Five recent University of Mary Washington alumni planned to travel, teach, and explore new cultures thanks to prestigious Fulbright grants announced last spring.
They are Anna Boland and Luci Coleman from the Class of 2016 and Lauren Bortfeld, Lisa Johnson, and Cara Wimberley from the Class of 2015. Three other alumni, Shirley Martey ’16, Alexandra Hoenscheid ’16, and Ellen Rives Kuhar ’15, were named Fulbright finalists.
Boland, a native of Leesburg, Virginia, is teaching English in Niedersachsen, Germany. She majored in German and minored in business administration at UMW, and she studied in Göttingen, a university town in Niedersachsen, during spring 2015.
Coleman, a native of Montpelier, Virginia, is researching specialized shrubland freshwater ecosystems at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. A double major in biology and environmental geology with a GIS certificate, Coleman made two trips abroad through UMW and delivered more than 400 sustainable solar lanterns to impoverished families in Moshi, Tanzania.
Bortfeld, a Fredericksburg native, will teach in Argentina. She earned a master’s degree in education from UMW and had studied in Quito, Ecuador, as a sophomore.
Johnson, a native of Vienna, Virginia, is teaching English at an elementary school in La Rioja, Spain. She earned a master’s degree in education from UMW and had studied in Bilbao, Spain, and in Bath, England.
Wimberley majored in psychology at UMW and spent spring 2014 in Amman, Jordan, where she studied Arabic and learned about Middle Eastern culture and history. She was scheduled to teach English in Turkey when that country’s July 15 coup attempt changed her plans: Fulbright canceled the program.
Nabil Al-Tikriti, associate professor of history and Fulbright adviser, said Wimberley plans to reapply next year.
Fulbright grants “illustrate UMW’s rounded approach to the liberal arts, with recipients representing a variety of majors and disciplines,” Al-Tikriti said. Since 2006, 18 UMW students and alumni have earned the grants and 19 others have been named alternates or semifinalists.