Franklin Countys First News

Two UMF graduates win Fulbright Scholarships

Sarah Gould sits on Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh, Scotland.

FARMINGTON - Two graduates from the University of Maine at Farmington were recently awarded Fulbright U.S. Student Program Scholarships to teach English for a year in Thailand and Mongolia.

Lauren Crosby graduated from UMF last spring after studying to be an English teacher. She completed her practicum at Mt. Blue Middle School and went on to substitute teach in Regional School District 9 to gain experience. From small town RSU 9 Crosby launched into gathering more worldly opportunities by teaching abroad in South Korea and most recently in the Yupi’k Eskimo Village in Toksook Bay, AK.

"It's wild. There are no cars, everybody uses their four wheelers. Food is flown in and otherwise we eat seal and whale...it's bird season right now," Crosby said.

Sarah Gould will be joining Crosby as a UMF graduate at Saturday's commencement ceremony after studying international and global studies. Her interests lie specifically in migration and immigration, which she hopes to pursue further during her time in Mongolia.

This is not the first rodeo as far as travel goes for either women, which is exactly what the Fulbright folks were looking for in candidates. That, and a laundry list of other things.

"It was a really intense application process. I spent six months working on it and went through probably 15 revisions of my essays," she said.

Lauren Crosby holding the tooth of an Alaskan walrus.

Gould on the other hand, jumped into the application process on the late side due to being abroad in France. She completed the application in less than three weeks.

Neither Gould or Crosby were working alone, however. Both women attribute much of their success to the careful help of two UMF professors- Dr. Wolf and Eric Brown. Dr. Wolf is an associate professor of history at the college and also acts as the Fulbright advisor to students. Brown teaches English and was a Fulbright scholar himself studying in Norway.

"They were both so meticulous and enthusiastic about the whole process. It was worth all the work just for their praise," Crosby said.

Crosby and Gould are two of more than 1,900 United States recipients of the scholarship, joining the 370,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists who have received the award since its beginnings in 1946. Fulbright alumni often go on to continue their life of addressing critical global challenges, building strong relationships, exchanging knowledge, and providing leadership; 57 Fulbright alumni have been awarded the Nobel Prize, 82 have received Pulitzer Prizes, and 37 have served as a head of state or government.

"They were basically looking for someone who is adventurous and who is used to living in a rural area," Crosby said.

While Crosby plans on incorporating her musicianship into her new job as much as possible, using it to teach English to the students in Thailand, Gould hopes to get involved with the nomadic herders who are flooding to the country's capital in search of resources.

"The Mongolian climate is rapidly changing due to global warming, and the herders' flocks of sheep, goats, camels and yaks are dying. They're coming to the city in search of things like clean water and health care," Gould said.

For further information about the Fulbright Program please visit http://eca.state.gov/fulbright .

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2 Responses »

  1. Congratulations to the two of you!
    From a UMF grad

  2. aren't you the woman was was recently given a fulbright?
    https://youtu.be/qTLpq2O8Zb0

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