Peter Madsen awarded prestigious Fulbright grant

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
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2015-06-09 10:35:30 - General

Coe College alumnus Peter Madsen has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship grant. The Fulbright award will allow Madsen to teach in Malaysia beginning in January 2016.

Madsen graduated cum laude from Coe in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in American studies and French. While at Coe, he took advantage of opportunities to study abroad in Asia and in Paris. Madsen also served as a Writing Center consultant, was actively involved in Environmental Club and published his work in the college's literary magazines. Off-campus, he assisted with ESL classes at the Kirkwood Resource Center and volunteered at the Catherine McAuley Center.

However, it was Madsen's study-abroad experiences that piqued his interest in applying for the Fulbright, coupled with encouragement from Coe Professor Ann Struthers, who serves as the college's Fulbright Program advisor. Madsen was also inspired by upper-class Coe students who had received the award.

"Hearing about the Fulbrights every year made me think, 'I could do that,'" said Madsen.

"There are so few opportunities to do these kinds of recognized cultural exchange programs…the Fulbright name is definitely recognized. I've always been interested in traveling abroad, teaching and being a cultural ambassador."

Specifically, his participation in Coe's semester-long Asia Term solidified Madsen's decision to apply for the Fulbright in Malaysia.

"I was curious to go back to that region. I've never been to Malaysia, but their society is very multi-cultural," said Madsen. "I study American culture, and a huge part of American culture is all the different facets and aspects of it. It will be really cool to see a country with so many different religious and ethnic groups that seem to work together pretty well."

While still unsure what he wants to do long term, the Fulbright Teaching Assistantship will undoubtedly open the door for future opportunities for Madsen.

A native of Council Bluffs, Iowa, Peter is the son of Matt and Kathleen Madsen.

Established in 1946 and sponsored by the United States Department of State, the Fulbright Program aims to increase mutual understanding between Americans and the peoples of other countries, through the exchange of persons, knowledge and skills. The Fulbright Program is the largest international exchange program, providing funding for students, scholars and professionals to undertake graduate study, advanced research and teaching. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program sends approximately 1,500 students per year to more than 140 countries.

Coe College offers superb academics and exciting co-curricular activities in a thriving urban setting that promotes student growth and success. Established in 1851, Coe has a national reputation for academic excellence enhanced by a student-centered, highly supportive campus environment. Coe's vibrant Cedar Rapids location provides an abundance of internships for students and career opportunities for graduates.