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Council Bluffs student to travel to Germany after winning Fulbright Award



A student from Council Bluffs who graduated from the University of Iowa will travel to Germany to teach English after winning a Fulbright Award.

William Jones was one of 15 award recipients this year from the University of Iowa, chosen from a pool of more than 10,000 applicants nationwide, according to a news release. The recipients represent the U.S. Department of State in 12 countries during the 2024-25 academic year.

William Jones received the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Award to Germany. 

In addition to the 15 recipients, six UI semifinalists were named as alternates, including Phillip Cooper-Ohm of Council Bluffs, who will graduate in May with bachelor’s degrees in English and creative writing as well as economics.

Jones received the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Award to Germany. Program participants also serve in local community organizations, enroll in graduate studies and conduct research projects, according to the release.

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Jones, who earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science in August 2023, told University of Iowa International Programs that he will be working in a classroom in the state of Baden-Württemberg.

“In the classroom, I will help with English language instruction and provide cultural insight,” Jones said. “At the same time, in the community, I will serve as a citizen diplomat for American culture as a whole.”

Jones expects the experience will open doors in his future.

“My dream is to work in the diplomatic field and this experience will help me develop my ability to communicate across cultural differences, age groups and experiences,” Jones said. “Additionally, as a student of the German language, it will provide me an opportunity to develop and fine-tune my language skills.”

Russ Ganim, associate provost and dean of International Programs, which oversees the university’s Fulbright programs, said in the release that the university’s success reflects UI’s efforts to be at the forefront of global education.

“Our Fulbright cohort boasts tremendous accomplishments in both teaching and research while speaking to Iowa’s resolute commitment to putting our candidates in the best possible position to achieve their dreams across the global landscape,” Ganim said.

The program aims to foster mutual understanding between the U.S. and participating countries, but it’s often not their first experience abroad.

Jones was the recipient of a Richard J. Tyner Scholarship to Germany in 2022, which he said played a large role in his decision to pursue a Fulbright.

Spending his senior year in Freiburg, Germany, “helped solidify my interest and inspired me to make the formal commitment to apply,” Jones said.

“Before my academic year in Freiburg experience, I had not been out of the United States,” he said. “Through that time, I learned a lot about myself and my ability to live in a foreign country. Suddenly, my world was no longer just the distance between Lincoln, Nebraska, and Davenport, Iowa, but instead spanned across oceans.”

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