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Kassie Scott – US-UK Fulbright Summer Institute

Name: Kassie Scott

Class Year: 2018

Hometown: Pennsville, NJ

Major(s): English and Sociology

Minors or Concentrations: Poverty and Human Capability Studies

Opportunity and Year: US-UK Fulbright Summer Institutes for US Undergraduates, Summer 2015

Project Summary: US-UK Fulbright Summer Institutes offer students both cultural and academic experiences. During my three weeks abroad, London served as a classroom of its own to complement the course in children’s literature I took while studying at King’s College London.

How did W&L prepare you for this opportunity? Washington and Lee provided me with the support I needed to both continue my studies and create a new narrative for myself when I was plagued by negative self-talk and feelings of inadequacy during my very first semester of college. The same professors who gave me the courage to stay at W&L, namely Professor Barnett and Professor Howard Pickett, then wrote my letters of recommendation for the Fulbright award. After submitting my application and letters of recommendation, I received news that I had been selected for an interview. To prepare, I had mock interviews with Dean France, Howard Pickett, Holly Pickett, and Dean Jensen. The mock interviews gave me the confidence and comfort to speak with the Fulbright Commission’s interview panelists in my most authentic voice.

Why did you apply for this opportunity? As a first-generation college student from a low-income family, I never thought a college education was within reach, let alone a Fulbright award. I heard about Fulbright Fellowships because one of my favorite authors, Sylvia Plath, had received one. Applying for a Fulbright award myself was a comfort zone challenge, to say the least. I knew Fulbright awards were prestigious. I knew thousands of other amazing students were equally as deserving. But, I also knew that the essays I had written were a sincere reflection of my outlook on life and my empathy for others. And so, I applied, albeit timidly and without showing my application to anyone else before submitting it minutes before the deadline, because I felt secure knowing that Washington and Lee’s reputation, my academic success, and my rigorous campus involvement by the conclusion of fall term during my first-year made me a strong candidate for the Fulbright Commission’s consideration.

Post-graduation Plans: Short-term goal: After my US-UK Fulbright Summer Institute Fellowship in London during summer 2015, I am interested in pursuing fellowship opportunities after graduation.

Long-term goal: After my Shepherd International Internship and Woolley Fellowship in Cluj-Napoca, Romania during summer 2016, I am considering a career in social justice.

How will this opportunity help you achieve your goals? Professors say it is the case that receiving one fellowship opens doors for other fellowships and opportunities; so far, they have been correct. So, hopefully, my international experiences will serve as evidence that I am capable and willing to make the most of my experience if given a similar opportunity in the future.

As for my development as a person, receiving the US-UK Fulbright Summer Institute Fellowship made me realize that my differences are not deficiencies; in fact, the obstacles I encountered before coming to Washington and Lee and the difficulties I encountered while here are actually reminders of my strength whenever I am met with a daunting task.

Extracurricular Involvement:

Campus Involvement for 2016-17 Academic Year:

  • Peer Counselor
  • Co-Founder and Co-Director, Friday Underground Productions
  • Communication Facilitator, Gender Action Group
  • Head Career Fellow, Career Development
  • SAT Tutor and Mentor, College Access

Involvement at the time I applied for Fulbright award (end of fall term first-year):

  • Career Educator, Career Development
  • News Writer, Ring-tum Phi
  • Contributing Writer, inGeneral Magazine
  • Member, SPEAK
  • Volunteer, Heritage Hall Nursing Home
  • Flutist, Washington and Lee University Wind Ensemble

Other (Previous) Involvement

  • Contributing Writer, USA TODAY College (2015)
  • Member, Advocates for an Alternative Atmosphere (2015-16)
  • Trip Leader, Sustainability Leadership Pre-Orientation Trip (2015)

Off-campus Experience:

  • US-UK Fulbright Summer Institute to study at King’s College London, Summer 2015
  • Shepherd International Internship and Woolley Fellowship to work as a human rights intern in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Summer 2016

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