Three University of Scranton Graduates Earn Fulbright Fellowships
Three members of The University of Scranton's class of 2009 have been awarded Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships to countries in Asia, Europe and Africa.
Amy Lee, Duryea, received a Fulbright to Macau; Megan E. LoBue, Tobyhanna, received a Fulbright to Germany; and Cynthia G. David, Bronx, N.Y., received a Fulbright to Cameroon.
"The Fulbright Program is widely regarded as the U.S. Government's premier scholarship program for overseas graduate study, teaching, and research," said Susan Trussler, Ph.D., Fulbright program advisor and associate professor of economics/finance at The University of Scranton, who credits the University's success to its "remarkable students."
"A total of 124 Scranton students have received grants in the competitions administered by the Institute of International Education (Fulbright) and International Rotary since 1972," said Trussler.
For the past four years, The Chronicle of Higher Education has listed The University of Scranton among the "top producers" of Fulbright awards for American students. The Chronicle listed Scranton among only 22 universities in the nation - and one of only two in Pennsylvania - in the "Masters Institutions" category in 2008.
According to the Institute for International Education, this year nearly 7,500 U.S. students competed for the approximately 1,500 scholarships awarded.
Amy Lee just finished a semester as a student teacher at North Pocono Middle School. In a few months, she will travel halfway around the world to Macau, a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. There, she will teach English to college students at Macau Polytechnic Institute and take courses in Cantonese (one of Macau's official languages) and Hong Kong/China studies. She will also research teaching methodologies
used by Macanese educators for teaching science and mathematics at the elementary and high school levels.
"Macau students did well in international rankings of science and math test scores. I wanted to study the ways in which these subjects are taught to see if improvements can apply to U.S. teaching methodologies for these subjects," said Lee.
Lee also hopes the Fulbright experience will further hone her English as a Second Language (ESL) teaching skills. As a participant in the university's undergraduate Honors Program, her undergraduate thesis examined the strength of Hispanic cultural identity and attitudes toward learning English.
Lee credits her parents for setting the foundation of hard work that has allowed her to be successful.
"My parents taught me to compare myself to myself, not to others," said Lee, who has helped at her Father's restaurant since the age of 10.
A dean's list student, Lee earned a bachelor's degree, summa cum laude, in Elementary Education with a minor in Spanish. She was a member of Kappa Delta Pi, the international honor society in education; Alpha Lambda Delta, the national freshman honor society; and Alpha Sigma Nu, the national Jesuit honor society. In 2007, she received a University of Scranton Provost's International Grant for advanced language study in Guadalajara, Mexico.
While in college, she participated in the Secondary Education Club, the Asia Club, Colleges Against Cancer, Habitat for Humanity and the Pennsylvania Child Care Association. She volunteered at the Albright Memorial Children's Library and the Red Cross.
After completing her Fulbright fellowship, Lee plans to pursue a master's degree in ESL. She hopes to become an elementary school teacher in an urban area that serves a large minority population.
The fourth of six children, she resides in Duryea with her parents Tin and Shuk Lee. She is a graduate of Pittston Area High School.
For Megan LoBue, a Fulbright Fellowship was the perfect fit for her two aspirations.
"I always wanted to travel and I always wanted to teach," said LoBue, who will teach English to high school aged students in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. She hopes to pass on to her students part of the culture she learned at Scranton.
"Through working at the university's Jane Kopas Women's Center, I learned to value your own voice. I want to pass that on to the students I teach," said LoBue.
LoBue found a lot of support at Scranton
"People come out of the woodwork to help you," said the Fulbright scholar. "I enjoyed seeking out professors and staff to talk with them about a subject or interest. When you do that, you begin to feel more like a colleague, rather than a student. They always supported and encouraged me."
LoBue earned a bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, in English with a minor in German and a concentration in women's studies from The University of Scranton. She received the university's President's Grant for Summer Research in 2008, through which she worked with Jamie H. Trnka, Ph.D., assistant professor of world languages and cultures, to examine feminist and post-colonial themes in Ingeborg Bachmann's Todesarten-Projekt. In addition, she presented a critical essay entitled "Tommie as a Prefiguration in Stephen Crane's Maggie: A Girl of the Streets" and "Vincent J. Cheng's ‘Empire and Patriarchy in Joyce's The Dead': A Critical Reading," at the national Sigma Tau Delta Conventions in 2008 and 2009, respectively.
A dean's list student, LoBue is a member of Sigma Tau Delta, the international honor society for English and Alpha Mu Gamma, the national honor society for students of foreign languages. She was a volunteer coordinator at the Jane Kopas Women's Center and participated in the 2008 national conference for College Women Student Leaders. She also served as a writing consultant and ESL specialist for the University's Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence; as editor of Esprit, the University's literary magazine; and participated in Scranton Bands, Singers, Chamber Music and in the Student Emerging Leaders Program. From 2001 to 2006, she served as a lector and cantor at Christ the King Parish in Blakeslee.
After completing her Fulbright fellowship, LoBue plans to pursue a Ph.D. in comparative literature or philosophy and teach at a university level.
A graduate of Pocono Mountain West High School, she resides in Tobyhanna with her parents, David and Donna LoBue, and her younger sister Samantha.
In Cameroon, Cynthia David will teach English as a Second Language (ESL) at the University of N´Gaoundere or the Advanced Teacher's College in Yaonde. She also plans to work with orphaned children as a volunteer at the Life and Water Development Group in Yaonde.
"When I started college, I knew that I wanted to study abroad. My experience in Senegal in 2007 made me want to go abroad again and learn about another culture. There is no better way to learn a language and culture than to live there," said David.
A national finalist for a Truman Scholarship, David received a Benjamin Gilman Scholarship for study at Suffolk University in Dakar, Senegal in 2007. She also earned a Hispanic Scholarship Fund award in 2008 and an AmeriCorps National Community Service Award in 2007.
Earning a prestigious Fulbright fellowship was more than she initially imagined.
"People at The University of Scranton believed in me. They set the sky as the limit, so I said let's go for it," said David.
David earned her bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, in elementary education with a minor in French. She was a member of the university's undergraduate Honors Program and Kappa Delta Pi, the international education honor society.
It was David's fourth grade teacher who inspired her to become a teacher.
"I never wanted to do anything else," said David, who wants to teach at an elementary school in an urban area. "I view the role of a teacher as being a safety net for students. Someday, I want to be that safety net for my students."
A dean's list student, she served as co-vice president of the United Colors Organization, and was a member of the Urban Beats, the university's hip-hop dance team, the Student Education Club, and the Latino Student Association. She also served as a mentor in the University of Success Program, a Scranton community mentor for the Employment Opportunity and Training Center in Scranton, and volunteered at the Jewish Home of Eastern Pennsylvania. She participated in an international service trip to El Salvador in 2008 and to Ecuador in 2009.
David interned as an eighth grade English language arts and French teacher with Breakthrough Atlanta in 2007 and as a resident assistant with Johns Hopkins University CTY Program at Loyola Marymount in 2008. In 2006 she was an education intern for the Wolf Trap Foundation for Performing Arts in Vienna, Va.
She resides in the Bronx, N.Y., with her mother, Nelda David, and younger brother Mario.
After completing her Fulbright fellowship, David plans to obtain a master's degree in urban education policy at Brown University, teach elementary school children in an urban public school, and, eventually, develop policy improvements for ESL students in the U.S.
For David, only the sky is the limit.