WASHINGTON, PA (June 15, 2022)—Two Presidents have been selected as 2021-22 Fulbright Scholars, continuing Washington & Jefferson College’s nearly ten-year relationship with the Fulbright Program.
Chosen by the United States Fulbright Commission, recent alumni Clara Sherwood ’22 and Caroline Fedor ’20 each were awarded one of the program’s prestigious English Teaching Assistantships. Having accepted hers, Sherwood will make her way to Morocco, while Fedor, funded for travel to Poland, will actually head to Tokyo, Japan, accepting an offer to conduct research in regenerative medicine at Juntendo University over the Fulbright.
“I want to serve both the United States and Morocco as a student-diplomat through the Fulbright program…and be a source for strengthening US-Moroccan relations through education,” Sherwood said of the opportunity. “I’ll be in the city of Tangier teaching at the Ecole Supérieure Roi Fahd de Traduction (King Fahd Translation School), Abdelmalek Essaâdi University. I’m quite excited to…make use of my Spanish skills, as well as Arabic.”
Formerly an international studies, Spanish, and thematic music & conflict triple major, Sherwood has traveled internationally before, visiting Morocco in 2019 for her Magellan Project—an experience that sparked a desire to return with the Fulbright program.
“The Magellan Project was the foundation for my undergraduate successes,” she said. “It gave me substantial solo experience abroad, allowed me to explore a new continent, and grew my interest in the Arab World. After being welcomed in Morocco as a young student, I wanted to return back to this vibrant country.”
Coincidentally, the Magellan Project proved equally as influential for Fedor, who majored in biochemistry, minored in music, and earned a concentration in Russian at W&J. Using it to study in Japan as an undergraduate, her experience bolstered both her bout for a Fulbright and her decision not to pursue it.
“When I found out that I was awarded the Fulbright, I was faced with a very difficult decision,” said Fedor, who is currently working as a research fellow at the University of Pittsburgh. “I was thrilled and honored to be granted the prestigious Fulbright award…, but at the same time, I had already progressed towards this unique opportunity in Japan, which aligned more with my career goals.”
Both women maintain impressive resumes, boasting a variety of leadership and linguistic teaching experiences—Sherwood works with Syrian refugees at a virtual non-profit called Paper Airplanes, while Fedor holds a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification and volunteers at Literacy Pittsburgh. Yet they both hold that W&J led them to their Fulbrights.
“I’ve known about Fulbright opportunities since coming to W&J, but it was [Assistant Professor of Russian] Dr. Susan Vdovichenko who really encouraged me to apply,” Sherwood said with Fedor in agreeance.
“She has been a long-time mentor of mine and one of the primary influences in my travel abroad ambitions,” said Fedor of Vdovichenko. “Without her, I would never have had experiences…which taught me leadership, communication, mentorship, conflict/resolution, and problem solving—all essential skills for a Fulbright grantee.”
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. It is designed to increase mutual understanding between the United States and partner countries. Fulbright grant recipients are selected based on academic and professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential.
W&J’s ties to the Fulbright Program are a staple of the College. W&J has been named a Top Producer of Fulbright Students by the U.S. Department of State multiple times, and has had many student and faculty Fulbright winners, earning awards consecutively for the past eight years.
About the Fulbright U.S. Student Program
More than 1,900 U.S. students, artists and young professionals are offered Fulbright Program grants to study, teach English, and conduct research abroad each year. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program operates in more than 140 countries throughout the world.
For more information on the Fulbright Program, visit https://us.fulbrightonline.org/.
About Washington & Jefferson College
Washington & Jefferson College, proudly located in Washington, Pa., is a historic liberal arts college founded in 1781 that values ethical leadership, professional readiness, and inclusive communities. Our highly customized and intellectually engaging student experience develops professionals of uncommon integrity to lead in an ever-changing world. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.