-time cultural and English language teacher and enroll in courses at the University of Vienna.

While at Grinnell, Monaghan was a German language student for two years and participated in a Vienna off-campus study program. She served as services coordinator for the Student Government Association, completed two mentored advanced research projects with the education department, and was a student adviser and hall wellness coordinator. Monaghan also served as an intern with the Agenda Center for Family Support in Belgrade, Serbia, and a Ni Ka Na coordinator for the Meskwaki Settlement School in Iowa.

Emma Traband ’18

Emma Traband ’18 of Sun Prairie, WI, is majoring in biology and German.

Traband was selected for an English teaching assistantship in Germany to teach American studies and English language to German students at all pre-university levels. While on off-campus study at the Albert-Ludwigs University in Freiburg, Germany, she became an active member of the community, serving as an intern at a German Gymnasium teaching 8th grade English and 9th grade biology. During her Fulbright year, she will continue that community engagement through involvement within her school placement and volunteering at local museums and community gardens.

In the last four years, she was a student mentor in the biology department, an intern and phonathon caller in the development and alumni relations department, a co-leader with the German Student Educational Policy Committee, librarian with the music department, and a forensics coach at Sun Prairie High School, Wis. Traband was also a performer with the Grinnell Singers and the a cappella group “Noteworthy.”

Kahlil Epps ’18

Kahlil Epps ’18Kahlil Epps ’18 of Washington, DC is an English major.

Epps was selected for an English teaching assistantship in Croatia to serve as an assistant English instructor at the University level. He will be a resource for conversation, vocabulary, and reading and writing courses, along with some educational advising, outreach, and community activities. Epps wants to offer cultural engagement and exchange through music, media, news, and speech-writing. For his supplementary project, he plans to share his passion for poetry by organizing a poetry club and poetry slam at his college placement, inspiring his students to develop and share their English language skills.

As a student at Grinnell College, he was the captain of the swim team, vice-president of student affairs for student government, multicultural intern in the office of admission, and former president of the concerned black students organization. He has been recognized as a Scholar All-American Team Member, 2014-15, Dean's List recipient, 2017, and a District of Columbia Posse Scholar, 2014-2018.


Three graduating seniors were named alternates in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program process for 2018-2019:

  • Shannon Ellery ’18, Ukraine English teaching assistantship;
  • Hana Lord ’18, Japan research/study; and
  • Caryn McKechnie ’18, Peru English teaching assistantship.

The Fulbright Program

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. Government’s flagship international educational exchange program designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. For more than 70 years, these federally sponsored grants have provided future American leaders with an unparalleled opportunity to study, conduct research, and teach in other countries.

Currently, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program operates in over 140 countries worldwide and annually awards over 1,900 grants for U.S. students to study overseas. The Fulbright Program of the U.S. Department of State is funded by an annual appropriation from the U.S. Congress to the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and supported in its implementation by the Institute of International Education.

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