Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Samantha Westphal

By Gage Miskimen, The Daily Iowan

“Iowa will prepare you, challenge you, and change you. You will change the world.”

Samantha Westphal aims to live out the University of Iowa Office of Undergraduate Admission’s slogan on her journey to Argentina this coming year.

Westphal, a UI Class of 2017 graduate with a Bachelor of Science in human physiology and a minor in Spanish, will be an English teaching assistant in Argentina through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

Westphal is one of 16 Fulbright recipients at the UI, so she will have an opportunity to travel and live abroad while contributing teaching skills.

The application process for the grant took over a year, Westphal said.

“I started [applying] January of my junior year,” she said. “I wanted to apply because I studied abroad in Chile for a semester, and I really enjoyed the experience. I also knew a couple people older than me that got the scholarship, and it inspired me to apply. I wrote about 15 different drafts, and I learned more about myself and my future goals.”

As part of the grant, Westphal said, she will design a community-engagement project in Argentina that goes hand-in-hand with her degree in human physiology.

“I want to organize a student health club where people can work out together and be active,” she said. “I would also give lessons on nutrition and stress management.”

Fulbright program adviser Karen Wachsmuth said Westphal was a great candidate for the grant.

“Samantha is just a great person,” she said. “She is incredibly talented and active as an ambassador and citizen at the UI. She was really active in the Honors Program and displayed a lot of leadership qualities working for the UI [Hospitals & Clinics], the Spanish Department, Orientation, and swimming lessons before she came here. She’s just really involved.”