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UDs newest Fulbright winners will travel to Andorra,
Brazil, Georgia, the Netherlands and Romania. Among them are (from left) Megan Pacitti, Mackenzie Campbell, Natalie Medlock and
in August, seven students and alumni will travel abroad as the
University of Delawares newest Fulbright award winners.
The Fulbright Program,
sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, is the nations premier
international education exchange program, designed to foster mutual
understanding between Americans and people of other countries. The
prestigious award allows young graduates and graduate students the
opportunity to conduct research, study or teach English in over 140
countries around the world.
Mackenzie Campbell earned undergraduate degrees in three foreign
languages and international business studies before earning a masters
in French literature at UD. Campbell was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship
to Andorra, where she will work in a secondary school with young adults
aged 14 to 16. A dual U.S.-Canadian citizen, Campbell said she looks
forward to sharing her unique perspective on American life. I was born
in Montreal and my entire extended family lives in Canada, Campbell
said. I have always had a different sense of my identity and an
insider-outsider perspective on the U.S.
A polyglot herself, Campbell said she is excited to teach and learn
in a multilingual environment. Andorra is one of the few places where
every citizen is bilingual and many are trilingual or quadrilingual,
she said. Its always been a priority for me to pursue multilingualism.
Im also very excited to work with students who already have a knack
for language in their brain.
Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.
Meghan Jusczak received an English Teaching Assistantship to Romania.
After graduating from UD in 2017 with an Honors degree in English and
Women & Gender Studies, Jusczak became a journalist and now works
with City Year, an AmeriCorps program, in Philadelphia.
In addition to teaching English at the Universities of Baia Mare and Oradea,
Jusczak will pursue an independent research project in environmental
journalism. Im particularly excited to be in Baia Mare because I hope
to write a few articles specifically related to environmental health and
agriculture, she said. There was a devastating cyanide spill into the
water supply there in 2000. Im interested in talking with people,
learning more from the local community, and using my position as an
outsider to bring in different ideas.
Julianna Ly, a graduate student in the Winterthur/UD Program in Art
Conservation, will call the Netherlands home for an 11-month internship
jointly offered by the University of Amsterdam and the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis. Just one Fulbright/American Friends of the Mauritshuis Award
is offered each year. Im really interested in Dutch Golden Age
paintings, which is what the Mauritshuis is known for, Ly said. Being
there is not only going to allow me to be surrounded by these paintings,
but Ill also be able to closely study and treat one myself. In
conservation, we often refer to the three-legged stool of art history,
hand skills and chemistry. Ill be approaching this painting from all
three of those perspectives.
Ly will study alongside students in a graduate program at the
University of Amsterdam. Im really excited to immerse myself in Dutch
culture and, specifically, to collaborate with my international
colleagues, she said. We have so much that we can learn from each
Fresh from a two-year assignment with the Peace Corps
in the Dominican Republic, Natalie Medlock will venture to Brazil for a
year as an English Teaching Assistant at the university level.
Medlock said UD inspired and prepared her for post-graduate global experiences.
UD offers two Portuguese courses for advanced Spanish speakers, she
said. I took the first course simply because it fulfilled a
requirement. Later, I fell in love with the language, took the second
course and became really passionate about Brazil.
Medlock also served as a peer mentor for the Universitys Middle East
Partnership Initiative Student Leaders Program and Study of the U.S.
Institutes Womens Leadership Program and participated in the English
Language Institutes American Host Partner Program. At UD, Natalie
majored in international relations with minors in Spanish and Latin
American and Iberian studies.
A member of the inaugural class of UD World Scholars, Megan Pacitti was awarded an English Teaching Assistantship to Brazil.
I learned about Fulbright almost as soon as I arrived to campus and
immediately knew I wanted to apply, she said. No stranger to travel,
Pacitti studied abroad in both Rome and Barcelona.
Ive taken courses in three different languages and have been
exposed to different styles of teaching around the world, Pacitti said.
Ive gotten many ideas from these experiences that will help me
develop my own teaching style.
Pacitti graduated in June with majors in linguistics and Spanish studies and a minor in global studies.
After graduating from UD with a degree in three foreign languages, Rebecca Pedersen spent 2018 with the Teaching Assistance Program in France (TAPIF). This fall Pedersen will embark on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to the Republic of Georgia.
At several points in my life, I was given the opportunity to live
in, become a part of and learn about unique cultures, and I am compelled
to pass that forward, she said, adding that Fulbright is the next, but
not last, step in her journey to creating connections between people of
the U.S. and other countries. Pedersen hopes to later fulfill her
dreams of a career in the foreign service.
Like Medlock and Pacitti, Christian Pirhalla was also awarded an
English Teaching Assistantship to Brazil. Receiving my acceptance email
was incredible, Pirhalla said. Id spent about a year working on my
application and it felt like all that time and dedication finally paid
After graduating in December with a degree in Spanish studies, Pirhalla began working with Wilmingtons Latin American Community Center, an experience he said has been both rewarding and relevant.
While my students will be different, Im doing something very
similar to what I will be doing on my Fulbright in Brazil, he said.
Right now, I work mostly with adult migrants who want to learn the
language so that they can communicate, get jobs and access public
Outside of the classroom, Pirhalla plans to seek a local community of fellow musicians in Brazil.
In addition to UDs seven Fulbright grantees, four were named alternates:
Camilo Cardenas to Japan,
Sharon Hollenbach to South Korea,
Rosemarie Maholage to Germany, and
Olivia Rogal to the Czech Republic.
The application for the 2020-21 Fulbright competition is now open.
For those interested in applying for a Fulbright award, Pirhalla
advised, All it costs you is time. Think about your experiences in life
and where you might be most needed. Then, just go for it.
Jusczak added that its important for applicants to leverage all of
their networks. Reach out to as many people as you can, she said.
There is a Romania study abroad program at UD for graduate students and
one of my acquaintances participated. She was able to connect me with a
few Romanian students who really helped me understand what the culture
Others, like Campbell and Medlock, applied multiple times and
recommended persistence. All hope isnt lost if you arent successful
on your first try, said Campbell. You will have opportunities that
will better position you in the future. Apply again.
Learn more about the Fulbright U.S. Student Program by visiting the Institute for Global Studies website.
The Institute for Global Studies
(IGS) was created in 2009 to enhance the international dimensions of
teaching, research and outreach at the University of Delaware. IGS
provides leadership and support for programs and experiences that
contribute to the education of informed, skilled, open-minded citizens
of the world.
Best known for coordinating the Universitys study abroad program,
IGS also awards scholarships and grants to faculty and students for a
number of global opportunities, and administers
internationally-recognized State Department-sponsored programs such as
the UD Fulbright Initiative, Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI)
Student Leaders Institute, Mandela Washington Fellowship Program for
Young African Leaders, and most recently the Study of the U.S.
Institutes for Student Leaders on Womens Leadership (SUSI-WL) program.
IGS sponsors such signature events as Global Month each fall and the Fulbright Lecture Series each spring.
IGS collaborates with other global partners on campus, including the
Office for International Students and Scholars, the Confucius Institute
and the Center for Global and Area Studies. In addition, IGS partners
with Enrollment Management to coordinate the UD World Scholars Program.
Article and photos by Nikki Laws
Published June 24, 2019