SLU Students Honored with English Teaching Assistantships by Fulbright U.S. Student Program
Three Saint Louis University students have received Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards for English Teaching Assistantships (ETA) in the upcoming academic year. The awards are granted by the U.S. Department of State J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.
Recipients were selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as their record of service and leadership potential in their respective fields.
The SLU recipients who will teach abroad are:
- Connor Christensen, who earned an ETA to Turkey, is a non-traditional student studying history at SLU’s Madrid campus. He previously served in the military before returning to earn his degree.
- Mary Jines, a senior on the St. Louis campus studying education and Spanish, earned an ETA to Spain. She studied abroad in Madrid and earned a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certificate while there.
- Laura Moyneur, who earned an ETA to Paraguay, is studying economics at SLU’s Madrid campus.
University Honors Program director Robert Pampel, Ph.D., who coordinated the application process this year, expressed excitement about these three successful applicants.
Pampel acknowledged that this is a trying year for Fulbright grant recipients, many of whom have been notified of delays to their start date because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Despite this uncertainty,” he said, “Our students and the whole SLU community should be proud of our recipients and thankful that Billikens will lead the way towards global understanding when it is safe and advisable to travel again.”
Moyneur, who is still waiting for news on her start date, says she was honestly surprised but honored and grateful to have received the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Award.
“I have always dreamed of being a teacher, and this opportunity will be the cornerstone of my career as an educator,” Moyneur said. “After studying in Madrid for four years, I am ready and excited to live in another part of the world, experience Paraguay’s culture and continue to improve my Spanish. Through this opportunity, not only am I investing in my own future, I will also be investing in the future of my students. With the world becoming more interconnected, the necessity for students to speak English is increasing, and by working to improve their speaking and writing abilities, so many new doors will open for them.
“After attending Saint Louis University, I truly believe in the Jesuit mission: to be men and women for others,” Moyneur added. “I hope that through Fulbright I can fulfill this vocation and make a difference in the lives of my students. By guiding, encouraging, and watching them grow, I hope to inspire everyone in my classroom, just as learning Spanish has encouraged me to be more empathetic, curious, and open to new ideas.”
Jines, who recently heard from the Fulbright committee, is now looking excitedly to January 2021 to get started.
“I am passionate about education, and I know that my time as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant will help shape me as a teacher,” Jines said. “My hope is to learn and grow as much as possible as an educator while in Spain so that I can be the best teacher possible when I return to St. Louis after the grant.”
About the Fulbright Program
The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program, which operates in over 160 countries worldwide.
Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given more than 390,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals of all backgrounds and fields the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
Fulbrighters address critical global challenges in all disciplines while building relationships, knowledge, and leadership in support of the long-term interests of the United States. Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in many fields, including 59 who have been awarded the Nobel Prize, 84 who have received Pulitzer Prizes, and 37 who have served as a head of state or government. Learn more here.