For the Journal Review
Two current or former Wabash College students have accepted international fellowships to Latvia and Germany.
Paul Haesemeyer ’21 earned a Fulbright open study/research award to Latvia, while Ethan Brown ’24 claimed a Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship to study in Germany.
Haesemeyer will be based in Riga, Latvia, with the goal of completing a book that explores the histories, traditions, and people involved with Latvian knitting. The book, “Adišanas stast,” will feature knitting patterns inspired by interviews with local craftspeople. He will work closely with the Latvian National Centre for Culture to spotlight knitting’s place in Latvia’s culture and its impact as both craft and art.
A native of Billings, Montana, Haesemeyer majored in theater and minored in art. He was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity and found his home at Wabash working in the costume shop. He was involved in many Wabash College Theater Productions onstage and behind-the-scenes, as well as the Glee Club and Knitting Club. He received the Celebration of Research, Scholarship, and Creativity Award for The Haze Collection, a line of clothing he designed and created, as well as the Kenneth W. Kloth Design and Technical Theater Award.
During his collegiate career, Haesemeyer interned at the Williamstown Theater Festival, the Metropolitan Opera, and New Light Theater Project. After graduation, he apprenticed at the Santa Fe Opera in the costume shop. For the last two seasons, Haesemeyer has worked for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery, Alabama. Recently, knitting patterns he designed were published in Vogue Knitting and in Radåm, a Latvian knitting magazine.
“Paul is a rising star in the worlds of knitting and costume design,” said Susan Albrecht, Wabash College Fellowship Advisor. “When he decided to pursue this Fulbright Study/Research award, I was over the moon. I knew that he had an amazing vision for the project, and his talent is undeniable. The Latvian cultural emphasis on storytelling through knitting, especially with mittens, was tailor-made for Paul’s talents. It seems appropriate that Paul is Wabash’s very first creative arts Fulbright award recipient.”
Previously, he made immersion trips to New York City, Taiwan, and the Czech Republic.
“Winning a Fulbright feels incredible,” said Haesemeyer. “I am excited to pursue knitting full-time and provide an exciting opportunity to knit, write, and explore. Knitting brings people together and I can’t wait to see where it will lead me.”
An English and German double major from Gary, Indiana, Ethan Brown is a member of the Wabash Pep Band and has previously completed an immersion experience to Heidelberg, Germany, in May 2023.
“A Gilman Scholarship is a big deal,” said Brown. “In a competitive process, it’s a surprise to find out that you’ve won and it is a wonderful opportunity. I look forward to living with a host family and the program’s excursion to Berlin. I also hope to visit the town of Ansbach, Germany, just southwest of Nuremberg, where my grandfather was stationed during the Vietnam War.”
While abroad with the Gilman program, Brown will be based in Heidelberg, Germany.
“Ethan’s application was very strong, and I was thrilled he received this recognition,” said Albrecht. “He was already in Germany with a Wabash immersion course and Gilman funding made it possible for him to extend this first-ever international experience with a summer study abroad program. This extended study has made it possible for Ethan to add German as a second major, which was a wonderful bonus.”
The Fulbright open study/research award program allows recipients to design their own projects and work with mentors at foreign universities, non-profits, cultural organizations, or other research institutes. The study/research awards are available in approximately 140 countries.
Administered by the Institute of International Education on behalf of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and funded by Congress, the purpose of the Gilman International Scholarship program is to encourage participation in study abroad programs for under-represented students, particularly those who are studying in under-represented areas of the world and/or under-represented languages.
Haesemeyer and Brown are among the many Wabash men who have earned highly competitive fellowships in the last decade, including the Rhodes, Marshall, Truman, Obama Voyager, Yenching, Goldwater, and Point Foundation Flagship Scholarships. Additionally, Wabash students have earned the Center for the Study of Presidency and Congress’ Presidential Fellowship, U.K. Fulbright Summer Institute placement, and NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships, to go with 27 Fulbrights and 26 Gilman Scholarships.