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Ridgefield Academy Graduate Earns Fulbright Grant

Kaitlin Cunningham of Ridgefield, a senior at Connecticut College and a former student at Ridgefield Academy, has been selected to receive a Fulbright grant.
Kaitlin Cunningham of Ridgefield, a senior at Connecticut College and a former student at Ridgefield Academy, has been selected to receive a Fulbright grant. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Ridgefield Academy

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. -- Ridgefield resident Kaitlin Cunningham, a senior at Connecticut College and a former student at Ridgefield Academy, has been selected to receive a U.S. Fulbright Student Program Grant to teach English abroad.

Cunningham is the daughter of Eileen and Mark Cunningham of Ridgefield. At Connecticut College, Cunningham is a Slavic studies and international double major who recently studied abroad in Russia and had the opportunity to spend a week in Georgia. After her visit was over, she knew she would have to find a way to go back.

“I decided to apply for a Fulbright because it is such an incredible opportunity for me to explore a country and engage with the people that I fell in love with,” she said.

Cunningham will teach English as a second language at the university level. She is eager to learn Georgian, and is hoping to compile a cookbook of Georgian recipes in English, Russian and Georgian. She would also like to incorporate American music into her work.

On campus, Cunningham is a member of the coed a cappella group ConnArtists, an independent living coordinator for one of the College’s residence houses, a Russian tutor, a fellow in the Office of Advancement, and a member of SafetyNet, a student group that educates peers on sexual assault prevention.

Cunningham says she is grateful to the Department of Slavic Studies for nurturing her love of language. “I am already finding so much success due to my Russian language skills and academic and professional experience abroad, and I owe that to the incredible professors with whom I’ve worked closely since the moment I stepped onto campus almost four years ago,” she said.

Cunningham is one of six Fulbright fellows, five are members of the class of 2016 and one is an alumnus from the class of 2014. Connecticut College has had 33 Fulbrights in the last five years, and is consistently recognized as a top producer of Fulbright recipients.

Fulbright fellows receive round-trip travel to their host countries, a living stipend, project allowances and medical insurance.

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