Isa Amaro Varas ’23 awarded distinguished Watson Fellowship
Two Connecticut College seniors have been selected to receive Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants to conduct research and teach English abroad for an academic year.
Connecticut College has had 40 Fulbright winners in the last seven years, and is consistently recognized as a top producer of Fulbright recipients.
"We are very proud of our Fulbright fellowship winners," said Dean of the College Jefferson Singer. "Connecticut College graduates are uniquely prepared to examine global issues from a community perspective and put the liberal arts into action to make lasting contributions. These skills will serve these Fulbright fellows well as they represent Connecticut College and the United States in their host communities."
Fulbright fellows receive round-trip travel to their host countries, a living stipend, project allowances and medical insurance.
The 2018 Fulbright fellowship winners are:
For Gorrell, the Fulbright is the perfect opportunity to share a love of language learning that began when he was in the seventh grade and has been nurtured during his time at Connecticut College.
A music major with a concentration in composition, a German studies minor and a scholar in the College’s Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts, Gorrell has studied German, Spanish and Russian at the College, and learned Dutch, Italian and some French on his own.
In Germany, he will be teaching English, likely at a high school, and hopes to become involved in the school’s music program.
The Fulbright will be a return to Germany for Gorrell, who completed an internship in Lübeck, Germany, working with refugees. On campus, Gorrell serves as vice president of MOBROC, a student-run organization that provides support for student bands; plays on the club lacrosse team; acts in the theater department’s mainstage productions; performs as a member of the band in campus musicals; and writes and acts in shows for Wig and Candle, Conn’s student theater group. He completed a senior integrative project that explored how music can be used as a tool to teach foreign language, and served as a tutor in the College’s Roth Writing Center.
“My job in the writing center was great preparation for the Fulbright program,” Gorrell said. “It required me to adapt to every kind of student, including students who do not speak English as a first language.”
Following his Fulbright year, Gorrell hopes to continue teaching English abroad or to teach a world language in the United States.
“I am very passionate about music and lacrosse as well, and I hope to also find a way to make one or both of those a part of my career,” he said.
Teaching abroad has always been a dream for Loughlin, an environmental studies major and scholar in the College’s Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment.
“I feel so lucky to have been awarded this opportunity of a lifetime,” Loughlin said.
Loughlin will teach English in a secondary school in Malaysia, and hopes to conduct an English-speaking choir with her students.
“I am particularly interested in Malaysia because it is in the Coral Triangle and is already experiencing the consequences of global climate change,” Loughlin said. “I am curious about how the Malaysian government and the Malaysian people are responding to this environmental threat.”
Loughlin is passionate about environmental health, environmental justice, toxicology, climate action and renewable energy. She studied abroad in Australia and completed an internship with Toxics Action Center, a Boston-based nonprofit that provides communities with the skills and resources needed to prevent and clean up pollution at the local level.
At Conn, Loughlin co-leads CC Divest, a student-run organization that fosters environmental activism and action on campus. She also sings in Chorale, takes piano lessons, and recently performed a senior piano recital in Harkness Chapel. She has led Quaker meetings and group meditations, participated in the Women’s Empowerment Initiative and was a member of the TedXConnecticutCollege club.
Prior to beginning her Fulbright fellowship in January, when the Malaysian school year begins, Loughlin will be working with Park Professor of Physics, Astronomy and Geophysics Doug Thompson to study the impact of salmon spawning on river bed mobilization in Cherryfield, Maine. After returning from Malaysia, she hopes to work for an environmental organization, and plans to pursue a graduate degree in environmental health, climate change or toxicology.