Five former Wabash College students have accepted postgraduate fellowships to locations in the U.S., South America and Europe.
Two young alumni, Chase Crowe ’18 and Colin Rinne ’18, earned Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships (ETA) to Germany and Uruguay, respectively, while recent graduates Joey Karczewski ’20 earned a United States Teaching Assistantship (USTA) award to Austria and Waleed Elrefai ’20 earned a North American Language and Culture Assistantship in Spain. Further, Daniel Andry ’20 was awarded a Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship.
“I am proud of all seven of Wabash’s Fulbright semi-finalists this year - and of all of the Wabash men who put hard work into applying for an international fellowship,” said Susan Albrecht, Wabash College Fellowship Advisor. “For both Colin and Chase, this was their second application for Fulbright, which they completed after having secured significant classroom teaching experience. I am incredibly proud of their resilience and perseverance. Adding in Joey and Waleed, it’s been a joy to witness the enthusiasm in these young men for international experience and for being actively engaged in cultural ambassadorship. I’m also thrilled for Daniel. He was the first Wabash student in in recent memory to try for the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships. I hope that he will be the first of many Wabash men to be selected to participate.”
A chemistry major with a Classics minor, Andry served as president of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, was a Latin tutor, and was an active member of the chemistry club. During the Fall of 2019, he went on an immersion trip to Napa Valley as part of the Chemistry of Wine class.
“I’m really looking forward to getting into the classroom, teaching kids about chemistry and science in general, and helping them develop some of the critical thinking skills that I gained during my time at Wabash,” said Andry, a native of Ramsey, Indiana. “Winning the fellowship means that I get to this as quickly as possible in areas that need high-quality teachers the most.”
Andry will be based in Pittsburgh for his fellowship, pursuing a master’s degree at Duquesne University.
“Dan was unfailingly attentive, dedicated, and hard-working, and I could often count on him to answer the most difficult questions,” said Paul Schmitt, Assistant Professor of Chemistry. “He is a compassionate leader and team player whose earnestness and quiet humor will lead him to great success.”
Crowe, who majored in German and minored in religion, is a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity, played four seasons of club rugby, including for the 2018 squad that posted a 16-2-1 record. He took an immersion trip to Tübingen, Germany, in 2016 before studying abroad in Marburg, Germany in 2017. Since graduating from Wabash, Crowe participated in a Denver, Colorado, based fellowship — Denver Math Fellows — and provided math instruction at the Denver Center for 21st Century Scholars and Northfield High School.
“I’m going to focus on enjoying my time and Germany and doing the best work I possibly can during my Fulbright experience,” said Crowe, a native of West Lafayette, Indiana. “I’m hoping to ignite my passion as an educator abroad before possibly pursuing a life teaching German literature as a professor.”
Crowe has yet to receive his assignment, as his Fulbright experience is scheduled to begin in January 2021.
“Chase really came into his own during his time at Wabash, found his voice and a stronger sense of confidence and purpose,” said Brian Tucker, Professor of German. “He’s devoted himself since graduation to education, and the German faculty are proud that he will be sharing his talent and experience with students in Germany.”
A political science major with a Spanish minor, Elrefai was a member of the Wabash Democracy and Public Discourse initiative (WDPD). During his time at Wabash, he traveled to France and Mexico on immersion trips as part of his coursework. Additionally, Elrefai studied abroad in Cuba during the Summer of 2017 and in Chile during Spring of 2019.
“Learning new languages and seeing more of the world has afforded me a greater context,” said Elrefai, a native of Leesburg, Virginia. “These experiences have created a deep desire to keep learning new and interesting things. I hope to use stories to seize the interest of students and make the abstract concrete.”
Elrefai will be based in El Cuervo de Sevilla during his fellowship.
“Waleed worked as a student preceptor for Research Methods and Statistics, one of the hardest courses in the political science curriculum,” said Ethan Hollander, Associate Professor of Political Science. “This allowed me to watch him help other students first-hand. He’s clearly a gifted teacher, with all the expertise, patience, and understanding that being a good teacher requires.”
Karczewski, a German major with a minor in French, was a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity, spent three years as a member of the swim and dive team, and participated in Model U.N. He took immersion trips to Tübingen, Germany, and Caen, France, and studied abroad in India and Germany.
“Learning a foreign language was an entertaining, though initially daunting, idea which eventually transpired to build the foundation for my future education,” said Karczewski, a native of Crown Point, Indiana. “During my time with USTA, I hope to show that learning a language doesn’t have to be just another class to take at school, but rather a fun way to connect with others, learn about different cultures, and discover what the rest of the world has to offer.”
Karczewski will be based in Gleisdorf and Weiz, Austria.
“Joey is a true world traveler whose education at Wabash has inspired him to explore a range of languages and cultures,” said Karen Quandt, Assistant Professor of French. “He is a perfect candidate for the USTA fellowship, as his open personality and genuine curiosity will lead to great conversations and meaningful experiences with his students.”
Rinne, who double majored in English Literature and Spanish, was a member of the Wabash cross country and track and field teams, worked as a consultant in the Wabash Writing Center, and studied abroad in Valparaiso, Chile, in 2017. Since graduating from Wabash, Rinne has taught Spanish and coached cross country and track and field at Avon, Indiana, High School.
“Teaching has built my sense of self as a Spanish student, speaker, and now, teacher,” said Rinne, a native of Westfield, Indiana. “I feel language is a cornerstone of my sense of self, first created and now held together by an excellence in education.”
While in Uruguay, Rinne will split time between Montevideo and another location yet to be determined.
“Colin has a passion for Spanish that was further fueled by a semester of study abroad in Chile,” said Jane Hardy, Associate Professor of Spanish. “He is a great reader of literature, a talented writer, and a keen cultural observer. Colin will be an outstanding teacher who will also fully embody Fulbright’s mission of cultural ambassadorship.”
The Fulbright and USTA programs are similar in their goals to place recipients in a classroom abroad to provide assistance to teachers of English to non-native English speakers, while serving as a U.S. cultural ambassador. It is the job of these native English speakers as teaching assistants to make learning a foreign language a lively cross-cultural encounter for their students. The age and academic level of classroom students varies by country, ranging from kindergarten to university.
The North American Language and Culture Assistants Program is an initiative of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport of Spain to provide North American students who are native speakers of English or French with the opportunity to assist teachers in the English or French programs in elementary, secondary, or language schools in Spain. The program is addressed to U.S. and Canadian university students with majors in any subject, and graduates, with some proficiency in Spanish.
The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships seek to build upon foundation’s legacy of excellence, maintaining its historic commitments and attacking one of the nation’s most urgent contemporary challenges: the pervasive achievement gap between Americans, by race and income. These fellowships serve to both recruit exceptionally able individuals to careers in high school teaching and create new models for preparing such promising teachers to teach in low-income communities and high-need schools. The teaching fellowships bring full circle the Foundation’s work in creating access to educational excellence for some of the nation’s most talented young people — and thereby serving urgent national needs.
In addition to these fellowships, two Wabash students — Hunter Jones and Michael Tanchevski — earned NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships. It’s the first time two Wabash student-athletes eared the prestigious award in the same academic year since 1989.
“Both Hunter and Michael are focused on careers in medicine,” noted Albrecht. “Hunter will attend Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, while Michael has accepted a placement with Marian University’s Osteopathic Medicine Program. That both achieved at such high levels athletically while tackling Wabash’s rigorous pre-med track is indicative of their talents, work ethic, and dedication.”
Over the last seven years, 56 Wabash men have earned international fellowships. The list includes a Rhodes Scholar, 24 Fulbright recipients, 14 Gilman Scholarship recipients, nine USTA fellowship recipients, four North American Language and Culture Assistantships in Spain, three TAPIF English Teaching Assistantships (France), and one JET recipient.
Fellowship start dates have yet to be determined by sponsoring organizations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.