Two Walsh Applicants Among 2017 Fulbright Scholarship Semi-Finalists


School News

Walsh University’s Isabelle Lahaie and Erin Loomis have been named 2017 semi-finalists for the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship, a highly competitive fellowship that enables students to pursue academic endeavors overseas. Finalists will be announced in spring 2017.

"For a school the size of Walsh, it is an enormous accomplishment to have two applicants among the semi-finalists in this highly competitive program," said Director of Service Learning Abigail Poeske, Fulbright Program Adviser. "It speaks to the strength of Walsh’s Global Learning programs and our emphasis on international engagement at Walsh. Going forward, we hope to see more Walsh students investigating and applying for prestigious programs such as these which will provide them with the international experiences and global networks that will be advantageous to their future careers. The application process is extensive and it is an accomplishment just to submit it.  Isabelle and Erin are both excellent candidates who would be wonderful ambassadors of Walsh and the United States in their respective host countries."

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the largest U.S. exchange program offering opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide. The program currently awards approximately 1,900 grants annually in all fields of study, and operates in more than 140 countries worldwide. 

Walsh senior Erin Loomis is an Education major pursuing her certification as an Early Childhood Intervention Specialist and Intervention Specialist Moderate to Intensive. She is competing for 22 open positions as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Thailand.The English Teaching Assistant (ETA) programs place Fulbright Scholars in classrooms abroad to provide assistance to local English teachers. ETAs help to teach the English language while serving as cultural ambassadors for the U.S. 

As a Br. Francis Blouin Global Scholar researching the issue of global healthcare, Loomis has studied in Tanzania and Italy and will be heading to Uruguay in May with the Walsh Division of Education.

"The mission of the Blouin Global Scholars completely matches with my outlook on the world and how people should be treated. It was a perfect fit," said Loomis. "I chose Thailand because it’s a part of the world I’ve never been in, and I’m interested in learning more about that area. I’ve always wanted to teach. It’s always been who I am. But until Walsh, I never knew it was possible to teach internationally. Because of my experience with the Blouin Scholars and Walsh’s emphasis on Global Learning, I’ve discovered a love for our international community."

Isabelle Lahaie ’16 graduated from Walsh in May with a triple major in Art History, History and Philosophy. She applied for the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant program in Germany where she would teach English and engage with her host country by volunteering with a local museum to improve her knowledge of German culture, history and language while giving back to the community.  

"Museums and archives enrich their communities with a deeper understanding of place and culture," said Lahaie. "Germany was an intersection of so many different cultures in my area of interest, the early modern era. People and ideas from all over the world met there, and it’s still a hot spot for cultural exchange today."

Her primary purpose in Germany will be to serve as a cultural ambassador. Her future plans are to attend graduate school and pursue her Ph.D. in the early modern intellectual traditions of Germany.

"It was really helpful to get the support and encouragement that I did from Walsh in applying for the Fulbright Scholarship," said Lahaie. "I had applied the previous year on my own and didn’t even make it to the first round. It was so great to have people on campus helping me and guiding me through the process. It really made a difference."

Walsh University’s first Fulbright was Benjamin Louis ’12, a double-major in History and Education, who was selected as a 2012-13 Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in South Korea.