A Clarke University recent graduate is currently abroad fulfilling her prestigious Fulbright Scholar grant. Molly Fitzgibbons, a 2012 biology/Spanish/secondary education graduate, has been participating in the program since September 2012 and will continue until July 2013.
For the last five months, Fitzgibbons has been living in Madrid and working at a secondary school in nearby Coslada. The grant she was awarded requires her to work part-time as an English teaching assistant and part-time on a side project helping to promote school and classroom community. “Schools in Spain do not have much of a culture for after school activities, so I am trying to use class and break times wisely and remain student-centered,” said Fitzgibbons. “The Fulbright program has given me the opportunity to have a true cultural exchange, allowing me to work in and learn about the Spanish school system and to share my experiences as an American with my students.”
Fitzgibbons is currently one of three Clarke University Fulbright Scholars. This is the first time in Clarke’s history that it has had three simultaneous Fulbright Scholars, which earned Clarke the distinction of being one of the top Fulbright producing schools in the country. In addition to Fitzgibbons, associate professor of history/political science Lynne Niznik, Ph.D, is currently teaching abroad in South Africa, and assistant professor of art history Bryan Zygmont, Ph.D, is in Poland.The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the US government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the US Congress to the US Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in over 155 countries worldwide.
Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late US Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 300,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.