3 Rollins Students Earn Fulbright Scholarships

June 05, 2024

By Jessica Firpi ’11

Fulbright winners Peyton Connor ’24, Adam Lahlou ’24, Eve Wasil ’24
From left to right: Peyton Connor, Adam Lahlou, Eve WasilPhoto by Right: Scott Cook.

Three Tars have received the distinguished Fulbright Scholarship, including two teaching assignments and one research fellowship.

Peyton Connor ’24, Adam Lahlou ’24, and Eve Wasil ’24 have earned 2024-25 Fulbright Scholarships to participate in the U.S. government’s premier international educational exchange program, joining Rollins’ storied history of Fulbright Students that spans seven decades.

Lahlou will conduct research on Tamazight language education programs and socioeconomic reforms in Morocco, while Connor and Wasil will teach English in Spain and Taiwan, respectively.

For more than 75 years, the Fulbright Program, which was created in the wake of World War II, has stood as the U.S. government’s flagship educational exchange program, with more than 400,000 participants who have served in 160 countries across the globe. The prestigious program provides students, scholars, and professionals from all backgrounds the opportunity to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to complex global challenges. Past scholars have become Nobel Prize winners, heads of state, authors, artists, and business leaders.

Nearly 100 Tars have been named Fulbright recipients since the first Rollins student received the coveted award over 70 years ago. Connor, Lahlou, and Wasil become the 66th, 67th, and 68th students to claim the honor since 2006. As a testament to Rollins’ emphasis on global citizenship as a tenet of its signature brand of liberal arts education, the College has been named a top producer of U.S. Fulbright Scholars and Students 11 times.

The trio of global ambassadors share how Rollins prepared them for this esteemed scholarship as they prepare to take the next step in their meaningful lives and productive careers.

Fulbright winner Peyton Connor ’24

Peyton Connor ’24

  • Major: History
  • Fulbright assignment: Teaching English in Spain

How Rollins prepared her: “Rollins’ interdisciplinary approach has allowed me to dive into interesting subjects and view topics from different perspectives. I was able to augment my time in the classroom with tutoring students and participating in the Student-Faculty Collaborative Scholarship Program, where I conducted graduate-level research and co-authored Rollins College: A Pictorial History alongside history professor Claire Strom, digital archivist Rachel Walton, and three fellow students. Rollins’ dedication to global citizenship has prepared me to continue my passion overseas. I studied abroad three times and couldn’t have done so without the support of the Office of International Programs. I’m honored to continue my journey as I teach and learn in Spain during my Fulbright assignment and am forever grateful to Kimberly Dennis [director of Rollins’ Office of External Fellowships & Scholarships] for her unwavering guidance during the Fulbright application process.”

Post-Fulbright plans: “I plan to attend graduate school for public history, which focuses on how history is applied to real-world issues. From there, I aim to be a museum curator and educator, as museums foster a digestible and interesting form of education. My dream is to create exhibitions that tell compelling stories of the past in the context of contemporary social situations.”

Fulbright winner Adam Lahlou ’24

Adam Lahlou ’24

  • Major: International relations
  • Fulbright assignment: Research on Tamazight language education programs and socioeconomic reforms, Al Akhawayn University, Fes University, and Institut Royal de la Culture Amazigh, Morocco

How Rollins prepared him: “My Fulbright fellowship wouldn’t have been possible without my liberal arts education. Rollins has helped me grow into a global citizen. I was able to immerse myself in cultural exchange and global advocacy, gaining full scholarships to intern in Uganda advocating for youth empowerment, take an international leadership course in France, and spend a semester in Tunisia and Italy studying the relationship between politics, mass migration, and religion. Rollins allowed me to explore my academic interests untethered. In the classroom, I was able to discuss topics one-on-one with faculty and pursue an honors thesis on “Clientelism in Morocco,” which complemented my Fulbright application. I gathered advice, support, and perspectives from my professors in a variety of departments—in particular, anthropology professor Rachel Newcomb, global languages professors Sana Alaya Seghair and Constance Vottero Castillo, international relations professor Dan Chong, political science professor Tahmina Rahman, and Kimberly Dennis in the Office of External Fellowships & Scholarships. Not only did they guide my initial questions, but they were also always willing to listen and help improve my Fulbright application. The support the Rollins interdisciplinary approach creates is simply immeasurable.”

Post-Fulbright plans: “I plan to join either the Foreign Service or go to graduate school to pursue a career in academia. I want to have an impact beyond myself, helping others feel represented. I have always sought opportunities to learn culture empirically, simultaneously seeing how I can ease cultural pain points. Regardless of which course my journey takes, I hope to continue language studies, achieving fluency in both Arabic and French.”

Fulbright winner Eve Wasil ’24
Photo by Left: Scott Cook.

Eve Wasil ’24

  • Majors: Psychology and Asian studies
  • Fulbright assignment: Teaching English in Taiwan

How Rollins prepared her: “I owe my knowledge of language-teaching strategies, my proficiency in Mandarin, my understanding of global relations, and much more to my professors at Rollins. In my first two years, I took several classes outside my psychology major that involved Asian language and culture, including Mandarin, Chinese history, and Asian religions courses. My interest in Asian culture extended to my research project with psychology professor John Houston that examined the effect of cultural differences between India and the U.S. on meaningful work and the perseverance and passion for long-term goals (i.e., grit). My interest in Asian culture solidified under the guidance of education professor Jie Yu, who encouraged me to add a major in Asian studies and gave me the opportunity to work as a co-teacher at the Chinese School of Tomorrow (CST), which is a Chinese language and cultural school for American-born Chinese students. Working at CST not only pushed me to teach in a language that I didn’t grow up speaking, but it allowed me to take part in building students’ relationships with their extended family and even their own identity through language-learning. All of these experiences culminated in applying for the Fulbright.”

Post-Fulbright plans: “I will be applying to law school and industrial-organizational doctoral programs this fall. I’m also currently thinking about pursuing a career in international law/diplomacy or as a professor.”

Professor and students in a class discussion at a Rollins outdoor classroom

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