Gabi Van Schoyck '08 Awarded Prestigious Fulbright Grant

Gabi Van Schoyck

Gabi Van Schoyck was recently awarded a prestigious Fulbright grant, making her the second Covenant College student to have been a Fulbright scholar.


Van Schoyck, who majored in community development and is a May 2008 graduate, will fly to Hong Kong in August to teach English for ten months at the Honk Kong Institute of Education as a part of the Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.


Van Schoyck said she is “excited to live in a community of people my own age who come from a different cultural background, because I think I’ll be able to learn a lot from them.”


Having grown up in Haiti and completed an internship last year in Burkina Faso, West Africa, Van Schoyck has already been exposed to a variety of cultures, languages, and people groups. Her parents taught in Haitian schools with the Haitian American Friendship Foundation (HAFF) and, during her high school years, Van Schoyck was her mother’s classroom assistant, teaching English.


The Fulbright Program was established by Congress in 1946 to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries.


Several members of Covenant College ’s faculty are former Fulbright scholars: Dr. Richard Follett (history), Dr. Phillip Horton (education), Dr. Russell Mask (community development), and Dr. Tom Neiles (modern languages). Covenant alumnus Ben Borger ’04 also received a Fulbright award.


Dr. Mask commented on the high standards required of recipients, stating that Fulbright scholars must be “interested, academically qualified, and have some degree of inter-cultural interest and competence.”


“It is a great honor, and is well deserved,” said Dr. Herbert Ward, associate professor of biblical studies at Covenant. “Gabi has a deep love for Christ, and a passion to see Him glorified among the nations, particularly among the poor. Her experiences . . . have prepared her to be flexible and adaptable, and to relate well with people from a variety of cultural contexts. I am absolutely confident that she will be a blessing to many during her year in Hong Kong.”


Van Schoyck notes that her experience at Covenant has increased her awareness of different cultures. “Studying community development has changed the way I think about life,” she said. She also studied French for seven out of her eight semesters. “The French department has been a huge part of my college experience!,” she said. “It made me realize that I love languages and want to learn more.”