Five Bates College alumni receive Fulbright Scholarships

Five Bates College graduates are teaching and conducting research abroad this year thanks to scholarships from the Fulbright Program, funded by the U.S. Department of State.

The Bates Fulbright recipients are: John Atchley, class of 2006, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; Jill Jakimetz, class of 2005, of Veneta, Ore.; Timothy McCall, class of 2008, of Andover, Mass.; Ross Van Horn, class of 2008, of Highland Park, N.J.; and Rebecca Westlake, class of 2007, of Goldens Bridge, N.Y..

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently listed Bates College among the educational institutions that produced high numbers of Fulbright grant recipients this year. Bates appears in a list of top Fulbright producers in the Oct. 19 print edition of the Chronicle.

(Although five Bates alumni received awards for 2009-10, the list credits the college with three recipients. According to a spokeswoman for the Institute for International Education, which administers the Fulbright program, the list supplied to the Chronicle was based on an information snapshot that did not include all recipients.)

Atchley, whose work as a Fulbright Fellow was described in the same issue of the Chronicle, received a Fulbright-Jawaharlal Nehru Scholarship to study India’s Golden Quadrilateral (GQ) highway development project. The project is designed to connect India’s four largest cities, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai, with more than 3,000 miles of four- and six-lane expressways.

Focusing on the portion of the highway project that stretches through Uttar Pradesh and Bitar, areas known for high levels of illiteracy and poor governance, Atchley is examining the project’s success in promoting inclusive economic development.

“Measuring the impact of the GQ project in these states presents an extreme test for the idea of inclusive growth that’s promoted by the government,” Atchley says. “I plan to examine the success of this stretch of the GQ in promoting inclusive, equitable growth, and recommend new policies that can enhance these nascent efforts.”

Atchley, who says that his semester abroad in Dharamsala, Tibet, while in his junior year of Bates influenced his decision to study India, left a job as chief of staff for Communications and Intergovernmental Affairs at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection to undertake his Fulbright-Nehru project. The Fulbright-Nehru grants are distinctive in the Fulbright program because they receive matching funds from the Indian government.

Fulbright research fellowship recipients include Jakimetz, who is undertaking environmental studies research in the Netherlands and Ireland, and Van Horn, who is studying agro-energy in rural communities in Brazil.

Westlake embarked on an English Teaching Assistantship in Madrid, Spain. After graduation from Bates, she completed a two-year placement with Teach for America, a nonprofit organization that recruits college graduates and places them in low-performing school districts. In Madrid, she works in a bilingual program with adolescent students.

“The Fulbright in Madrid allows me to gain a global perspective on urban education as well as a greater perspective on the problems that face the American public education system,” says Westlake.

McCall also received an English Teaching Assistantship, and is completing his Fulbright in Germany.

Fulbright recipients come from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and from more than 250 U.S. institutions, representing a diverse cross-section of American higher education. About 1,250 U.S. Student Program grants are awarded each year.

— Becca Chacko ’10