Fulbright grants send six VCU alum around the world

Infographic by Sarah Butler

Hector Miranda
Contributing writer

Infographic by Sarah Butler
Infographic by Sarah Butler

A new batch of Virginia Commonwealth University alumni have received Fulbright scholarships, granting new opportunities for personal and professional growth for the six recipients during the 2015-16 academic year.

Since the scholarship has been founded, 34 VCU alumni have been awarded the prestigious Fulbright, with this round including two research grants and four English Teaching Assistant grants.

Wade Angeli, 23, graduated in 2014 with a bachelor’s in communication arts from VCU, and is now a Fulbright-sponsored English Teaching Assistant. Angeli will be teaching English to secondary school students 12 to 16 years old in Santa Coloma, Andorra.

“I was primarily driven to apply for the Fulbright ETA for the opportunity to live and work abroad and to get teaching experience with a

prestigious and established program in the realm of international education,” Angeli said.

The Fulbright grant covers round-trip travel fare, orientation, room, board, health benefits and other living costs. It aims to provide students the opportunity to explore other cultures and leadership opportunities.

Lindsey FitzGerald is another recipient of the award. She said she hopes that the grant will allow her to further explore education for students learning English as a second language.

“I hope it’ll help me make connections and network in the ESL field. I hope to learn from the professors at the university I’ll be teaching at along with my fellow Fulbright grantees,” FitzGerald said. “Most importantly, I hope to grow as a person, to gain understanding and empathy and bring it back into the classroom upon my return to the U.S.”

FitzGerald will be travelling to Morocco to teach English and intends on establishing a pen-pal network between schools in the country and schools in rural counties of Virginia. The Fulbright grant should make both of these possible.

“Applying for the Fulbright was a natural extension of my interests, studies, and work these past few years,” FitzGerald said. “When I started the application process, I knew I wanted to teach ESL. I also wanted to get to know a country, culture and language on a long-term basis, not just travel through as a tourist.”

The four other recipients are Mary Beth Bird, Jennifer Lawhorne, Ghatul Abdul Quyum and Chris Rories. They will travel to countries all around the world, including Italy, Malaysia, Lesotho and more.

The National Scholarship Office at VCU was established in 2005 to offer international and national scholarships to alumni, graduate and undergraduate students. Applications for the Fulbright are handled through VCU’s National Scholarship Office, based out of the Honor College.

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