English graduate Kevin Bie (’22) receives Fulbright Scholarship Award


by Angela M. Carter (Public Relations and Marketing Specialist)


SUMMARY: English graduate Kevin Bie (’22) receives Fulbright Scholarship Award.


Graduate: Masters of Arts in Teaching

Majors: Mathematics & English
Minors: Secondary Education & Honors Interdisciplinary Studies

What does being selected as a Fulbright Scholarship Award recipient mean to you?

I first recall hearing about the Fulbright scholarship when I starred in my high school’s production of Legally Blonde the musical. As Elle Woods arrived at Harvard, she met her classmates who boasted about their various accomplishments in the song “Harvard Variations.” Aaron Shultz began his solo with “I won a Fulbright … ” My first impression of Fulbright was that it was something prestigious. As I applied and learned of my peers who were also selected for the scholarship, I was honored. It is a privilege to carry out the mission of Fulbright: increasing the mutual understanding between different countries through education. In a world where there is much division, I am delighted to serve a mission that unifies. 

What do you hope to gain from your forthcoming experiences in Germany?

First, I am eager to use my German. I studied German in school for a long time, but I imagine an extended immersion experience will drastically improve my speaking and listening skills. Furthermore, I want to be a sponge in Germany. I want to soak up every possible experience, learning from their educational and cultural norms. I am eager to learn about their differentiated schooling experiences in Gymnasium, Hauptschule, Realschule, and Gesamtschule. While I do not yet know which type of school I will be placed in, I am curious how it will differ from my own schooling experiences. I am excited to be paired with a German educator, learning from their wisdom and bettering my teaching practice. I also hope to engage myself in the community outside of the classroom, by attending a nearby church, seeing local theater productions, and exploring the highly anticipated German cuisine. 

Tell us how you felt when you found out that you'd been selected for this prestigious scholarship.

The Fulbright application process is a long one. As April approached, I knew decisions were coming out relatively soon. I eagerly refreshed my email more than I ever had before. On Thursday, March 30, I received an email from my Fulbright adviser Dr. Meredith Malbourne Wade that read “CONGRATULATIONS! AAAAAHHHHH!!! YAY!!!!!” I rushed to my application portal, and, in a moment of excitement, I forgot my password. I eventually got into my Fulbright application portal for the official confirmation. When I read the official “congratulations,” I was overwhelmed with immense gratitude. The gratitude was multifaceted: grateful to have this experience and grateful for the many people who got me here. 

What advice would you give to JMU students?

Be open. It is good to plan ahead; it is how we open doors for ourselves. However, our plans should always be malleable. Fulbright was not on my horizon for the majority of my college experience. My college mentor, Mr. Jared Diener, informed me of the possibility near the end of my senior year and encouraged me to apply. By applying, I did not abandon my existing plans, but rather I had multiple plans running concurrently. Our periphery of opportunities is continually expanding as we encounter more people and have more experiences. Our plans for the future should account for these ever-changing possibilities. Be open, be inspired, and be ok with not knowing exactly what comes next. I’ve found that hard work in the “now” is always the best preparation for the “nexts.”


To learn more about the US Fulbright Program, please visit:

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Published: Monday, August 7, 2023

Last Updated: Thursday, November 2, 2023

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