Mary Washington had two Fulbright recipients this year – Hannah Rothwell ’19, who is teaching in Uzbekistan, and Lauren Closs ’20, whose research in Norway was put on hold by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rothwell, an economics and international affairs graduate, had applied for a Fulbright but was listed as a backup. Disappointed, she moved on to an internship in D.C. She was in a meeting there last winter when she received an unexpected text: Call the U.S. embassy in Uzbekistan immediately. She was needed at the Ferghana State University as soon as possible, she learned, to teach English through the Fulbright program.
Rothwell had to test negative for COVID before leaving the U.S., undergo another test in Uzbekistan, and then quarantine in a hotel before beginning her assignment at the university’s English Pedagogical Department.
Biology graduate Closs had planned to fly to Norway late last summer, but the country’s strict no-visitor rules delayed her entry. It was to be her second research-related trip to Oslo, where she worked in 2019 with UMW Professor of Biology Dianne Baker on wild fish stock restoration and aquaculture at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences.
Closs’s Fulbright has been deferred until August, when she will begin her work in Norway, Baker said. Baker and Professor of History Nabil Al-Tikriti co-chair the UMW Fulbright evaluation committee, which helps students submit Fulbright applications.