posted May 17, 2013

Graduating Seniors Receive Fulbright Awards

L-R: Tessa Angell, Rachel Elzinga, Andreana Rosnik, Erin Wilhemi

Four graduating Hope College seniors have received highly competitive awards through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

Tessa Angell of Grand Rapids, Rachel Elzinga of Doylestown, Pa., and Erin Wilhelmi of Cary, Ill., have each received awards to teach abroad during the coming year.  Andreana Rosnik of Shelby Township has received an award to conduct research abroad during 2013-14.

Several Hope students or recent graduates have received the awards through the years, including four each in 2008 and 2009, two each in 2010 and 2011, and three last year.

Angell will be an English-language teaching assistant at a secondary school in the Cantabria region of Spain.

She completed an international studies composite major and a Spanish major, and spent the fall of 2011 studying abroad in Santiago, Chile.  She was also one of the five graduating seniors in the first cohort to have participated in the college’s Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Scholars Program in the Arts and Humanities.  Her activities at Hope also included teaching ESL (English as a second language) classes through the college’s department of Spanish, the Mortar Board honorary society, participating in spring break immersion trips, and the Nykerk Cup competition.  She is the daughter of James and Diane Angell of Grand Rapids, and a 2009 graduate of East Grand Rapids High School.

Elzinga will be an English language teaching assistant at a rural school in Nepal.  In addition to classroom instruction, she will also work with the Nepal English Language Teachers’ Association (NELTA) to contribute to the development of English curriculum and teacher training.  She leaves in June for training in Washington, D.C., followed by a month of in-country language training in Nepal before heading to her assigned school.

Elzinga majored in mathematics education, focusing on kindergarten through eighth grade, and minored in French.  Earlier in the spring semester, she was named to Phi Beta Kappa and received the college’s Catherine Morrison ’89 Senior Math Education Award.  She spent the spring of 2011 studying abroad in Cameroon, and also participated in the college’s 2012 May Term at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.  Her other activities at Hope included serving as a volunteer tutor through the Children’s After School Achievement (CASA) program and Silent Praise.  She is the daughter of Paul and Mary Elzinga of Doylestown, and a 2009 graduate of Central Bucks High School East.

Rosnik will be at the University of Barcelona in Spain conducting theoretical chemistry research related to understanding quantum coherence effects in photosynthetic light-harvesting.

She majored in chemistry and mathematics and minored in Spanish.  Also while at Hope, she conducted collaborative research with Dr. William Polik, who is the Edward and Elizabeth Hofma Professor of Chemistry.  Earlier this spring, she received an honorable mention in the prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship program of the National Science Foundation (NSF).  She was also inducted into the college’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, received the college’s Southland Medal (Gerrit H. Albers Gold Medal) and received a Senior Sigma Xi Research Award in chemistry.  In addition to research, her activities at the college included the Mortar Board honorary society, the Chemistry Club, the Sigma Delta Pi Spanish honorary society, the Union of Catholic Students, the Phelps Scholars Program and studying abroad in Rome through a Hope May Term.  She is the daughter of Andrew and Philomena Rosnik of Shelby Township, and a 2009 graduate of Notre Dame Preparatory.

Wilhelmi will be serving in a province in Argentina as a teacher assistant in an English teacher training college, which trains ESL (English as a second language) teachers.  Because the school year in Argentina runs March-November, her service will begin next year.

She majored in Spanish education, with an emphasis on teaching at the elementary level, and minored in music, and spent the fall of 2011 studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Her activities at the college also included the Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership honor society, serving as a resident assistant and orientation assistant, participating in a spring break immersion trip, the student-organized Dance Marathon fund-raiser held on behalf of Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, performing in Hope musical ensembles including the Chapel Choir, and performing in the faculty-choreographed dance concerts and with InSync Dance Theatre.  She is the daughter of David and Margaret Wilhelmi of Cary, and a 2009 graduate of Cary-Grove Community High School.

Fulbright grants are made to U.S. citizens and nationals of other countries for a variety of activities, primarily international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools. Grant recipients include recent college graduates and graduate students, college and university instructors, and professionals in other fields.

The U.S. Student Program is designed for recent college graduates, master’s and doctoral candidates, young professionals and artists, with awards supporting an academic year of study, research or teaching assistantship experience. The program operates in more than 135 countries worldwide.