UIC announces Fulbright alumni awards

Four recent graduates from the University of Illinois at Chicago have been offered English teaching assistantship scholarships for the 2022-23 academic year by the Fulbright US Student Program.

The Fulbright Program is the US government’s flagship international educational exchange program and aims to increase mutual understanding between citizens of the United States and those of other countries. Recipients are selected through an open, merit-based competition organized by the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board that takes into account leadership potential, academic and/or professional achievements, and state on duty.

UIC Affiliated Finalists

Yadira Herrerawho obtained a bachelor’s degree in public health in 2018 and a master’s degree in community health sciences in 2020, is expected to teach primary school students while based in Spain’s Canary Islands for nine months from September.

“This opportunity will help me expand my current skills in public health to include experience in facilitation, program creation and community engagement,” said Herrera, who is currently a project coordinator at the School of Public Health at the UIC.

Herrera, a resident of Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood, is looking forward to eventually expanding her research into education and childhood development.

“I plan to work, volunteer, or advocate for education-focused nonprofit organizations to provide scholarships for access to summer enrichment programs and helpful resources at schools under -funded,” she said. “After the nine-month teaching experience, I may also consider working toward a Masters of Education to pursue educational research or curriculum development.”

Bianca Pereza former Access to Excellence Scholar who received her Masters in Latin American and Latin American Studies from UIC in 2021, will teach English in Brazil for nine months beginning in March 2023. Although her affiliate institution is yet to be determined , she will be based in a teachers college, and she is excited to educate and learn from future educators along the way.

“The Fulbright will be an amazing opportunity to not only return to an educator-type role and gain more experience in that aspect, but to push my language skills so that I can expand beyond my fluency in Spanish and from English to include Brazilian Portuguese and be able to communicate with more people in their native language,” she said.

As a first-generation student from Hanover Park, Perez earned a bachelor’s degree in Latin/Latin Studies and Clinical/Community Psychology from UIUC in 2019. She is currently an Academic Advisor at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in ‘UIC and intern for the Smithsonian National Museum of American History project, ‘The First 100: 50 Years of Chicanas Changing History’.

“I know that for my own family, having access to multilingual academic professionals made all the difference in my K-12 years and especially in college, as it made them feel more informed and included in our largely English-dominated education system,” she said. said. “At UIC, we have some of the best, brightest and most diverse students, and I look forward to being able to support them with all the knowledge I have gained as a teaching assistant from English on my return.”

Mona Zubiwho earned a bachelor’s degree in public policy and a minor in Russian at UIC last year, will travel to Tajikistan, where she will create English-learning programs and events at American Space, a center community funded by the US Department of State providing free access to English books, computers and other resources.

In high school and college, Zubi taught English lessons in Turkey and Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Her previous teaching experiences abroad and her current work as an elementary Montessori teaching assistant confirmed her commitment to education.

“Undertaking a Fulbright ETA is the perfect next step for me both to represent the United States and to mentor young people overseas,” she said.

Zubi, a native of Granite City, is interested in foreign policy, particularly post-Soviet Central Asia, and plans to pursue a master’s degree in public policy, become fluent in Russian, and possibly receive a doctorate.

“While Russian influence is still very strong in Central Asia, I intend to join in the decolonization and educational work now taking place there. During my time at Fulbright, I plan not only to ‘teaching English, but also getting involved in community engagement and organizing,’” she said.

Andrew Tuder, a UIC alumnus who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Germanic studies and political science in 2020 and a master’s degree in Germanic studies last month, has been offered a scholarship to serve as a teaching assistant at the English in Germany, but refused. He is currently looking for opportunities to teach German locally while working at the Spirit Cultural Exchange in Oak Park, where he helps people from outside the United States approved for exchange visitor visas apply for programs. summer work and travel cultural exchange.

Sydney Erlikh, a PhD candidate in Disability Studies, and Laleh Khoshnavaz Motlagh, a 2021 Master of Studio Arts graduate, have been appointed as scholarship/research substitutes and may travel internationally by South Africa and Turkey respectively if funding becomes available.

The Fulbright US Student Program is administered at UIC by Kim Germain, Director of the Office of External Scholarships and Advisor to the Fulbright Undergraduate Program, and Benn Williams, Coordinator of Graduate College Scholarships and Awards and Advisor to the Fulbright program for graduate students. They are assisted by Lindsay Marshall, Graduate Writing Specialist and Academic Advisor to the Graduate College.

In 2021, UIC was named the first Fulbright HSI Leader by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for its commitment to the Fulbright program.

As Fulbright Award recipients, UIC-affiliated winners will join a network of thousands of esteemed Fulbright alumni, many of whom are leaders in their fields. Fulbright alumni include 61 Nobel Prize winners, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, and 40 who have served as heads of state or government.

Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 400,000 participants from more than 160 countries with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and help find solutions to international problems. common.

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