Fulbright Success Continues as Four SJU Students Receive Coveted Awards
St. John's University students continue to distinguish themselves on the world stage by earning prestigious academic grants and scholarships to conduct research and teach overseas. This summer, four undergraduates begin teaching and conducting research overseas as 2014 Fulbright award recipients.
Since 2012, 21 St. John's students have won Fulbright student grants. The Marshall Scholarship recently was awarded to an undergraduate to pursue advanced study at Cambridge University, while another student received a Truman Scholarship to attend graduate school in preparation for a career in government or public service.
This year’s Fulbright recipients are headed for locations in Asia and South America. Two are traveling to South Korea, while the others will go to Laos and Brazil. All of them will teach English while immersing themselves in a foreign culture through community service and educational outreach.
"St. John's University is extremely proud of our Fulbright grant recipients," said Robert Mangione, Ed.D., R.Ph., provost. “Their success is a testament to the support of their faculty mentors and the global education that St. John's has provided them.” Mangione stressed that the students will be wonderful ambassadors not only for the University, but for the nation.
"St. John's is at the forefront of providing its students with a global perspective, and the continued success of our Fulbright recipients reflects our initiative," said Konrad Tuchscherer, Ph.D., associate professor of history and Fulbright advisor at the University. All the recipients received their degrees within the past year: Michael Abdo Bayyouk ‘13G, Ivan Liang ‘14C, Pablo Sanchez ‘14G, ‘13C, and Kevin Duong ‘14CPS.
Bayyouk, who will be a teaching assistant at a university in Laos, is hoping to gain relevant experience as an educator. "Not only do I want to increase the English proficiency of my students, but I want to learn more about specific pedagogical practices in the university setting," he observed.
"I applied because I love teaching and learning about foreign cultures,” said Liang. “The Fulbright program almost seemed to be made for someone like me," he added.
Duong noted that after his Fulbright experience, he intends to pursue a law career. "Since I'm leaning towards international law, the additional language skills and the understanding of a new culture will definitely apply to my career," he observed.
In addition to teaching, Sanchez plans to conduct research focusing on language and culture and how they relate to social and economic development. "With the World Cup and the Olympics, a lot of attention is being focused on Brazil and this is a great time to study those effects," he says.
"This year's recipients are poised to make a positive difference wherever they conduct research and serve,” Tuchscherer added. “This experience will help them lay the groundwork for an enormously successful future."