Charlie Harned ‘16 has been selected for a prestigious Fulbright fellowship for international study. He will complete the fellowship in Spain, where he will serve as an English teaching assistant (ETA).
A political science major, Harned is president of the Knox College Student Senate and captain of the men's soccer team. While a Knox student, he also interned at the White House, was chosen as a Newman Civic Fellow, and taught English in China. In addition, Harned is founder of the Anything Is Possible Education Foundation, which offers scholarships and free ACT tutoring to students in Knox County.
Harned is one of three Knox students to be selected in 2016 for a Fulbright. The others are Tawni Sasaki ‘16 and Adrian Secter '16.
He recently answered a few questions about the Fulbright.
Please explain your Fulbright award as much as you can, in terms of what you will be doing, when, where, etc.
I will be serving as an English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in Madrid, Spain. I'm still waiting to hear from the Fulbright Commission over in Spain about the exact details (school name, what city I'll be in, etc.), but I do know that I'll be there from September until June. There is also a huge community engagement component of the grant. I plan on offering extra English tutoring for the Spanish university entrance exam for free and volunteering as a soccer or basketball coach.
What motivated you to apply for a Fulbright?
I've actually had an admiration for Spain and Spanish culture since a fourth-grade project on the Canary Islands. Here at Knox, I took a class on the history and culture of Spain and absolutely loved it. A huge part of the Spain Fulbright ETA program is working with students on a long-term Model UN project. The Model UN project was probably the final piece of the pie that made me want to apply. Speaking more broadly though, I really value cultural exchange. I was able to teach English in China with the help of a Richter Grant from Knox in summer 2014. I was only there for about a month, but gained so much from the experience. I can only imagine how much I'll learn from a year in Madrid.
What do you hope to accomplish—and learn—through the Fulbright experience?
First, I want to fulfill my duties as an ETA. The community involvement aspect of the grant is really important to me as well. I am really looking forward to engaging the community through sports. Here at Knox, I've been able to play soccer, basketball, and tennis at the varsity level. Interestingly enough, those are three of Spain's most popular sports. I'm also hoping to learn about the culture of Spain through my own experience. Like I mentioned above, I took a class on Spanish culture—but there are some things about a country that you just can't learn in a classroom.
How do you think your Knox education and experiences contributed to your selection as a Fulbright recipient?
Through Knox, I was able to teach English in China for a summer, which was an invaluable experience. Knox also allowed me to intern at the White House in the winter and spring of my junior year. I think that was especially helpful to my selection as a Fulbright recipient. Cultural exchange is a key part of the grant, and I can't wait to talk with the students in Spain about what it's like working at the White House.
Are there any particular individuals (faculty members, for instance) or classes at Knox that have greatly contributed to your growth and education here?
MARIANGELA MAGUIRE! She is incredible and helped me out so much. Professor Lane Sunderland and Professor Fernando Gomez are two more faculty members who can't be left out. Both of them wrote letters of recommendation for me, and I've learned so much in their classrooms. Professor Gomez is actually the one who taught the Spanish history and culture class.
Besides the Fulbright, what are your after-Knox plans—especially in terms of career and/or further education?
I'm hoping to attend law school, but right now I'm focused on the Fulbright.
More about the Fulbright
The Fulbright program was developed by the U.S. Department of State to strengthen international understanding between people from the United States and other parts of the world—on a face-to-face experiential basis.
Knox College has a long history with the Fulbright program. Since 2006, 16 Knox College students have been selected for Fulbright awards. Overall, dozens of Knox students, faculty members, and alumni have received Fulbright fellowships and scholarships.