Trinidad State instructor receives prestigious Fulbright Award

Trinidad — Trinidad State College is pleased to announce that Dr. Brooke Larson has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award in creative writing for the 2022-2023 academic year from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Dr. Larson, who currently resides in Finland, is among over 800 U.S. citizens who will conduct research and/or teach abroad for the 2022-2023 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Fulbrighters engage in cutting-edge research and expand their professional networks, often continuing research collaborations started abroad and laying the groundwork for forging future partnerships between institutions. Upon returning to their home countries, institutions, labs, and classrooms, they share their stories and often become active supporters of international exchange, inviting foreign scholars to campus and encouraging colleagues and students to go abroad. As Fulbright Scholar alumni, their careers are enriched by joining a network of thousands of esteemed scholars, many of whom are leaders in their fields. Fulbright alumni include 61 Nobel Prize laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize recipients, and 40 who have served as a head of state or government.

Dr. Larson teaches creative writing online to students who are currently incarcerated in the Colorado prison system.  Trinidad State is a pioneer in teaching online classes under the authority of the Colorado Department of Corrections.  “I connected with Trinidad State in 2018 when my partner, Dustin Hyman, started teaching here fulltime in the English department,” said Larson. “We moved to Trinidad from Louisiana, where I was finishing my dissertation.”


Now in Finland, she teaches live classes on Webex at multiple Colorado prisons simultaneously.  “This has made it possible to continue teaching with this amazing program while research and creative projects have taken me to other places.”  In Colorado, classes start at 8 a.m., which is 5 p.m. in Finland.  “It’s been fun to share some of the experience (and changing view from my window) with my students this past school year.”


“Teaching Creative Writing to Second Chance Pell students has been one of the most rewarding teaching experiences I’ve had. I’ve been blown away by the students’ commitment to learning and trying new things. The time, energy, and heart they put into writing and sharing their stories is truly impressive. What stories we tell and how we tell them matters, and they understand that on a deep level.”


Soon, Larson will move to Kosovo.  As a Fulbright Scholar, she’ll teach Creative Writing, Drama, and Literary Translation at Prizren University. “My research will focus on creating a collaborative translation project. We’ll be exploring ways to translate and publish Albanian-to-English short literary works. Very few Albanian works have been translated into English, yet this is a place loaded with history and culture—a unique voice—that should be shared beyond its small borders. My hope is to get a conversation started on the ground that can continue to grow and create an exchange of stories.”


“We are proud of Dr. Larson and excited to see her work recognized through the prestigious Fulbright Program,” said Dr. Rhonda Epper, president of Trinidad State College.  “Her experiences will bring the world a little closer to our students and add an international perspective to our Creative Writing program.”


The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world. The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program.


For over 75 years, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 400,000 participants - chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential - with the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to challenges facing our communities and our world. More than 800 U.S. scholars, artists, and professionals from all backgrounds teach or conduct research overseas through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program annually. Additionally, over 1,900 diverse U.S. students, artists, and early career professionals in more than 100 different fields of study receive Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants annually to study, teach English, and conduct research overseas. 


In the United States, the Institute of International Education supports the implementation of the Fulbright U.S. Student and Scholar Programs on behalf of the U.S. Department of State, including conducting an annual competition for the scholarships.