The Fulbright U.S. Student Program has awarded grants for four Scripps College graduates of the Class of 2017 to participate in English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Programs abroad in the coming year and one research grant in environmental studies. In addition, Scripps alumna Leah Hughes, who graduated in 2015, has been awarded a Fulbright ETA to the Slovak Republic, bringing the Scripps College participation to six fellows for the coming year.
The recent graduates and alumna will meet, work, live with, and learn from the people of their respective host countries, interacting on an individual basis in the classroom, field, home, and in routine tasks. The women expressed their delight in carrying out the Fulbright program’s mission to promote mutual understanding through openness, academic integrity, and intellectual freedom in a meaningful cultural exchange.
Christine Gao ’17
“After teaching language through culture both for my Core III class and while abroad in Spain, I knew that was what I wanted to do during my gap year after graduation. I love studying languages, and I love understanding different cultures, so it seemed only natural that I do so while passing on the favor. Additionally, my mother emigrated from Malaysia alone, so I am not as familiar with this side of my heritage as I would like to be. I am excited not only to share my knowledge of American culture, but also to explore this part of my identity and the many cultures that make up Malaysia.”
Tricia Light ’17
“I’m so excited to receive a Fulbright Research Award in Spain. I’ll be working in a laboratory in Catalonia, looking at how human modification of local rivers affects the transport of carbon and thus might ultimately influence global climate change. I majored in chemistry and took as many Spanish classes as I could in college, so the Fulbright will be an incredible opportunity to further explore the passions for both scientific research and the Spanish language that I developed at Scripps.”
Abigail MacCumber ’17
“My decision to major in French was as much heartfelt as it was intellectual. The daughter of a Francophile, I began learning French not long after English at the Lycée Français de Chicago, and I always knew I wanted to spend my entire junior year abroad. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to return to Paris as an English Teaching Assistant this academic year. Fulbright’s mission, to promote mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries, feels particularly pertinent today, and I’m both honored and eager to be a part of such a program.”
Rachel Miller-Haughton ’17
“I am honored and excited to be spending the next year in Mexico with the English Teaching Assistant program! My English major and Spanish minor at Scripps have been instrumental in my path towards the Fulbright, and I’m excited to see where my passion for languages and education will take me. Mexico is a country I hope to learn much from as I live and work in an entirely new community.”
Maya Salas ’17
“Receiving a teaching Fulbright to México delights me beyond belief. Growing up Chicana, I have always felt a tie to my Mexican roots, but given the centralization of Western, European perspectives in our social, educational, and political systems, I have found it difficult to fully connect and rejoice in my Mexican ancestry. Going back to México will give me the opportunity to affirm those aspects of my identity while also exposing me to classroom experiences that will aid me in my future endeavors as a teacher. As a Chicanx studies major, I have always asked myself how I will incorporate ethnic studies in whichever classroom I teach. It is my hope that by working with Mexican students and families and immersing myself in the communities, cultures, and customs that comprise some Mexican experiences, I can better aide U.S. students in understanding the complexities of Chicanx, Mexican, and Latinx histories.”
Alumna Leah Hughes, who graduated in 2015, has been awarded a Fulbright ETA to the Slovak Republic. Hughes also had a Watson fellowship when she graduated as a double major in politics/international relations and studio art, traveling to Iceland, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Northern Ireland, and Germany to live and to study the intersection of art and politics.
“As a working class Louisvillian striving to better understand how the arts can be used to give political power to people like those in my community, I don’t think there would be a better place to live, grow, and challenge myself than in the Slovak Republic, a Central-Southeastern mountainous place with a rich cultural history. I look forward to the chance to meet my students, to learn outside of the confines of academia, and to pass on a fraction of what the many influential figures, both professors and staff at Scripps, imparted on me during my time in Claremont.”