Winchester awarded prestigious Fulbright grant

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Secretary of the College
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2018-04-27 09:19:21 - General

Lauren Winchester
Lauren Winchester

Coe College graduating senior Lauren Winchester has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship grant. The Fulbright award will allow Winchester to teach in Germany during the 2018-19 academic year.

In all, four graduating Coe seniors received Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards this spring. Coe has been named a top producer of Fulbright U.S. students three of the last six years.

Winchester will graduate on May 6 with majors in communication studies and German. During her time at Coe, she been involved in Alpha Gamma Delta, the Ultimate (Frisbee) team, Rugcutters, the Salt Company and Intervarsity. Winchester has served in residence life for three years, first as a resident assistant and then as an assistant area coordinator her senior year. Off-campus, she has served all four years as a volunteer administrative intern at the Catherine McAuley Center.

During 2017, Winchester studied in Germany at the University of Landau through a Coe exchange program and "loved the experience." The desire to return to Germany – coupled with her love for teaching – inspired her to apply for the Fulbright scholarship.

"My time in Germany culminated with a deep interest in applying for the Fulbright," said Winchester. "I had known since my freshman year that I was interested, because teaching in Germany sounded cool."

Winchester has taught in many capacities since she was in middle school, from Sunday School in her church to summer camps and programs. She has also served as a ski instructor in her native Colorado.

"I've always loved teaching in some capacity," said Winchester.

Winchester's Fulbright application process really started when she submitted her resume and cover letter for a persuasion class taught by Communication Studies Professor Nathan Hodges. During the fall of her junior her, she began to work on her application in earnest with Coe English Professor and National Fellowship Advisor Amber Shaw.

"Amber was a huge influence with helpful feedback, and her patience in reviewing many revisions," said Winchester. "She really encouraged me to work through the writing process for the sake of writing it well and not just getting it done."

Communication Studies Professor Terri Donofrio, who is Winchester's academic advisor, was "super helpful" as well. "She was really encouraging in the process and gave me some great feedback," said Winchester.

In the future, Winchester will likely pursue a career in a non-profit, and perhaps even move into academia.

"At some point, I would love to be involved with leading a non-profit benefiting some sort of marginalized group, whether that is kids or homeless people or people in transition like refugees and immigrants," said Winchester.

Winchester is grateful for the opportunities provided through her Coe educational experience. At Coe, she believes she has learned how to do things well and excel.

"The people at Coe have taught me to be a lot more confident," said Winchester. "Coe lets you be so busy, it is like trial by fire, and now I can say 'yes' to the things that I love. I've learned that I don't have to do everything, and that's OK. I can be good at the few things I do and that's enough."

A graduate of Fairview High School, Lauren is the daughter of John and Janet Winchester of Boulder, Colorado.

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 380,000 participants – chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential – with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. More than 1,900 U.S. students, scholars, teachers, artists, scientists and professionals were offered Fulbright Program grants to teach English, conduct research and provide expertise in over 160 countries for the 2018-19 academic year.

Coe has established itself as a leading national producer of Fulbright scholars, with 23 in the past five years, and 32 awardees in the past decade. This builds upon the tradition of Coe students, alumni and faculty who have received Fulbrights since the program was established.

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.