Brooks First Student Fulbright Recipient in College History

Posted by Brent Treash
Emory & Henry College is known for sending outstanding scholars across the world, but one very significant honor had not been given to a student – until now. Laken Brooks, a senior honors student, is the College’s first Fulbright Student Award winner ever.

“To receive the Fulbright is a very rewarding and humbling experience for me,” said Brooks. “Like many graduating students, I’ve had to face rejection in the process of applying to graduate school. When I first found out, I can’t explain the sheer excitement I felt.”

The Fulbright Program awards approximately 8,000 grants annually. Roughly 1,900 U.S. students, 4,000 foreign students, 1,200 U.S. scholars, and 900 visiting scholars receive awards, in addition to several hundred teachers and professionals.

Brooks, from Lansing, N.C., is majoring in English with a certificate in secondary English education and a minor in Gender and Text.

Through the Fulbright program, Brooks will participate in the English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Program in Poland this fall where she will work with various departments at Polish universities teaching English as a second language.

Besides teaching, Brooks will have time for independent study and research. She says she is interested in exploring the government in exile of Poland that formed in the aftermath of the Invasion of Poland in September 1939, and the subsequent occupation of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, with a focus on the impact this event had on shaping the national literature.

As she prepares to graduate in May, Brooks looks back at her four years at Emory & Henry College and credits the college for helping her find her true self.

“Emory & Henry helped teach me to be comfortable in the face of many situations that were outside my comfort zone,” said Brooks. “It’s something I never thought a school could do.”

Other Honors

Brooks has previously been honored with the Virginia Collegiate Honors Council’s Honors Scholar of the Year award, presented papers at numerous academic conferences, published poetry both in journals and a chapbook, and has been one of the most effective leaders in E&H’s Peer Mentors program history.

In addition, Brooks has been presented the National President’s Call to Community Service Award for completing more than 4,000 hours of community service. She completed this service in a wide range of settings, including work with regional thrift stores.

She devoted her sophomore summer creating a unique application that allows women who feel threatened by domestic violence to read advice and directly access helplines away from the prying eyes of abusive partners.

Brooks also has served in a wide range of leadership positions on campus. She is a designated trainer and leader for the “ByStander” training offered to residence advisors, orientation leaders, and others; a tour guide for the Admissions Office; and a leader within an intra-faith study group.

Recently, she presented her first Ted Talk on the topic of math anxiety.

“As someone who struggles with math anxiety, I recognized the importance of math to literature, especially poetry, so I started studying how poetry can help to reduce math anxiety.”

Following her time in Poland, Brooks hopes to pursue graduate studies with the ultimate goal of teaching English at a college or university.

In 2011, Emory & Henry College faculty member Dr. Scott Boltwood was selected as a US-UK All Disciplines Fulbright Scholar to study Irish Theatre at The Queen’s University in Belfast.

  • Laken Brooks
    Laken Brooks

Save & Share:

More News

  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/280-emory-henry-college-opens-interfaith-prayer" title="Emory & Henry College Opens Interfaith Prayer Room" aria-label="Emory & Henry College Opens Interfaith Prayer Room"><img src="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/3171_InterfaithPrayerRoom16_2.rev.1518211260.jpg" alt="Student Safa Farhoumand helps dedicate the Interfaith Prayer Room." class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/3171_InterfaithPrayerRoom16_2.rev.1518211260.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/3171_InterfaithPrayerRoom16_2.rev.1518211260.jpg 3x" data-max-w="3200" data-max-h="2133"/></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/280-emory-henry-college-opens-interfaith-prayer" title="Emory & Henry College Opens Interfaith Prayer Room" aria-label="Emory & Henry College Opens Interfaith Prayer Room">Emory & Henry College Opens Interfaith Prayer Room</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><p> Equipped with chairs, tables, prayer rugs and religious texts, a room in the lower-level of Memorial Chapel on the Emory & Henry College campus is now available for students of all faiths to have a quiet place to pray and meditate.</p><a href="/live/news/280-emory-henry-college-opens-interfaith-prayer" class="link-with-arrow gold" title="Emory & Henry College Opens Interfaith Prayer Room" aria-label="Emory & Henry College Opens Interfaith Prayer Room">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/313-eamphs-wehc-launches-spring-fund-drive" title="E&H’s WEHC Launches Spring Fund Drive" aria-label="E&H’s WEHC Launches Spring Fund Drive"><img src="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/3409_Sam-Mungai-February-2018-IMG003.rev.1519990134.jpg" alt="Student Sam Mungai hosts a weekly call-in music request radio show on WEHC 90.7FM." class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/3409_Sam-Mungai-February-2018-IMG003.rev.1519990134.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/3409_Sam-Mungai-February-2018-IMG003.rev.1519990134.jpg 3x" data-max-w="3200" data-max-h="2133"/></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/313-eamphs-wehc-launches-spring-fund-drive" title="E&H’s WEHC Launches Spring Fund Drive" aria-label="E&H’s WEHC Launches Spring Fund Drive">E&H’s WEHC Launches Spring Fund Drive</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary">WEHC 90.7, Emory & Henry College’s “College and Community Station,” has launched it spring fund drive. Between now and March 9 the station is planning to raise a good share of its annual fundraising goal. <a href="/live/news/313-eamphs-wehc-launches-spring-fund-drive" class="link-with-arrow gold" title="E&H’s WEHC Launches Spring Fund Drive" aria-label="E&H’s WEHC Launches Spring Fund Drive">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/349-oquinn-challenges-college-to-conquer-new-frontiers" title="O’Quinn Challenges College to Conquer New Frontiers" aria-label="O’Quinn Challenges College to Conquer New Frontiers"><img src="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/300,0,2438,2136/3620_Israel_OQuinn.rev.1521739891.jpg" alt="Israel O'Quinn speaks at Founders Day 2018" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/300,0,2438,2136/3620_Israel_OQuinn.rev.1521739891.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/300,0,2438,2136/3620_Israel_OQuinn.rev.1521739891.jpg 3x" data-max-w="3200" data-max-h="2136"/></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/349-oquinn-challenges-college-to-conquer-new-frontiers" title="O’Quinn Challenges College to Conquer New Frontiers" aria-label="O’Quinn Challenges College to Conquer New Frontiers">O’Quinn Challenges College to Conquer New Frontiers</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><p> In the 181 years of existence, Emory & Henry College has had many opportunities to conquer new frontiers, according to Virginia House Delegate Israel O’Quinn (’02), the keynote speaker during the annual Founders Day celebration.</p><a href="/live/news/349-oquinn-challenges-college-to-conquer-new-frontiers" class="link-with-arrow gold" title="O’Quinn Challenges College to Conquer New Frontiers" aria-label="O’Quinn Challenges College to Conquer New Frontiers">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/276-deadline-extended-until-march-1-for-swva-lift" title="Deadline Extended Until March 1 for SWVA Lift" aria-label="Deadline Extended Until March 1 for SWVA Lift"><img src="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1200,800/2658_Lift-SWVA.jpg.rev.1518186593.jpg" alt="A map shows the counties, cities and towns covered by the SWVA Lift program." class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1200,800/2658_Lift-SWVA.jpg.rev.1518186593.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1200,800/2658_Lift-SWVA.jpg.rev.1518186593.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1200" data-max-h="800"/></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/276-deadline-extended-until-march-1-for-swva-lift" title="Deadline Extended Until March 1 for SWVA Lift" aria-label="Deadline Extended Until March 1 for SWVA Lift">Deadline Extended Until March 1 for SWVA Lift</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><p> Emory & Henry College, exit 26 off I-81 in Emory, Va., has extended the deadline for its SWVA Lift initiative until March 1. The program helps make a top liberal arts education affordable for need-based students across Southwest Virginia at Emory & Henry.</p><a href="/live/news/276-deadline-extended-until-march-1-for-swva-lift" class="link-with-arrow gold" title="Deadline Extended Until March 1 for SWVA Lift" aria-label="Deadline Extended Until March 1 for SWVA Lift">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/279-eamph-has-new-face-on-the-web" title="E&H Has New Face on the Web" aria-label="E&H Has New Face on the Web"><img src="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2112,1194/2659_Front_Page_-_New_Website.rev.1518189261.png" alt="Image of the front page of the new Emory & Henry College website." class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2112,1194/2659_Front_Page_-_New_Website.rev.1518189261.png 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2112,1194/2659_Front_Page_-_New_Website.rev.1518189261.png 3x" data-max-w="2112" data-max-h="1194"/></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/279-eamph-has-new-face-on-the-web" title="E&H Has New Face on the Web" aria-label="E&H Has New Face on the Web">E&H Has New Face on the Web</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary">Emory & Henry College launched a new college website on Feb. 14, 2018. The Valentine-themed launch party was held in the Board of Visitors Lounge, where President Schrum flipped the switch from the old to the new symbolizing the site going live, while dozens of students, staff and faculty looked on. <a href="/live/news/279-eamph-has-new-face-on-the-web" class="link-with-arrow gold" title="E&H Has New Face on the Web" aria-label="E&H Has New Face on the Web">Keep reading</a></div></div>