Westminster Student Receives Prestigious Fulbright to Teach English Abroad
Cassidy Jones is the first English Teaching Assistantship recipient in the college’s history
SALT LAKE CITY – Cassidy Jones didn’t quite know what she wanted to do with her life when she applied to Westminster in 2007. It wasn’t until she spent a summer in Madagascar doing research on environmental themes in oral folklore that she discovered working abroad was her passion. In October 2010, Jones applied for an English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) in Turkey through the prestigious Fulbright program and was notified last Friday she was accepted.
This acceptance makes Jones the first recipient of the Fulbright ETA in Westminster’s history.
“Cassidy’s passion, intelligence and active engagement in her learning will make her a great Fulbright scholar,” said Tim Dolan, Westminster’s director of undergraduate research and fellowships. “Cassidy's success with the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship helps validate the quality of our students and programs.”
Jones, who was a member of the college’s Honors program, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English last month. The Fulbright ETA grant enables her to teach English in Turkey for approximately 10 months, and to perform independent research – all fully funded. As part of the ETA grant program, she will work in a new university in eastern Turkey, and will be assigned various activities designed to improve her students’ language abilities and knowledge of the United States. She will also live in the local community, which will help increase her language skills and knowledge of Turkey.
“I am very excited about the ETA program,” Jones said. “It’s something that’s perfectly suited to me and my interests. I studied in Madagascar last spring and it rocked my world…I realized that this is what I what I wanted to do, I wanted to go abroad.”
Since there was no precedent for a Fulbright ETA recipient at Westminster, it was critical for Jones’ success to find someone who had been through the program to mentor her.
“I met a friend at the National Collegiate Honors Council conference from Eastern Kentucky University who was a Fulbright ETA recipient and traveled to Nepal for his grant,” she explained. “He turned into a mentor who helped me through the process. One of the things that excites me about the program is being able to help and mentor future students who are right for the program.”
Jones applied for the Turkey ETA because of her interest in the Muslim culture. She hopes to possibly be a journalist or diplomat in the future, and believes the Middle East is an important area to engage and understand.
“We are all very proud of Cassidy’s accomplishments and are excited to see what the future holds for her,” added Dolan. “Westminster College has long history of engaging bright, motivated students and helping them discover their academic and civic strengths, and preparing them for graduate school and careers. A successful record of national fellowship and scholarship awards will help us to continue to attract top quality students and faculty to become national recognized for our excellence.”
Jones will depart for Turkey in September.
Media Contact: Krista DeAngelis, (801) 832-2682
June 13, 2011
About the Fulbright Scholar Program:
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.” With this goal as a starting point, the Fulbright Program has provided almost 300,000 participants—chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential — with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. For more information, visit http://www.cies.org/about_fulb.htm.
Westminster is a nationally recognized, comprehensive liberal arts college. With a broad array of graduate and undergraduate programs, Westminster is distinguished by its unique environment for learning. Westminster prepares students for success through active and engaged learning, real world experiences and its vibrant campus community. Westminster’s unique location, adjacent to the Rocky Mountains and to the dynamic city of Salt Lake, further enriches the college experience. For more information visit www.westminstercollege.edu or follow @WestminsterSLC on Twitter.