Bend native and 2012 Mountain View HS graduate Kayla Walsh has received a place on a Fulbright Summer Institute to study at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in the United Kingdom on one of the most prestigious and selective summer scholarship programs operating worldwide.
Created by treaty in 1948, the US-UK Fulbright Commission is the only bi-lateral, transatlantic scholarship programme, offering awards and summer programmes for study or research in any field, at any accredited US or UK University.
The Commission is part of the Fulbright program conceived by Senator J. William Fulbright in the aftermath of World War II to promote leadership, learning and empathy between nations through educational exchange. Award recipients and summer programme participants will be the future leaders for tomorrow and support the “special relationship” between the US and UK.
As a participant, Kayla has been selected from a strong applicant pool to experience the United Kingdom on a three-week summer program.
The program focuses on acting and understanding Shakespeare text as well as other aspects of Shakespeare theatre such as design, dance and sword-play.
Walsh, and other participants, will be learning from the world’s experts in all things Shakespeare and she couldn’t be more honored and thrilled to have been one of three applicants selected for this remarkable experience.
As an aspiring actor who is attending Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre, Walsh believes that a thorough understanding and experience with Shakespearean text and acting is essential to becoming an accomplished actor.
She is looking forward to studying and learning as much as possible about Shakespeare and the Globe as well experiencing the culture and geography of the UK and meeting new people from all over the world!
Commenting on receiving the place, Kayla said: "I hope this work will enable me to not only become a better performer and a more well-rounded person, but I also intend to share what I have learned with my future students; some of whom are involved with a local children’s theatre, Bend Experimental Art Theatre (BEAT)."
The Commission selects participants through a rigorous application and interview process. In making these awards the Commission looks not only for academic excellence but a focused application, a range of extracurricular and community activities, demonstrated ambassadorial skills, a desire to further the Fulbright Programme and a plan to give back to the recipient’s home country upon returning.
Fulbright Summer Programmes cover all participant costs. In addition, Fulbright summer participants receive a distinctive support and cultural education programme including: visa processing, a comprehensive pre-departure orientation, enrichment opportunities in country, a re-entry session and opportunity to join our alumni networks.
Each year, the Commission supports around 50 UK and US undergraduate students to undertake a demanding academic and cultural summer programmes at leading institutions in the US and UK respectively. Nearly 300,000 extraordinary women and men from all over the world have had their lives changed as participants in the global Fulbright Programme. Of these alumni, approximately 15,000 UK nationals have studied in the US and nearly 12,000 US nationals in the UK on our educational exchange programmes.
Notable alumni of the US-UK Commission include: Malcolm Bradbury, novelist; Liam Byrne, politician; Milton Friedman, economist and Nobel Prize Winner 1976; Charles Kennedy, politician; John Lithgow, actor; Tarik O’Regan, composer; Sylvia Plath, poet;
Lord William Wallace, politician; Ian Rankin, novelist; Sir Christopher Rose QC, judge;
Baroness (Shirley) Williams, politician; Vanessa Heaney, journalist BBC World Service; and Toby Young, journalist and playwright.
The Commission is funded partially by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills in the UK and the US Department of State, with additional support coming from a variety of individual and institutional partners.