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Professor receives Fulbright award

July 22nd, 2021

Rachel Epp Buller at a recent artist residency

The U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board have awarded Rachel Epp Buller, Ph.D., professor of visual arts and design, a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award to Canada.

She will spend the spring 2022 semester at the University of Alberta as the Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Arts, Humanities and Culture, researching and collaborating with university faculty under the auspices of the Research-Creation and Social Justice CoLABoratory.

Epp Buller’s project, “Slow Practices for Speculative Futures: Embodied Listening through Contemporary Art,” explores particular art forms, such as letter writing, embroidery, durational performances and walking.

Her work looks at how artists use these forms to enact models of care and listening that nurture human relationships and disrupt societal expectations of speed.

Part of her early research for this project involved developing and teaching the class Slow Art for Fast Times at Bethel College in the spring 2021 semester.

As a Fulbright Scholar, Epp Buller will share knowledge and foster meaningful connections across communities in the United States and Canada.

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 institutions, labs and classrooms in the United States, 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 60 Nobel Prize laureates, 88 Pulitzer Prize recipients and 39 who have served as a head of state or government.

Epp Buller is a 1996 graduate of Bethel College, where she majored in art, German and history. She has an M.A. and Ph.D. in art history from the University of Kansas and an M.F.A. from the University of Plymouth, UK.

This is her second Fulbright since she began teaching at Bethel. She had a research Fulbright to Germany in 2011, where she was hosted by the Archiv der Akademie der Künste in Berlin.

She noted, “My research project on German artist Alice Lex-Nerlinger resulted in the first-ever retrospective exhibition of Lex’s work, at Das Verborgene Museum in Berlin in 2016, along with a major publication.”

Bethel’s most recent Fulbright recipient until now was John McCabe-Juhnke, Ph.D., professor emeritus of communication arts, to Ukraine in 2016 on a teaching Fulbright.

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 Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is pleased to announce that 2021 marks the 75th anniversary of the Fulbright Program. Celebrations throughout the year will highlight the impressive accomplishments and legacy of the program and its alumni over its first 75 years, both in the United States and around the world.

A dedicated 75th anniversary website,, is being updated throughout 2021 to showcase anniversary events and to facilitate ongoing engagement.  

Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 400,000 participants from over 160 countries the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

The primary source of funding for the Fulbright program is an annual appropriation 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 in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support.  

For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State, please visit or contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Press Office, 202-632-6452 or

Bethel is a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1887 and is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Known for academic excellence, Bethel ranks at #14 in the Washington Monthly list of “Best Bachelor’s Colleges” and #26 in U.S. News & World Report, Best Regional Colleges Midwest, and earned its third-straight NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star Gold Award, based on student service and academic achievement, all for 2020-21; is’s highest ranked Kansas small college with the highest earning graduates; has the #10 RN-to-BSN program in Kansas according to; and is #57 among 829 U.S. colleges and universities named by as “Best for Financial Aid,” as well as #23 “Safest College Towns in the U.S.,” ranked by for 2020-21. For more information, see

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Bethel College prepares students for meaningful lives of work and service through faith formation, the liberal arts, and practical experience in career pathways.