Fulbright Teaching Assistants and Graduate Assistants 2019-2020

2020-2021 TAs and GAs

Every year, the University of Scranton hosts Fulbright Language Teaching Assistants and Graduate Assistants from all over the world who teach world language classes, offer educational events to the community, and share their cultures with the university.

2020-2021 TAs and GAs

  • Belal Elkurd - Palestine (Arabic)
  • Chama Laassassy - Canada (French)
  • Rebekka Stein - Germany (German)
  • Cecilia Núñez - Uruguay (Spanish)
  • Laura Freedman - Language Learning Center GA
  • Hsiang-Ling Wang - Taiwan (Chinese)
  • Khadiga AboBakr - Egypt (Arabic)
  • Minori Koga - Japan (Japanese)
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Belal Elkurd

My name is Belal Elkurd. I was born in Gaza; Palestine and I currently live in Gaza. I have a great passion toward learning language, so I have studied English language and literature at Al-Azhar University from the Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences and graduated in 2017. In my country, I have been teaching the English language since 2016. I have taught English language at my university for college students, at several English language camps and at English language institutes. In 2017, I started teaching the Arabic language to for non-Arabic speakers at Gaza Learning Cooperative center. During my experience in teaching I have met many students from different cultures and backgrounds, this encouraged me to explore more about teaching the Arabic language and apply for the FLTA program not only to have more experience in teaching Arabic but also to learn a lot about the American culture and be an ambassador of my country in the U.S.

Belal Elkurd
belal.elkurd@scranton.edu 
311 O'Hara Hall
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Chama Laassassy

Salut !  I’m Chama, and I’ll be teaching French this year!  I was born in Casablanca, Morocco, and my family and I moved to Montreal, Canada, when I was nine years old. I went from living near the beach to navigating Montreal’s dreadful 30 centimeters of snow. Nevertheless, I fell in love with Montreal’s charm, which lies in its arsenal of people of different cultures and ethnicities. This sparked massive respect for diversity and a love of languages in me. Indeed, I speak French, Arabic, English, and Spanish fluently, and I am currently learning Turkish and Italian.  

I was a law student for a year before I realized that teaching is what I love doing the most. I graduated with a Bachelor of Teaching English as a Second Language from McGill University. Back in Montreal, I work as an English and French teacher, as well as a youth community organizer within immigrant-focused NGOs. In my free time, if I’m not travelling, cooking up a storm, or volunteering, you will probably find me watching foreign TV shows, especially Turkish dizis.  

French class with me will be full of opportunities to speak, in a safe, non-judgmental and energetic environment. We’ll be playing lots of games and listening to French rap from time to time. Don’t hesitate should you need anything! Très hâte de vous rencontrer! 

Chama Laassassy
chama.laassassy@scranton.edu 
311 O'Hara Hall
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Rebekka Stein

Hallo zusammen! My name is Rebekka Stein, and I will be teaching German at the University of Scranton this year. I am from Jena, a city in the central German state of Thuringia, which is also called the “green heart of Germany”. I have just finished my master’s degree in secondary education for English and Geography, and I have also studied some courses in Teaching German as a Foreign Language. I am very excited to spread my love of language learning and cultural exchange at the University of Scranton this year. At the same time, I am looking forward to learning more about the U.S., Pennsylvania, Scranton, and you, the students. I hope to meet you in one of my classes, at German cultural events and talks, or around campus!

Rebekka Stein
rebekka.stein@scranton.edu 
324 O'Hara Hall
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Cecilia Núñez

¡Hola a todos y todas! My name is Cecilia Núñez and I am the Spanish teaching assistant at Scranton University this year. I was born and raised in Uruguay; a small, quiet and beautiful country located in South America, between Brazil and Argentina. I have been teaching English as a second language in secondary schools for the last six years, and I must say that I love what I do. I am also really into traveling and learning different cultures and walks of life. I consider myself an easy-going and open-minded person, so feel free to stop by my office anytime! I'm looking forward to meeting you all!

Cecilia Núñez
cecilia.nunez@scranton.edu 
324 O'Hara Hall
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Laura Freedman

Hello, everyone! My name is Laura Freedman, and I am the graduate assistant of the Language Learning Center. I was born and raised in North Jersey, and I just graduated from the University of Scranton in May 2019 with my Bachelor’s in journalism and electronic media and minors in French and business analytics. The University of Scranton truly is my second home, which is why I decided to stay an extra two years to pursue my Master’s in Business Administration. I absolutely love traveling! I have been to Ireland, England, France and Italy, and I am excited to be going to Australia this January!

Laura Freedman
laura.freedman@scranton.edu 
306 O'Hara Hall
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Hsiang-Ling (Charlize) Wang

What brought me to Scranton? “The Office,” of course. Just kidding! My passion for teaching is what brought me here. I love motivating students to advance their knowledge of not only the Chinese language, but also the Chinese culture. The Department of World Languages has the perfect atmosphere to do just that! My other passion in life is traveling! Traveling allows me to make connections between what I have learned in cross cultural/ intercultural communication classes and real life. So far, I have traveled to over 25 countries. I am very friendly, so feel free to say hi when you see me around campus or stop by my office to chat! My advice for students would be to take advantage of the many opportunities the department has to offer, and to join our global-friendly community!

Hsiang-Ling (Charlize) Wang
hsiang-ling.wang@scranton.edu 
304 O'Hara Hall
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Khadiga AboBakr

Hello! My name is Khadiga, but most people call me Diga. My mother is Palestinian, my father is Sudanese and my paternal grandmother is Egyptian, so I can proudly say I grew up in a multicultural environment! I fell in love with English at a young age, which is why I decided to major in it. I started my teaching career six years ago and have been a supervisor and teacher trainer for several reputable training centers. Before coming to Scranton, I worked at the American University in Cairo. I’m a very sociable person, so if you happen to run into me, don’t hesitate to say hi!

Khadiga AboBakr
khadiga.abobakr@scranton.edu 
324 O'Hara Hall 
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Minori Koga

こんにちは!Hello!

My name is Minori Koga (古峨美法). I am so happy to be here as a Fulbright FLTA this year. I was born and raised in Nagasaki on the island of Kyushu in Japan, and spent my high school days in Fukuoka, which is the largest city in Kyushu. Then, I moved to the capital, Tokyo! From the age of 18, I lived in Tokyo for 10 years. I miss my life in Tokyo a bit, but I enjoy my new life in Scranton!

What I did in Tokyo may sound weird to you, but I studied American literature there! Are you surprised? Actually, we have so many American literature fans in Japan. Almost all universities have a department of English literature. I am one of them and have an MA in American Literature.  My favorite writers are Ernest Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald, Zora Neale Hurston, Carson McCullers, Truman Capote, Miranda July, etc. I also like Haruki Murakami, who is one of the most famous Japanese novelists in the world. If you know any good writers, please let me know! 

Minori Koga
minori.koga@scranton.edu 
304 O'Hara Hall 

Fulbright TAs 2019-2020

From left: Dr. Jeff Gingerich, Clara Fabbri (France), Lukas Rackow (Germany), Alessandra Abate (Italy), Khadiga AboBakr (Egypt), Hsiang-Ling Wang (Taiwan), Sarah Romero Avella (Colombia), Dr. Yamile Silva, Dr. Ann Pang-White

From left: Dr. Jeff Gingerich, Clara Fabbri (France), Lukas Rackow (Germany), Alessandra Abate (Italy), Khadiga AboBakr (Egypt), Hsiang-Ling Wang (Taiwan), Sarah Romero Avella (Colombia), Dr. Yamile Silva, Dr. Ann Pang-White

Fulbright TAs 2018-2019

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From left: Juan Carlos Ruiz (Colombia), Laura Martel (France), Minori Koga (Japan), Maryam Ahmed (Bahrain)

Fulbright TAs 2017-2018

tas-2017-2018.jpgFrom left: Vianey Florentino Perez (Mexico), Rabab Mesbahi (Morocco), Lea Gorski (Germany)

Fulbright TAs 2016-2017

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Top from left: Celine Langlard (France), Sarah Schreier (Germany), Carmen Cespedes Suarez (Spain)
Bottom from left: Aymen Khazaal (Iraq), Chie Fujikake (Japan) 

Fulbright TAs 2015-2016

Fulbright TAs 2015-2016