4 Rollins Students Named Fulbright Scholars

May 05, 2021

By Elsa Wenzel

Rollins students looking over the mountaintop at the horizon in Moab, Utah.
Photo by Scott Cook.

Four Rollins graduates have earned 2021-22 Fulbright Scholarships, including three teaching assignments and an award to pursue graduate studies at the University of Glasgow.

Four Rollins graduates carry forward Rollins’ long legacy of Fulbright Scholars, including Frances Turk ’20, Madison Fritz ’21, Ginevra Czech ’14 ’16MBA, and Katie Pearce ’19.

The U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program will take Fritz, an education major, to teach English in Uruguay, where she’ll split her time between urban and rural settings. Turk, also an education major, served as a student site leader in Rwanda during her time at Rollins. She’ll return to Africa—this time to Senegal—as a Fulbright Scholar to serve as an English teaching assistant.

“Recruiting and advising students for the Fulbright application process was the most challenging ever because of the pandemic,” says Jayashree Shivamoggi, former director of external and competitive scholarship advising. “Empathetic advising under these difficult circumstances called for creative and innovative modifications to the usual way things are done. Our students rose to occasion, and all our applicants turned in the best possible application they could have. Even the students who were not lucky enough to be awarded the scholarship are still going on to do incredible things thanks to the experience they gained during the application process.”

Pearce, a recent English major, will pursue graduate creative writing studies at the University of Glasgow, while Czech, an environmental studies and Spanish double major and dual MBA grad, will teach English in Argentina.

Together, these Fulbright Scholars carry forth the College’s mission of global citizenship and responsible leadership and join the company of distinguished Fulbrights, including scores of Nobel Prize winners, heads of state, authors, artists, and business leaders.

Launched in the aftermath of World War II, the Fulbright Program was established to foster peace and mutual understanding globally, supporting research and study across 140 countries. Just recently, Rollins was named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars for the ninth time. Since receiving its first Fulbright in 1951, the College has produced 85 scholars, with 60 of those named in the past 15 years.

We recently caught up with two of the global ambassadors as they prepare to take the next steps in their meaningful lives and productive careers.

Madison Fritz ’21

Madison Fritz ’21

  • Major: Elementary Education
  • Fulbright assignment: English teaching assistant in Uruguay

How Rollins prepared her: “The entire education department, especially Scott Hewit, Angela Griner, Jenn Manak, and Jie Yu, has gone above and beyond to support my journey. My experiences in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Cusco, Peru, for academics and service were incredibly formative and enhanced my desire to pursue a Fulbright in South America. Minoring in Spanish and Latin American and Caribbean studies really allowed me to be fully immersed in my interests. One of the most impactful co-curricular experiences I had was as a Bonner Leader volunteering weekly at Killarney Elementary, a local, low-income school just a short ride from campus but an entire world away.”

Post-Fulbright plans: “I want to become an advocate for children and focus on improving our nation’s education system. COVID-19 exposed and exacerbated problems in education but in another sense, the pandemic has pushed us to try to close those gaps and has made us more innovative. It’s more important now than ever to learn from other parts of the world, so I’m really excited to bring the language, cultural, and pedagogical competencies I gain in Uruguay back to the U.S. and make sure I’m a culturally responsive educator. I’d like to teach in Florida, which is home to a large population of English language learners, and it would be cool to work in a dual-language school. Eventually I’d like to pursue a master’s in education.”

Frances Turk ’20

Frances Turk ’20

  • Major: Elementary Education
  • Fulbright assignment: English teaching assistant in Senegal

How Rollins prepared her:Communication professor Rick Bommelje’s Listening and Servant Leadership courses were so out of the box and very much what Rollins is about. Community service, being a servant in all your walks of life, and finding your voice as a leader through listening to and serving others have shaped my ability to be a Fulbright Scholar. We’re there to be leaders, but also to serve the country and be a bridge and connection from the United States, constantly listening to cultural cues and paying attention to traditions.”

Post-Fulbright plans: “I have a heart for traveling, learning new cultures, and being surrounded by people who are not like me. Since I grew up in Madagascar, in a way these cultures that are not mine feel more like home. I definitely want to live internationally and work within the education field in some capacity.”

Ginevra Czech ’14 ’16MBA

Ginevra Czech ’14 ’16MBA

  • Majors: Environmental Studies and Spanish
  • Fulbright assignment: English teaching assistant in Argentina

How Rollins prepared her: “Every class I took at Rollins emphasized the importance of being a global citizen by urging students to consider multiple perspectives and stakeholders when evaluating an issue. As part of my undergraduate Spanish business class, I volunteered with Junior Achievement USA, a national nonprofit focused on providing financial literacy programs to America’s youth. Later, when I was studying for my MBA, I traveled to Mexico to create a strategic marketing plan for Todo Accessible, a consulting firm with the goal of making businesses more accessible for people with disabilities. I believe these diverse experiences helped me develop a global mindset and prepared me for this next adventure as a Fulbright student.”

Post-Fulbright plans: “I’ve enjoyed a successful career in finance working as a consultant for FS Investments since graduating with my MBA in 2016. Moving forward, I’d like to transition into a role where I can combine my professional skills with my personal passion to create positive change in the community. With that in mind, I’m considering roles in financial literacy, small business consulting, community banking, diplomacy, or even local government.”

Students wearing caps and gowns walk to a commencement ceremony on Rollins College’s campus.

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