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Like most of Lipscomb’s graduates who attain a Fulbright Scholarship, Minor was familiar with global travel and interested in cultures different from her own. Her maternal grandfather has a Danish heritage, and her immediate family lived in the Bahamas during Minor’s childhood years.
Hannah Minor (’17), an English and German major, has become Lipscomb University’s seventh Fulbright Scholar to be selected by the international program in the past 12 years.
The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, places U.S. scholars in schools or universities overseas, improving foreign students’ English language abilities and knowledge of the United States while enhancing their own language skills and knowledge of the host country.
Minor, from Kennewick, Washington, will begin her 10-month stint as a teaching assistant in Germany in fall 2018. After graduating in December, she completed an internship in the Tennessee State Treasury Department during the state’s legislative session.
“In the Bahamas, you start learning Spanish in pre-K. Then you choose a second language in fourth grade, so I was able to learn German in fourth and fifth grade. That’s what got me started on wanting to travel,” Minor said.
Later, her family moved back to America, and moving into the American education system was an adjustment, Minor said.
“I remember bringing items to school from another country and my fellow students seemed so uninterested. I remember feeling like they just didn’t realize there were other places in the world. That lit a fire under me to help people understand different people and different places,” she said.
So when she came to Lipscomb, the opportunity to study abroad in a German-speaking country, Austria, was of great interest to her. She chose to participate in the semester-long Lipscomb in Vienna program, and made a point to visit Germany during her stay, in an effort to be immersed in the language.
That long-term immersion into another culture is certainly what she is looking forward to during her work in Germany, she said. She will be working in a school in Dresden, and plans to become involved in the German culture beyond the classroom.
“I definitely want to get involved in sports and activities where I can improve my social interaction in German,” she said. “I would love to join a knitting group with older women and hear their stories. There is a specific way they create lace, and I would love to learn that,” she said.
She is also very interested in environmental sustainability, so she is looking forward to learning how Germany approaches sustainable agriculture.
“Minor’s experiences in Vienna and throughout Europe during her semester abroad illustrated her skills at adapting to new situations in a foreign environment and learning not just to tour Europe, but to live and work there. Essentially becoming a European for the months she was abroad, using her language to negotiate her new home and her writing skills to document her experiences there,” said Charles McVey, professor of German and longtime coordinator of the Vienna study abroad program.
“I think that even her move from Washington State to Nashville—a really steep cultural difference and learning curve—helped prepare her to get even more out of her experiences abroad,” he said.
During her college career, Minor was a member of the English honor society Sigma Tau Delta, was secretary and philanthropy chair of the social club Alpha Zeta, a member of the Colleges of Liberal Arts & Sciences Student Advisory Council and was secretary of You’re Not Alone, an on-campus social advocacy group. She also served as a Lipscomb Writing Studio Fellow for the engineering college, conducting evaluations of technical reports, and as a teaching assistant at the university.
She participated in the annual Student Scholars Symposium, and at the Southern Literary Festival student competition she was awarded second place for her formal essay on Mark Twain’s “The Awful German Language.”
This summer, Minor is taking an intensive course in German to prepare for her placement and taking the Graduate Record Exam to be able to enter graduate school immediately upon her return.
Lipscomb’s seven Fulbright Scholars since 2006 have gone on to exciting careers in diplomacy and international journalism. One is studying at Georgetown Law School, and two did graduate research in liberation theology and how education affects underserved girls throughout the world during their Fulbright placements.
Check out a few more interesting facts about Lipscomb’s Fulbrights: