August 10, 2022 at 9:15am
Kendall Trump, Class of 2013

Millikin graduate receives Fulbright Fellowship to teach in Kyrgyzstan


Angela Arnold, Class of 2022

When Angela Arnold, Class of 2022, learned that she had been awarded a Fulbright Program Fellowship, the recent Millikin University graduate was overjoyed with the good news. After being named a semifinalist in January, Arnold learned in May that she won a Fulbright Program English Teaching Assistant (ETA) award to teach English in Kyrgyzstan.

“This has been a year in the making and I am so excited to begin this new chapter of my life,” Arnold stated in a social media post announcing her award.

Arnold, who graduated Summa Cum Laude from Millikin in May, majored in international business and minored in music and French. While at Millikin, she was an involved and accomplished student, serving as a resident assistant for the Global Experience Living Center Community on campus, a French tutor for the Department of Modern Languages and an International Student Specialist for the University’s Center for International Education (CIE). 

She also completed internships with the U.S. Department of State, the American Foreign Service Association, Peace Corps and EducationUSA. During her senior year at Millikin, Arnold also earned a Critical Language Scholarship (CLS). Learn more about Arnold’s CLS experience here. 

Since June, she has been in Ankara, the capital city of Türkiye studying Turkish at Ankara Üniversitesi TÖMER. In August, Arnold plans to return home briefly before departing for her Fulbright grant in Kyrgyzstan, where she will supplement local English language instruction, serve as a native speaker in classrooms and a cultural ambassador for the United States at the Kyrgyz State University for Construction Transport, and Architecture.

In receiving her Fulbright ETA award, Arnold is the first student from Millikin University in nearly 30 years to be honored by the Fulbright program. She is exceptionally grateful for both the recognition and the opportunity. 

“Being awarded a Fulbright ETA is deeply meaningful to me,” she said.

“In my first year at Millikin, I remember learning about Fulbright during International Education Week through the CIE, but I never imagined it would be possible for me to apply because of the level of prestige associated with the program.”

The application process for the Fulbright program is exceptionally demanding and detailed, requiring applicants to submit purpose statements, letters of recommendation from their institution’s Fulbright Committee and undergoing interviews to be considered. Arnold said she would not have been successful in her application without her Fulbright advisor and mentor, Dr. Laura Dean.

“As a former Fulbrighter, Dr. Dean reassured me and worked with me through every step of the process,” Arnold commented. Dr. Dean is an associate professor of political science at Millikin while also serving as the University’s Fulbright Committee chair. She said that the Fulbright committee was overjoyed that Arnold was the first Millikin student to receive a Fulbright ETA Fellowship. 

“The committee was impressed with Angela’s previous educational experiences at Millikin as a French tutor and a resident assistant with international students, and we believe she will expand her knowledge of culture, history and the educational system in Kyrgyzstan during her Fulbright Fellowship,” Dr. Dean remarked. She is hopeful that Arnold’s success with the Fulbright program will encourage more Millikin students to apply in the future, emphasizing the importance of international education at the University.


Dr. Laura Dean

Arnold also hopes that Millikin students will consider the Fulbright program. “Millikin’s Fulbright committee offers continuous support and I am so thrilled that I decided to go through with the process. I feel a considerable amount of responsibility knowing that I am the first Millikin student in nearly 30 years to receive a Fulbright grant.” She is also grateful to Millikin Fulbright U.S. Scholars Dr. Mark Tonelli and Dr. Mirela Tanta for promoting the program to students on campus.

During her ten-month fellowship in Kyrgyzstan, Arnold hopes to reconnect with the high school students in Bishek and Osh, Kyrgyzstan, whom she mentored virtually through a research program with EducationUSA. Following the conclusion of her Fulbright Fellowship, she aims to become a Peace Corps volunteer and then to pursue a career with the U.S. Department of State to become a Foreign Service Officer.

“Fulbright is a great stepping stone for a global career,” she said.

Previous Millikin University Fulbright recipients:

  • Lynne Staedke, awarded in 1964 to Costa Rica to study Romance Languages and Literature
  • Mariella Lansford, awarded in 1970 to West Germany to study Germanic Languages and Literature
  • Charles Russell, awarded in 1993 to Germany to study chemistry

Learn more about the U.S. Fulbright Program: https://us.fulbrightonline.org/