Bulldog Bites

News and Views from the University of Redlands

Three U of R graduates receive Fulbright Awards

As Fulbright Award winners, Theo Whitcomb ’19, Lidya Stamper ’19, and Brenna Phillips ’19 (left to right) will teach and conduct research in locations around the globe. (Photo by Coco McKown ’04, ’10)

The University of Redlands congratulates its three 2019 Fulbright awardees—Brenna Phillips ’19, Lidya Stamper ’19, and Theo Whitcomb ’19—who will travel across the globe to the Netherlands, South Africa, and India to teach and conduct research next year.

“To have even one Fulbright award winner is an honor,” says Kendrick Brown, dean of U of R’s College of Arts and Sciences. “Having three this year is the strongest possible testament to the personalized, high-quality liberal arts and professional education that we offer at Redlands. I am proud of the winners, as well as the faculty and staff who worked with them during their time in the College of Arts and Sciences.”

The trio of awards brings the institution’s total to 24 since U of R seniors first received Fulbright honors in 2008.

“The competition for Fulbright awards is intense, with several thousand applicants [from across the nation],” says Jack Osborn, U of R Fulbright advisor and global business professor. “Our award winners come from all parts of the academic scene and have truly impressive track records.”

Phillips, born and raised in Redlands, will teach in the Netherlands’ ROC van Amsterdam-MBO College Zuid. “One of the attractive elements of the English Teaching Assistant Fulbright in the Netherlands was the research requirement,” says Phillips, who majored in history and public policy at the U of R. “Working closely with researchers in the Netherlands to understand the pedagogies of their education system will allow me to further my research and strengthen my skills as an educator. Outside of the classroom, I plan on growing as a global citizen through volunteer work, such as coaching sports, offering art classes, or assisting marginalized students.” 

Stamper, who was born in Harar, Ethiopia, and grew up in Portland, Oregon, will conduct research in South Africa at the University of Pretoria’s Centre for Human Rights. “As South Africa continues to champion the advancement of human rights, the nature of my research would provide an underreported and critical evidence-based analysis of the gaps between the creation and application of women’s rights guidelines on the local level,” says Stamper, who majored in international relations and public policy at U of R. “Evaluating the efficacy and success of women’s rights guidelines on a local level will provide an indispensable framework for future policy agendas not only in South Africa, but in all countries with a commitment to improving the lives of women.”

Whitcomb, who was raised in Ashland, Oregon, will become an English Teaching Assistant Fulbright in India at Pondicherry University Community College in Puducherry, Tamil Nadu. “My aim is ambitious — teaching English to numerous students through a non-traditional lens, the lens of environmental studies and art,” says Whitcomb, who studied political ecology in the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies. “ I believe that students need tools to conceptualize, process, and create within a quickly changing, increasingly connected world. My experience in teaching, research, and art positions me well to facilitate this learning outcome.”

Osborn explains that Fulbright proposals require students to explain who they are, what they hope to do, in what country they want to teach or conduct research, and what they have done to qualify for the opportunity. Proposals are evaluated first by a U of R multi-disciplinary faculty panel. Advancing proposals are then evaluated by a panel of distinguished U.S. national faculty who are former Fulbright recipients and finally by distinguished faculty and Fulbright awardees from the country selected.

In addition to 24 Fulbright student awards, the Fulbright Commission has named University of Redlands one of the nation’s top producers four times—an award limited to about 30 schools per year.