Nine Smithies Win 2022 Fulbright Scholarships

English Teaching Assistantship Winners

English teaching assistant programs place Fulbrighters in classrooms overseas to support local English teachers. ETAs help teach English while serving as cultural ambassadors for the United States. The age and academic level of the students that the assistants teach vary by country, ranging from kindergarten to university level.

“I felt very connected to Fulbright’s mission to enhance cultural relations through diplomacy and community engagement,” says Sarah Bridges ’22. A double major in Spanish and Art: Architecture and Urban Planning, Bridges also served as an English tutor at the Massachusetts International Language Institute, a combination that positioned her perfectly for a position as a teaching assistant in English in Spain. “The ability to connect across different languages ​​and cultures is not only important in the professional world, but is invaluable in our roles as global citizens,” she says. This summer, Bridges will participate in the Alice Williams Carson ’34 Endowed Summer Internship at the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio.

Considering pursuing a master’s degree in architecture, Bridges is eager to learn skills she can apply to her career. “Working as an ETA will help me develop my creativity, flexibility and effective communication,” she says.

With interests in the environment and languages, Taylor Ditmar ’22 majored in both environmental science and policy and Spanish at Smith. Finding a way to combine the two fields after graduation, Ditmar will embark on a job as an English teaching assistant in Brazil starting in March 2023. “I realized that I’m more passionate by teaching than I thought before,” she says, crediting her teachers. “I learned so much from my amazing teachers at Smith.” To prepare for her Fulbright, Ditmar plans to work as a substitute teacher this fall.

After her year in Brazil, Ditmar hopes to complete a master’s degree in environmental conservation. “During my stay in Brazil, I intend to do local environmental work in the context of research or education,” she explains. “After my graduate studies, I hope to continue collaborating with the various scientific contacts that I make in Brazil.”

Emilie Paule ’22 can’t wait to go to Taiwan. A government graduate with a minor in East Asian languages ​​and cultures, Paule was supposed to study Chinese as part of an intensive summer language program at Tamkang University last year, but the program ended. been moved online due to the pandemic. Thanks to her Fulbright, Paule will arrive in Taiwan this fall, starting a job as an English teaching assistant. Driven by a love for education that she first discovered as a camp counsellor, Paule looks forward to making cross-cultural connections, as well as supporting English skills. “I think there’s so much joy in learning how to communicate with others,” she says. “I want to facilitate that with the kids.”

Wishing to attend law school when she returns to the United States with an eye for political and civil rights, Paule is excited to hone some skills as an ETA. “There is an overlap between Fulbright’s mission to expand relationships between people of different cultures and my own personal commitment to civic education,” she says. “In Taiwan, I will discover how to facilitate communication, generate enthusiasm and create a language learning community.”

With previous plans to study abroad in South Korea thwarted by the pandemic, Erin Walsh ’22J looking forward to finally living and working there. In January 2023, the American Studies major – who, after studying Korean for four years at Smith, is fluent to a near-native degree – will begin a position as an English teaching assistant, applying the skills she honed as a Korean tutor at Smith. Planning a career as a museum educator, Walsh is excited to connect her experiences in South Korea to her future profession.

“By teaching abroad, I hope to learn to be a more equitable and globally minded educator,” she says. “I really want to bring international education to the fore. I believe that cultural heritage institutions have the power and responsibility to connect and serve the diverse communities they represent.

Research grant winners

Candidates for study and research grants design their own projects and generally work with advisers from foreign universities or other institutes of higher learning. Scholarships and fellowships are available in approximately 140 countries.

Mathematics and administration double major Laila Durrani ’22 looks forward to making positive changes in the world. Starting in September, she will undertake a research project in New Delhi, India, examining the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on gender disparities in access to education. Durrani interned in India between 2017 and 2019, and the country left a lasting impression on her. “I wanted to commit to a place that really shaped me in a different way,” says Durrani. “I want to bring something of mine to my second home.”

After her Fulbright, Durrani hopes to attend graduate school in public policy and governance. “I want to continue to support India’s nonprofit sector to some degree,” she says. “I truly believe that NGOs have the power to radically transform vulnerable communities, in India and the world at large.”

While some students focus on scholarships later in their college career, the physics major Molly Herzog’22 has had his sights set on a Fulbright since his freshman year. Crediting the application process with helping her focus on her area of ​​interest, Herzog was inspired to take courses in geology and oceanography. “I started to completely rethink my future,” she says. “I found myself moving from an interest in pure physics to the more applied and interdisciplinary field of ocean physics and marine science.” Her Fulbright will take her to Kiel, Germany, where she will conduct physics/optics research on underwater imaging at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research.

Herzog’s career path, which includes a Ph.D. in geophysics or planetary sciences – will allow him to collaborate with researchers from all over the world. “I intend to build my career conducting research in a national laboratory or government agency, creating the tools and techniques needed to address the environmental and climate challenges facing the planet,” she says. “The Fulbright will help me connect with scientists from all disciplines and all nations.”

For Kelly Lincoln ’20, the opportunity to conduct research in Brazil combines several of her main interests: dance, communication and languages. A graduate of Smith with degrees in Comparative Literature and Spanish with a concentration in Translation, Lincoln looks forward to improving her Portuguese while researching how audiences find meaning in dance – and how choreographers convey that meaning – while pursuing translation studies in a graduate program at the Federal University of Santa Catarina.

“My ultimate ambition is to be either a dance teacher with an interest in translation, or a translation teacher steeped in all aspects of dance,” says Lincoln. “This Fulbright will allow me to tackle the intricacies of this subject in graduate school as one of the first scholars of dance translation in the United States”

Catherine Spencer ’22 is no stranger to research. As an engineering major and computer science minor, she worked as a research assistant on and off campus. Soon, her reach will extend to Denmark, where she will conduct research to develop software to detect damage in wind turbine blades using thermal imaging at the Technical University of Denmark. “When I found the lab I’m going to work for at DTU, I was really excited about the work they do,” says Spencer. “I want to have the opportunity to contribute to international research.”

Passionate about renewable energy, Spencer hopes to help tackle the climate crisis by bringing knowledge of wind power back to the United States. “I hope that my stay in Denmark will help develop my passion and knowledge in this area.”

“I am dedicated to finding practical and culturally meaningful solutions to food insecurity at home and abroad,” writes Madeline Turner’21. After growing up on a farm in rural Ohio, the anthropology major recognized commonalities and experiences while studying abroad in Morocco. She will return there soon to conduct ethnographic research on how traditional Moroccan farming practices can serve as a solution to food insecurity in addition to how they contribute to cultural identity. Supported by three Moroccan universities, Turner’s work has deep personal significance. “I have a responsibility to the communities that have supported my personal and intellectual growth,” she says. “This work is powered by storytelling and inspired by communities modeling resilience in the face of climate crisis.”

Turner hopes to complete her Fulbright with a wide range of experiences she can take with her on her next steps. “I see this as an opportunity to hone my interests and sharpen my focus,” she explains. “It will allow me to approach the next phase of my life as a writer, learner and community member with greater care.”

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