Two North Park University Students Earn U.S. Fulbright Awards

Timothy Ahlberg and Sam Auger
Timothy Ahlberg, left, and Samuel Auger, are the University's latest recipients of U.S. Fulbright Student Program awards. Ten North Park students have earned awards in the past five years.

Ahlberg, Auger now among 10 University Fulbright grant recipients

CHICAGO (May 10, 2013) — Two North Park University students—Timothy Ahlberg and Samuel Auger—were named recipients this spring of U.S. Fulbright Student Program awards, which provides international learning opportunities. Ahlberg, of Perrysburg, Ohio, will begin a business internship in Mexico City this August, the recipient of a Fulbright Binational Business Exchange Grant. Auger, of Chicago, was named an English Teaching Assistant, and will work in a high school in Haskovo, Bulgaria, beginning in late summer.

Ahlberg and Auger are now among 10 University students in the past five years who have earned awards in the prestigious Fulbright Program. Ahlberg graduates May 11 as a business and economics major, with a concentration in accounting, and a minor in Spanish. He was recently named one of two University Distinguished Seniors for 2013. Auger also graduates May 11, with a bachelor's degree in global studies, focused on Latin America and the Middle East, and a minor in Spanish.

Timothy Ahlberg

Ahlberg was president of the North Park student body this year, a standout student and volunteer with homeless ministries. He studied abroad in Guanajuato, Mexico, during his sophomore year. During his 10-month business internship in Mexico City he also plans to take MBA classes. "Fulbright is all about building relationships between the United States and other countries, and for me that's one of the main goals. I think it will be invaluable to have those relationships, and understand a different perspective," Ahlberg said. He plans to finish his MBA after he returns to the United States, and work in business-related career.

Dr. Ann Hicks, associate professor of accounting, said of Ahlberg, "He approaches each learning activity not only with the goal of meeting the requirement of the course, but with the goal of maximizing his educational experience and that of his student colleagues," she said in nominating Ahlberg as a Distinguished Senior. Ahlberg maintained a 3.9 grade point average.

Ahlberg was also a standout goalkeeper on the men's soccer team while at North Park. This year, he was team captain, was named an all-conference and all-district player, and was twice named an Academic All-American.

After graduation, Ahlberg goes on a mission trip to Thailand through the University's Global Partnerships program. He will return to Chicago to work in the auditing department of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, before leaving for Mexico.

Alberg's parents are Jon and Carolyn Ahlberg. He has one brother, Andrew, and a sister, Tiffany. 

Sam Auger

Auger grew up in Ecuador, and transferred to North Park after his freshman year at Azusa Pacific University in California. He studied abroad in Argentina in 2011, learning about Argentine literature and art history. Auger has never been to Bulgaria. "I wanted someplace that would be new, culturally challenging, and where I'd have to learn a new language," Auger said.

"I picked some places that seemed interesting and eventually narrowed it down. I went to the (Chicago) Bulgarian Cultural Center, and saw a documentary about folk music using bagpipes. I met some great people who told me interesting things about Bulgaria. It seemed that would be a great place to spend a year."

Auger's international experience in Ecuador, where his parents worked at Covenant Bible College in Quito, influenced his decision to apply for the Fulbright program. "I grew up knowing that there is so much more," he said. "You become more curious culturally. That was my experience." 

Auger has spoken to North Parkers who have worked abroad through the Fulbright program. In Bulgaria, he will help teach students English and host conversation clubs. He will also share information about living in the United States and learn about life in Bulgaria.

Before leaving, Auger plans to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). He will go to Ecuador and Peru, and travel with friends until his Fulbright experience begins. After he returns in mid-2014, Auger plans to begin the application process for medical school, and hopes to work in a Scribes program, designed to teach students about the medical profession and recordkeeping by working directly with physicians in emergency room settings.

One of Auger's professors, Dr. Matthew Schau, North Park professor of biology, met Auger when he took Schau's introductory cell biology class. "What stuck out to me early on about Sam was his unusual level of maturity.  Over the last two years, I have been very impressed with his passion for global issues. Just conversing with Sam regularly has expanded my own worldview. I have no doubt that Sam will represent North Park and the United States well during his year in Bulgaria."

Auger's parents are Robert and Rev. Debra Auger, dean of students and community life at North Park Theological Seminary. He has three siblings, Hannah, Zach, and Libby.

The Fulbright Program was established by the U.S. Congress in 1946, and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. It is the largest U.S. international exchange program offering opportunities for students, scholars, and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide.

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Next Steps

Learn more about the Fulbright program from the Fulbright program faculty associate, Dr. Linda Parkyn.