ITHACA, NY—The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program has selected three recent Ithaca College alumni to teach abroad during the coming year. The program places recent graduates as English teaching assistants in primary and secondary schools or universities overseas, improving foreign students’ English language abilities and knowledge of the United States while increasing the U.S. student’s own language skills and knowledge of the host country.
Tommy McAree, who graduated this past spring with a degree in English, will teach in Indonesia. He has previously studied in Africa and Central America.
“I want to make students feel that their voices matter and show them the agency a good communicator may have in solving conflicts and building community,” said McAree. “My time abroad, work in classrooms and studies as an English major showed me that hard work, positive thinking and a smile can change our world, and that is what I hope to bring to our classroom.”
Ranu Nath, who graduated in 2012 with a degree in politics, will teach in Turkey. Currently a graduate student at the London School of Economics, she spent a semester abroad in Germany as an undergraduate and developed an interest in Turkey through her study of the European Union.
“As a student of European politics, I am interested in understanding Turkey’s complex relationship with the EU,” said Nath. “This assistantship will give me the opportunity to share my knowledge of the American culture and the English language from an American immigrant’s perspective, and concurrently learn about the Turkish culture and language.”
Rebekah Shyloski, who graduated in 2011 with a double major in art history and Spanish, will teach in Taiwan. As an undergraduate, she took courses in Mandarin Chinese and spent a semester abroad in Argentina. She has most recently worked as a bilingual research assistant and a Hispanic services coordinator for agencies in North Carolina.
“This year, I gained vital teaching skills while employed as an assistant preschool teacher and a volunteer ESOL teacher,” said Shyloski. “I understand the importance of creating fun and effective lesson plans, and hope to use these skills while participating in meaningful intercultural exchange.”
Ithaca College applicants for Fulbright grants are extensively mentored, beginning with outreach efforts to talented students encouraging them to learn about the program and confirm their commitment. The college has consistently been cited as one of the top producers of Fulbright recipients.