Fulbright Scholars 2014
Kyle Van de Bittner '14 will conduct research in New Zealand.
Two Redlands graduates described as “outstanding in their respective fields” were named Fulbright Scholars this spring, bringing the total to 17 awards for University students since 2008.
Kyle Van de Bittner
Kyle Van de Bittner ’14 came to Redlands after having the “best sort of feeling” during his visit when he realized campus was about 60 minutes from the beach and from the mountains. He has been active in the University’s Outdoor Programs, leading journey trips for other students. He also thought he would pursue his hobby of woodworking here, but said science took over. An organic chemistry course sparked his interest, and Kyle changed to double major in biochemistry and molecular biology.
In February 2015, Kyle’s Fulbright will take him to work with biology and chemistry programs at Canterbury University in New Zealand, where he plans to pursue his PhD degree in biochemical toxicology. “I’ll be conducting research on the presence of an anti-inflammatory drug in surface waters and fish tissue and I’ll be designing a program for testing that,” he said.
Kyle may eventually pursue a medical degree, work as a surgeon and someday establish schools and health posts in developing countries. “I love the whole idea of a new experience, and seeing what is out there in the world.”
“Kyle is a devoted outdoors man, with a love for nature and our environment,” said Professor Jack Osborn, Hunsaker Chair of Management who mentors Fulbright candidates at Redlands. “His successful pursuit of a B.S. in biochemistry and molecular biology places him at the pinnacle of undergraduate degrees centered on addressing issues with our world’s environment. It is my understanding that his Fulbright proposal—to assess the presence of the anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac in surface waters and fish tissue—has not been performed before in New Zealand and will add valuable information to the literature on this subject.”
Kailey DeBoi ’14, a double-major in global business and German with a minor in mathematics, received the Fulbright Teaching Assistant award to Germany in the state of Baden Wurttemberg.
Through intensive study in Berlin on a University of Redlands Schroeder Summer Language Scholarship in the summer of 2012, Kailey mastered the German language and completed the C1-level German language proficiency exam from the Goethe Institute—a requirement to pursue work or graduate study in Germany.
“I started to feel like part of the culture,” she said of her time in Germany. “I would be excited to take what I have learned back into the classroom in Germany.”
Though she had initially had difficulty choosing between the majors biology and global business, Kailey said what she enjoyed was complex problem solving, and she found that global business offered her that, and a challenge.
“Kailey consistently challenged herself academically,” Osborn said. “Working with the Target Corporation to solve a case study organizational problem, she led a team of undergraduates and was evaluated by Target Corporation management. She held internships in Germany, including one with the Volksbank. Kailey also received job offers from Bosch-Siemens and Boeing Defense, Space and Intelligence, which are a testimony to her exceptional career path profile.”
Kailey has humbly declined the Fulbright opportunity and instead accepted an alternate offer with Boeing Corporation, which was the focus of her senior capstone. She will spend the next two years rotating through six positions within the enterprise. She said it is difficult to know where her career will take her, but plans now to pursue management in a private corporation.
The University of Redlands won its first undergraduate Fulbright awards in 2008 and since then, including Kyle and Kailey, a total of 17 awards, allowing Redlands students to serve as ambassadors for the United States across the globe.
“It is a true privilege to see our graduates awarded the opportunity to conduct research in Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Germany and New Zealand; and teaching in Guatemala, Germany, Norway, Spain , and Taiwan,” Osborn said. “As this is the highest award that the U.S. State Department awards a graduating senior, we are very fortunate to have such outstanding students. Each year it is a joy to meet the applicants and to learn of their interests, public service and academic accomplishments.”
Posted: May 7, 2014