by Clem Boyd
Recent Cedarville University alumnus Warner Litrenta will be spending his first year after graduation as a cross-cultural ambassador with the U.S. State Department’s Fulbright Program in Spain.
The Fulbright Program offers students a fully funded opportunity to study or serve overseas in more than 140 different countries. The competitive program considers leadership potential, academic achievement, professional achievement and record of service.
Fulbright alumni include 61 Nobel Prize laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize recipients and 40 who have served as a head of state or government. The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program.
Litrenta is the third Fulbright student from Cedarville, and fifth Fulbright recipient overall. Dr. Andrew Wiseman, professor of Spanish, was the first faculty Fulbright scholar to Uzbekistan in 2004. Dr. John Mortensen, professor of music, was named a 2019 Fulbright scholar to Lithuania. Previous student grantees include 2015 alumna Katie Goehring to Germany and 2018 alumnus Stanley Schwartz to Australia.
Litrenta will serve as an English teaching assistant in the autonomous community of Galicia, which is equivalent to a U.S. state, in northwest Spain. He has asked to teach in a K-12, focusing on high school age students, where he will teach a subject area such as history or math in English. His assistantship will begin in September 2022 and end in June 2023.
Litrenta, from Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, graduated May 7 with a double major in linguistics and Spanish.
The 2022 graduate is looking forward to returning to Spain, where he participated in Cedarville’s study abroad program in Valencia during the fall 2021 semester.
“Warner is an excellent and motivated student,” commented Dr. Alicia McCartney, assistant professor of English and the Fulbright program advisor at Cedarville. “He has a commitment to cultural understanding and language learning that will help him represent the U.S. and his alma mater well.”
“I love Spanish culture and the people; I’m incredibly excited,” Litrenta shared. “The opportunity to go back to teach is awesome.
“Fulbrighters work to strengthen American relations with grantees' host countries. To build mutual understanding is the goal of Fulbright. I like the idea of learning from people and sharing my experiences and perspectives with them. I will have nine months to be a gospel witness and share about my faith. At the end of the day, we will all be better for it.”
McCartney urged current students to consider applying for the Fulbright and begin preparing as soon as possible. “For freshmen, sophomores and juniors who are excited about the possibility of a fully funded cultural exchange program overseas, work on developing your language skills and learn more about the countries where that language is spoken,” she said.
Cedarville offers excellent courses to grow students' linguistic and cultural proficiency, including Korean, Spanish, French, German and Chinese.
“If a student is interested in applying for Fulbright, I encourage them to reach out to me well ahead of our campus deadline of September 30 to start discussing how they can start developing a strong application this summer,” McCartney said.
For more information, students can contact McCartney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,715 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including the Bachelor of Arts in linguistics, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit cedarville.edu.