Fulbright Selects Concordia Students

Concordia students are chosen for Fulbright Awards.

Seniors Toby Kindem, Alexandra Rankin and Hannah Allen have received Fulbright awards, and McKayle Carter was named an alternate.

Kindem was awarded an English Teaching Award to Germany and will be going to Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony). He chose Germany because he’s graduating with a K-12 license in German. He was studying in Germany at the time of the application process. 

Kindem applied to Fulbright for another opportunity to spend more time in Germany to enhance his teaching abilities and knowledge about Germany, the German language, and the German culture. He had already learned the dialect spoken in that region and knew it would help him.

“I will be placed in the same state that I was in during my semester abroad and chose it because of the connections that I had already made in that state,” Kindem said. “The road ahead is intimidating, but it will be a great experience and leave a lifelong lasting impression.”

It’ll be sometime this summer before Rankin finds out exactly where she’s going, but her English Teaching Award to Taiwan will take her to either Kaohsiung or Taipei. She chose Kaohsiung, a coastal city in southern Taiwan, as her first choice but said she will be happy anywhere.

“Taiwan is a relatively small island with high speed trains, so travel is convenient,” Rankin said. “I am so grateful for this opportunity. I am excited to continue to improve my Chinese and also learn more about Taiwanese culture. I am also looking forward to learning more about the Taiwanese school system by working alongside Taiwanese teachers.”

This will not be Rankin’s first time abroad. She’s been to Ecuador on a mission trip, Tanzania to teach English as part of a partnership between Concordia Language Villages and the Singita Grumeti Fund, and to China on a class trip in high school and a semester abroad last fall.  

Allen was awarded a study/research grant in music therapy and will study at SRH University in Heidelberg, Germany, pursuing a master’s degree in music therapy. She first went to Germany in 2017 for a year abroad and loved the German culture and lifestyle.

“I applied for the Fulbright because during my year in Mainz, Germany, I found an intense passion and specific purpose to help others who suffer from mental illness using music as an alternate form of therapy,” Allen said. “When I discovered there is still a lack of research in the treatment of anxiety disorders – specifically obsessive-compulsive disorder – using music, I realized that I wanted to pursue further research in this area.”

Allen hopes to get involved in the Heidelberg community and possibly find a part-time job to help pay for extra expenses. 

“I am graduating with a Bachelor of Music degree in voice performance and am currently looking to join an opera chorus in this region of Germany and teach voice lessons to youth in the area,” she added. 

Allen plans to stay beyond her year funded by the Fulbright scholarship and continue her second year of the master’s program to earn her degree from SRH.

Carter is an alternate for an English Teaching Award to Germany. While not currently selected as a principal candidate, her selection as an alternate offers the chance of promotion to finalist.

Concordia had six applicants for the 2019-20 Fulbright Awards. Every year, there are approximately 10,000 applicants for 2,000 awards worldwide in all fields of study and in over 140 countries. More than 380,000 Fulbrighters from the U.S. and other countries have participated in the program since it was established in 1946.

“This year, we beat the odds with three awards and one alternate from our six applicants. This is the third time (along with 2011 and 2017), according to my records, that we have had three award winners. If McKayle is called upon as a replacement, it will be a record year for us,” said Dr. Jonathan Steinwand, professor of English. “Elite schools often have several award winners but, for a school of our size and stature, I am pleased with the result and proud of these Fulbrighters! Our world language programs, in particular, deserve a lot of credit.”


 Photo (from left): Hannah Allen, Toby Kindem, Alexandra Rankin