A degree from Ithaca College fresh in hand, Menalie Hyde ’18 is ready to embark on her life’s next adventure: teaching English in Malaysia as part of the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the prestigious program places recent college graduates and young professionals 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. Hyde will begin her assistantship in January 2019.
A Park Scholar and a communication management and design major while at IC, Hyde plans on pursuing a graduate degree in international relations. She hopes that her time in Malaysia will provide a stepping stone towards a career in the communications branch of the U.S. Foreign Service.
Hyde chose Malaysia because she is of Southeast Asian descent, and said she wants to experience living in a non-Western, Muslim country.
“I feel like on this side of the world we have certain perceptions of Muslim countries in particular, and I’m looking forward to experiencing it in real life and drawing my own conclusions,” she said.
Hyde believes she earned her Fulbright thanks in part to her experience as a volunteer student-teacher with Spanish Language through Arts and Recreation (SALTAR), a service-learning program run by associate professor Annette Levine that provides Spanish instruction to local elementary school students. Hyde wrote about the program in her Fulbright application, and Levine wrote her a recommendation.
In addition to SALTAR, Hyde also volunteered with IC Intercambios, a student organization that helps teach English to Spanish-speaking immigrants in the Ithaca area.
Ithaca College was one of the top producers of student Fulbright award winners in 2017-18, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. The college also had more faculty named Fulbright scholars than any other Master's level institution in the nation.