Going places

This spring, 15 Wheaties won prestigious national academic awards for graduate study and global experience, including two Thomas Watson Fellowships, a Beinecke Scholarship, a Projects for Peace grant and a French Government English Teaching Assistantship. Here are our nine Fulbright Scholars:

Cicchinelli Nick 14Nicholas Cicchinelli ’14

From: Albany, N.Y.

Major: Russian studies, international relations

Award: Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship

Nicholas Cicchinelli has been interested in Eastern Europe since he began studying Russian in high school, and has explored the culture, politics and language of the region ever since. This fall, he will head to Moldova to teach English.

“I want to continue improving my Russian language skills and also to learn about Moldovan life and culture, to give me some international perspective that will help me in my future career,” he said.

Cicchinelli is interested in a career in international relations, with a focus on human rights law and diplomacy. A recipient of the Boren Study Abroad Scholarship, he will complete a year of work with the U.S. government to satisfy the scholarship’s service requirement.

Jennifer Irving ’14

From: Manchester, N.H.

Major: Anthropology

Award: Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship

Jennifer Irving plans to pursue a master’s degree in teaching English as a second language. But first she will spend a year teaching English to students in Malaysia.

“I value education as one of the most important opportunities for young people in our world, and I love being a part of that process,” she said.

Irving first taught English to non-native speakers in 2011 during a summer course in Tanzania. Her junior year, she studied abroad in Rabat, Morocco.

After her Fulbright year, Irving plans to pursue a master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and hopes to teach at the middle or high school level.

Bailey McWilliams '14, Fulbright recipientBailey McWilliams ’14

From: Baltimore, Md.

Major: International relations, Hispanic studies

Award: Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship

For Bailey McWilliams ’14, teaching English in Venezuela is about sharing not just language but also culture. She chose her host country in part because she could work at the Binational Center affiliated with the U.S. Embassy.

“While I will still teach English, I will also act as a cultural ambassador, leading programs to enhance mutual understanding between Americans and the groups of young Venezuelan students,” she said.

McWilliams also hopes to share with her students her love of music. She was a member of the Wheatones and has played Appalachian fiddle music for 14 years.
Her post-Fulbright plans include possibly applying to the Peace Corps and pursuing graduate programs in law and public health.

Alexis Nieves '14, Fulbright recipientAlexis Nieves ’14

From: Brooklyn, N.Y.

Major: Hispanic studies, international relations

Award: Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship

Alexis Nieves first became interested in Brazil in a Wheaton classroom. Next year, he will explore the country firsthand.

“I find Brazil fascinating because it is a country with a bright future. It is leading the charge up the economic ladder at the heart of South America, with a growing presence and influence in international affairs,” he said.

Nieves has also received the Thomas A. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship, an award that supports undergraduate and graduate studies for students intending to pursue diplomatic careers. While in Brazil, he plans to conduct research on education reform, as background for his graduate studies.

Rogers Montana 14Montana Rogers ’14

From: Dublin, N.H.

Major: Creative writing, music

Award: Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship

A pianist for two semesters in Wheaton’s World Music Ensemble, Montana Rogers enjoys learning about musical traditions from other cultures. So when she began looking at places to apply for a Fulbright, she found herself drawn to Bulgaria.

“I thought it would be interesting to explore a culture that has a unique traditional music practice and history,” she said.

She plans to apply to graduate school for creative writing or English after her Fulbright year, and is considering a career that involves a mix of writing and teaching.

Sexton MatthewMatthew Sexton ’14

From: Merrimack, N.H.

Major: Chemistry

Award: Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship

With plans to become a pediatrician, Matthew Sexton isn’t quite done taking classes. But first he will teach.

He first ventured outside the United States last summer, when he spent eight weeks learning about health care in India. He is now eager to check out Europe and, as a former Lyon, hopes to bring his passion for swimming to Poland.

“My college experience would not have been complete without being a part of the swim team, and while in Poland I hope to continue my involvement with swimming in some way,” he said.

Savannah Tenney '14Savannah Tenney ’14

From: Sudbury, Mass.

Major: Anthropology, English

Award: Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship

Having spent time in Scotland and Tanzania, Savannah Tenney is ready for her next global adventure: A year in Taiwan.

“I have never really studied Asia in school, and I felt I had a whole lot to learn from traveling somewhere completely different,” she said.

As an undergraduate, Tenney studied abroad in Tanzania and Scotland.

Following her Fulbright year, she is hoping to participate in a program such as Teach For America and to study applied anthropology or public health in graduate school.

Ashley Wich '13, Fulbright recipientAshley Wich ’13

From: Pittsfield, Mass.

Major: Anthropology

Award: Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship

Ashley Wich spent part of her junior year in Greece studying architecture and Greek literature while soaking up the country’s rich culture. She loved the trip so much that she wrote her senior thesis on the subject of Greek national identity. This fall, she is heading back to Athens to teach English.

She applied for the Fulbright in 2013 at the end of her senior year but just missed the cut. She applied again and was working as a paralegal outside of Boston when she received word that she had won.

Wich said she now feels more prepared for her work in Greece. “Living and working independently this year has really helped in the long run.”

More award winners:

Jenish Amatya ’17 earned a Resolution Fellowship to create a community fish-farming program in Nepal.

Jorge Clemente de Leon Miranda ’14 won a Projects for Peace Grant.

Tianna Lall ’14 and Carrie Decker ’14 each received a Thomas Watson Fellowship, a $28,000 stipend that will enable them to spend the year after graduation traveling and conducting research.

Breanna Lynch ’14 won a French Government English Teaching Assistantship to teach in the upper Normandy region of France.

Sarah Estrela ’15, a Gilman scholar, also secured a Beinecke Scholarship to help pay for her graduate studies after Wheaton.