Hanna Ditmars and Rosetta Burkholder
continue Manchester College Fulbright tradition
NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. - Two Manchester College
spring graduates will study internationally next year with Fulbright
Program grants. The two seniors continue a Fulbright tradition at
Manchester College, which has produced 17 Fulbrights in the past eight
This year, the Fulbright grants go to Rosetta
Burkholder of Shipshewana, Ind. and Hannah Ditmars of Pickrell, Neb.
Manchester College continues to produce more
Fulbrights per capita enrollment than any other college or
university in Indiana. The Church of the Brethren college offers 45
areas of study to 1,170 students from 29 states and 33 countries.
The Fulbright is the U.S. government's
flagship program in international educational exchange,
with Congress annually funding more
than 900 U.S. student grants.
Burkholder, fluent in German, will continue her
education in sociology at Universitšt Mannheim in Germany. "When I
received a letter of invitation from the university there, they
mentioned that it was rated No. 1 for sociology in Germany," said
Burkholder, who plans to study family issues and the German social
structure during her one-year Fulbright.
Ditmars expects to teach English in South Korea,
but will not know her specific Fulbright assignment until she completes
a six-week language and cultural orientation. "I would like to live in a
more rural area and teach middle school girls," she said.
"I hope the children that I teach can gain a better understanding
of other cultures through their interaction with me."
"Fulbright grants emphasize outstanding academic
achievement, respect for different cultures, and a sense of adventure,"
said Jo Young Switzer, vice president and dean for academic affairs.
"These are the qualities we want Manchester College students to achieve,
Fulbright program advisor Professor H. Kendall
Rogers begins encouraging students to apply early in their college
careers. The application process is lengthy. "You spend six
weeks intensely writing the best application possible, then you wait
five months, then you start anticipating an answer, anxiety and
impatience sets in and all of a sudden the waiting is over," Burkholder
Rosetta Burkholder is a finance and
sociology major whose path to the Fulbright was difficult and amazing.
Frustrated by her Amish family's separation from the outside world, at
18, Burkholder stashed her belongings into paper bags, left home and
embarked on six years of educational and financial catch-up to qualify
for college. The coursework was difficult, but even in subjects she had
never studied before she collected A grades. She worked with the
underprivileged and explored Italy, Austria, Switzerland, France,
England, Hungary and studied in Germany through Brethren Colleges Abroad
"Throughout my college career I became increasingly
aware of the curse of poverty, and am humbled that this cycle has broken
for me," Burkholder told the Fulbright committee. Germany was her first
choice because she wants to learn about "its way of doing things. I find
Americans often being ethnocentric, and I've realized that other
cultures and societies accomplish the same things as we do - bear and
raise children, grow up, get educated, get married, grow old, and die -
but in very different ways."
After her Fulbright year in Germany, Burkholder
hopes to provide job training and personal finance planning to
underprivileged residents of Columbus, Ohio.
Hannah Ditmars, a graduate of Beatrice High
School, is a sociology major. She has traveled in Germany, Jamaica, the
Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Luxembourg, Italy,
Switzerland and in France last year through BCA. "Manchester College's
persistent challenge to reach out of myself and into the real world is
manifested in my extensive travels throughout college," Ditmars told the
Ditmars, whose childhood best friend is profoundly
deaf, has a passion for teaching the deaf and hearing-impaired and would
like to obtain a master's degree in American Sign Language
interpretation at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. "I hope to
learn as much Korean as possible and, if I can get the right
connections, I would like to learn a little Korean Natural Sign
Language," she said of her year ahead.
After her Fulbright experience, Ditmars plans to
pursue graduate study in audiology in hopes that she can use her
experiences to improve the lives of others. "By conversing with deaf
people in the United States, France and Korea and experiencing their
respective cultures, I will emerge as a better audiologist and a crucial
liaison between the deaf and hearing communities," she told the