North Central College - Naperville, IL

North Central College graduate named Fulbright Scholar

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Contact: Ted Slowik, Director of PR and Media Relations, 630-637-5307,

April 30, 2010—Parker Gadbois, a 2009 graduate of North Central College, has been named a Fulbright Scholar and will teach English in Taiwan.

Gadbois was awarded a highly prestigious Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) Award for 2010-2011. He begins his 11-month assignment on Aug. 1 and will receive $30,000 of support and additional funds for language study.

At North Central, Gadbois majored in English and minored in Chinese and secondary education. He teaches English at East Aurora High School in Aurora and sees the Fulbright as a way to both share his love of teaching and improve his Chinese skills and cultural knowledge.

“My ultimate goal is to teach Chinese in America and the Fulbright gives me a platform to make that happen,” he says.

Gadbois began the Fulbright process during his senior year and spent the summer of 2009 refining the critical two-page personal statement. His experiences at North Central included studying abroad in China and Japan, tutoring in the Writing Center, volunteering for the Junior/Senior Scholars youth mentoring program, writing for the North Central Review literary magazine and working with international students at the Summer Language Institute.

“Knowing Chinese was not required for the Fulbright but I think they favored the fact that I want to improve my Chinese skills and learn more about the culture,” Gadbois adds.

Gadbois was raised in Frankfort and graduated from Lincoln-Way East High School. His commitment to his studies impressed his teachers at North Central.

“Parker always impressed the Chinese and Japanese people we encountered with his unfailing good manners, positive attitude, cultural sensitivity, language skills, friendliness, and deep and nuanced appreciation of other cultures,” says Judith Brodhead, associate professor of English, who accompanied Gadbois and his peers to China and Japan. “He is devoted to Chinese language and culture and embraces the ideal of mutual understanding that the Fulbright program is grounded in.”

The Fulbright Grant program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and was established by Congress in 1946 to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Full research grants provide roughly $30,000 of support for nine months of study and research. Since the program’s inception, some of the nearly 300,000 Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, ambassadors, cabinet ministers and university presidents and have earned numerous other prestigious awards, including 37 Nobel Prizes.

Gadbois is the sixth North Central College graduate to become a Fulbright Scholar. In 2009, Claudia Chlebek was awarded a Fulbright Full Research Grant and is studying in Europe. Three North Central students have previously been awarded Fulbright English Teaching Awards: Rose Raymond in 2004, Jamison Steinke in 1996 and Janet Bernhardy in 1994. North Central alumna Diya Bose, who graduated in 2005 and is a master’s degree candidate at the American University School of International Service in Washington, D.C., was awarded a Fulbright in 2009.

More information on the Fulbright Scholarship can be found at Information about other national prestigious scholarships at North Central College may be found at

Founded in 1861, North Central College is an independent, comprehensive college of the liberal arts and sciences that offers more than 55 undergraduate majors and graduate programming in six areas. Located in Naperville, Ill., North Central is recognized as one of “America’s Best Colleges” by U.S. News & World Report, which cites it as one of the top six schools in the Midwest for “Strong Commitment to Undergraduate Teaching”; as “a college for high-achieving students” by Peterson’s Competitive Colleges; and as one of “America’s Best Colleges” by Forbes. For more information about North Central College visit