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Moravian College Graduate Receives Prestigious Fulbright Scholarship

Rebecca Brandt '05

Bethlehem, Pa., May 2, 2006—A Moravian College alumna Rebecca Brandt ’05 was recently named a Fulbright Scholar. Brandt is the seventh Moravian College student to be awarded a Fulbright in the last seven years, and the sixth student to travel to Germany on a Fulbright award. She has been selected as a teaching fellow in Berlin, and while abroad, plans to research the existence of an unspoken divide between the former East and West Germany.

Brandt, a native of Bethlehem, Pa., graduated summa cum laude from Moravian College, with a major in German. She was the recipient of the Irving S. Amrhein Award given to a graduating senior for distinguished work in one or more foreign languages. Brandt was a member of the German Club, and served as president in her senior year at the college. In 2002, she graduated summa cum laude from Northampton Community College, where she received the Liberal Arts Award for the highest grade point average in her major.

Currently, Brandt teaches English as a Second Language at Lehigh Carbon Community College, and serves as a substitute teacher for English as a Second Language in the (ESL) program and in the General Educational Development (GED) department at Northampton Community College.

Brandt joins a growing number of Moravian College students and alumni to receive the prestigious award. In the 2004-2005 academic year two Moravian College students, Julie Anderson ’05 and Leigh Ann Caruso ’04 received Fulbright Scholarships to pursue studies in Germany. Anderson received a teaching fellowship in Berlin and planned to research German critical sources regarding Fulbright scholar, author and poet, Sylvia Plath. Caruso received a research fellowship to study colonial Moravian emotional culture in Erfurt, Germany.

Previously three other Moravian College students were chosen Fulbright scholars: Marianne Zwicker ’99, Daniel Byrne ’00, and Courtney Rice ’01. Zwicker spent a year in Berlin studying the Sinti and Roma (Gypsies) who were tribes targeted by the Nazi racial extermination policies. She then spent years working in Berlin as an English tutor and playing Celtic fiddle in a band. Byrne served as a teaching fellow in history in a German high school and continued his research on Nobel Prize-winning writer Heinrich Böll. Rice taught English at a middle school in Oberschönau in Saxony and continued research on 18th- and 19th-century Moravian education.

Brandt, Anderson and Caruso were mentored by Josef Glowa, assistant professor of German at Moravian College. Zwicker, Byrne, and Rice were students of Hans Wuerth, professor emeritus of German at the college.

Glowa is a member of the advisory board to the newly established program in German Studies at the College Students who major in German have the particular educational benefit to draw from Bethlehem's Moravian background and history. The Moravians were the earliest Protestant group, predating Martin Luther. They received the name Moravians derived from Moravia, their province of origin, which has been German as often as it has been Czech in the past millennium.

In 2002, Fulbright scholar: M. Leslie Smith, spent her Fulbright year in Madrid, Spain, studying the literary influences on Spanish women at the Universitario de Studios de la Mujer. Her honors project was a study of a short-lived but influential magazine for women published during the Franco era.

Previous students who received Fulbright Scholarships in the 1960's were: Patricia McAndrew, class of 1968, an honors history student who received a Fulbright to translate the major work of renowned Danish ballet master, August Bournonville; and Helen Kovach Bachochin, class of ’65, received a Fulbright award to study at the University of Madrid, Spain.

The U.S. Congress created the Fulbright Program in 1946, immediately after World War II, to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges. Today the Fulbright Program is the U.S. Government's premier scholarship program. It enables U.S. students, artists and other professionals to benefit from unique resources all over the world.

Each year the Fulbright Program allows Americans to study or conduct research in over 100 nations. The Institute of International Education (IIE) coordinates the activities relevant to the U.S. graduate student program and conducts an annual competition for the scholarships, most of which are for one academic year of study or research.

The Fulbright (Full Grant) provides round-trip transportation; language or orientation courses, where appropriate; tuition, in some cases; book and research allowances; and maintenance for the academic year.

The U.S. Student Program is designed to give recent B.S./B.A. graduates, masters and doctoral candidates, and young professionals and artists opportunities for personal development and international experience. Most grantees plan their own programs.