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Ohio University students win Fulbright Award to Germany

ATHENS, Ohio (April 21, 2006) -- Three Ohio University students have won Fulbright awards to Germany: Eileen Kelbach, Meghan Schuck and Genevieve Waller. Both Kelbach, a senior German major, and Schuck, a senior German, political science and magazine journalism major, will spend next year teaching English in German schools. Waller, a master's student in art history and photography will spend the 2006-07 year in Berlin studying the history and theory of the photogram (a camera-less photograph) process.

Photo by Rick Fatica"Having three Ohio University students selected for Fulbright awards to Germany is unprecedented, and this is the fourth year in a row in which at least one Ohio University student has been offered an award to that country," says Beth Clodfelter, Ohio University's Fulbright Program adviser. "Their success is a tribute to Ohio University's German professors, as well as to faculty members in the variety of academic programs that they represent."

Kelbach will graduate in June with a minor in linguistics and a certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). In addition to teaching English to German high school students, she will collect materials for a project on teaching foreign languages through music. Kelbach studied abroad in Germany as a high school student and again as an Ohio University student. She is a member of Delta Phi Alpha German Honor Society and Golden Key National Honor Society, and she served as an English conversation partner in the Ohio Program of Intensive English. After returning to the United States, Kelbach plans to pursue a graduate degree for foreign language education and to teach German at the high school level, and eventually at the university level.

"It is an honor to receive the Fulbright German teaching assistantship," says Kelbach. "I see it as a great opportunity to work for global understanding and gain more world experience. Teaching English in Germany will be invaluable to me as both a student and as a future teacher of German."

Photo by Rick FaticaSchuck, who will graduate in June with a TEFL certificate in addition to her triple major, studied abroad in Salzburg, Austria, as an Ohio University student and participated in a European tour during high school. At Ohio University she is a member of Delta Phi Alpha German Honor Society, has taught German as a volunteer at the Athens Community Center and has served as an English conversation partner for the Ohio Program of Intensive English. Schuck also hosted a German music radio show on WOUB and wrote for The Post and Southeast Ohio Magazine.

"I want to study German in graduate school and teach it later, so I'm thrilled because this teaching assistantship is exactly what I need and was hoping for," said Schuck. "I'm so grateful that I have such helpful professors, especially in the German department, who have encouraged me since freshman year."

She hopes to put her journalism skills to use in her German classroom by helping students produce a school newspaper in English. While in Germany she will also study post-unification labor politics through the lens of movies and other popular media.

"I seldom meet a student with Meghan's enthusiasm for learning, eagerness to explore new avenues of thought and devotion to perfecting her language skills," says Bärbel Such, visiting assistant professor of German. "Any school in Germany will greatly benefit from her presence as a teacher, colleague and representative of a foreign country and culture."

Annette Steigerwald, assistant professor of German, has taught both Kelbach and Schuck. "Both of these young women are outstanding students and embody the Fulbright ideals of furthering international understanding through education and cultural exchange," she says.

Photo by Rick FaticaA graduate of Wichita State University, Waller has studied abroad in Greece, Canada and Germany. She is working to improve her strong German skills and will participate in an intensive German language program this summer. Her artwork has been displayed at Ohio University and in Kansas, New York and Wisconsin and has been published in the book "Stereo Visions". After her Fulbright year she plans to pursue a doctorate in art history and work for an arts publication while continuing to make photograms and exhibit her artwork.

"Being awarded a Fulbright scholarship to Germany to research the history of the photogram means a great deal to me. It shows that a host of American and German officials recognize the importance of the history of photography," said Waller.

Based on her work in Germany, Waller hopes to author and publish texts that will likewise inform and convince a wide audience of the value of photographic history, and particularly the role of the photogram, from the origins of photography to the present.

"Genevieve Waller is an extraordinarily talented young scholar, whose intellectual work is all the more remarkable because she is a practicing artist," says Laura Larson, assistant professor of photography. "Her experience as an artist uniquely positions her to create a dimensional account of photogram practice from a range of perspectives. With her project, I believe she is poised to make a significant contribution in the field of photography history."

Fifteen Ohio University students were recommended to the final round of competition in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program this year. This sets an Ohio University record for the highest number of recommended students in this prestigious national competition. Including Kelbach, Schuck and Waller, five Ohio University students have received Fulbright awards so far this year. The other 10 candidates will find out sometime between April and June whether they will receive a Fulbright award.

Outstanding students who are U.S. citizens are invited to learn about the opportunities that the prestigious Fulbright program offers in over 100 countries. Funded projects include independent field or library research, creative or performing arts projects and opportunities to teach English, sometimes in combination with taking classes at an international university. Students who will be seniors, masters or doctoral candidates in fall 2006 could be eligible to apply.

For more information, please contact Beth Clodfelter at 593-2302 or clodfele@ohio.edu or visit Ohio University's Fulbright Web page at www.ohiou.edu/internationalstudies/fulbright.htm.

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Media Contact: Center for International Studies Assistant Director Beth Clodfelter, (740) 593-2302 or clodfele@ohio.edu

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