Monica Felix announced as Fulbright Scholar

Kayla Wilson

The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board recently announced Lawrence University senior Monica Felix as a 2007-2008 Fulbright Scholar.
This September, Felix will travel to Hessen, Germany to teach English to German high school students. A double major in German and linguistics, Felix has never traveled outside of the U.S. before, and received encouragement to apply for the fellowship by German professor Brent Peterson.
The selection process for the Fulbright Scholarship, created by Congress in 1946, began in fall 2006. Applicants were required to outline their teaching philosophy and qualifications.
These applications were then sent to a board appointed by a congressional committee. Upon making it to the second cut in the winter, candidates then completed a second application in German, changing their essays or even writing new ones.
The second applications were sent on to the German committee, also connected with the government.
Felix is obviously very excited about this opportunity, but is also admittedly a little nervous.
“I’m pretty much going to be on my own for the first time – and right after college,” she said. Her nerves are lessened a bit as she will be teaching at a “pretty elite school.”
“But,” she added, “I have no idea what to expect at all.” When asked what she looks forward to most, she replied, “Speaking German everyday.”
While in Germany, Felix will teach 12 hours a week in addition to organizing groups for her students. She will be provided with a stipend to pay for her living expenses and will be able to do some traveling over the 10 months she will spend abroad.
Felix, who has always liked languages, was raised bilingual and is fluent in Spanish. She began studying German in high school after being rejected from Spanish for knowing too much and dismissing French for being too similar to Spanish. “I heard so many stereotypes,” she said, “I wanted to see if they were true.”
In addition to Spanish and German, Felix also speaks French, taught herself Russian, and loves Swedish. Outside of languages, Felix also enjoys playing chess, in which she has taken private lessons.
After her stint in Germany, Felix plans to go to graduate school. “I’m thinking about becoming a German professor,” she explained, “but I have a little while to think about that.”
This is the second year in a row that a Lawrence student has received the fellowship to teach in Germany. Felix is also the sixth Lawrence graduate to be awarded the Fulbright scholarship since 2001.