Fulbright student awards go to WMU alumni, doctoral candidate

contact: Margaret von Steinen
| WMU News

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Two recent Western Michigan University alumni and a current doctoral candidate have won highly competitive Fulbright awards to conduct research or teach English overseas for the 2015-16 academic year.

The trio is comprised of Keith Carver, a spring 2015 graduate from Marshall; Peter Dobek, a doctoral candidate from McHenry, Illinois; and Ian Magnuson, a spring 2014 graduate from Battle Creek.

They are part of the cohort of more than 1,900 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2015-16 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. All of the award recipients were selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential.

Fulbright award recipients

Photo of Keith Carver.


Keith Carver

Carver is an alumnus of WMU's Master of Fine Arts in creative writing program who graduated from Marshall High School. He was placed by the Turkish Fulbright commission in Yalova, Turkey, located on the Sea of Marmara near Istanbul.

Carver will teach English for one year, with the possibility of a one-year renewal. He plans to teach English in the United States or overseas after completing his Fulbright program.

Photo of Peter Dobek.


Peter Dobek

Dobek graduated from McHenry East High School and is pursuing a doctoral degree in history. He plans to conduct dissertation research in Cracow, Poland, in affiliation with the Faculty of History at Jagiellonian University—the oldest university in Poland and the second oldest university in Central Europe.

In his dissertation, Dobek examines public houses—inns, taverns, alehouses—during the Jagiellonian Dynasty (1385-1572) in the city of Cracow and its immediate surroundings as important nodes of society, politics, economics, gender relations and culture. The project draws on manuscript sources in Cracow's archives and libraries, including the National Archives.

Dobek is proficient in Polish, Spanish and Latin, and has studied abroad in Spain. He expects to graduate from WMU in 2017, then to seek a tenure-track position as a professor teaching European, medieval or Polish history.

Photo of Ian Magnuson.


Ian Magnuson

Magnuson earned a bachelor's degree from WMU, double majoring in German as well as global and international studies, and graduated from Lakeview High School in Battle Creek. He was awarded an English teaching assistantship at two German university-preparatory high schools.

Magnuson, who studied abroad in Bonn, Germany, in 2012, is preparing for a career working with international nonprofit organizations or in international higher education.

WMU and application help

The WMU Fulbright alumni community extends back to 1952, when Professor Chester L. Hunt of the Department of Sociology traveled to the Philippines as a Fulbright Scholar. The University sent out its first student on a Fulbright award in 1993, and welcomed its first incoming Fulbright Scholar in 1981 and the first incoming Fulbright Fellow in 2004.

WMU's Haenicke Institute for Global Education assists faculty members and students in applying for Fulbright grants. Questions may be directed to Dr. Michelle Metro-Roland, the University's Fulbright advisor, at michelle.metro-roland@wmich.edu or (269) 387-5890.

Fulbright Program

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. It operates in over 160 countries worldwide and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

The program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright. Since then it has given about 360,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research; exchange ideas; and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Fulbright recipients are among some 50,000 people who annually participate in U.S. Department of State exchange programs.

For more information about Fulbright programs for faculty and students, visit the Haenicke Institute website at wmich.edu/international or the Fulbright website at iie.org/fulbright.

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