College of Science & Mathematics
Bright Future for Fulbright Scholar
Roaring tides, rolling hills, winding roads, and bustling cultural cities that encompass the Southeast Asian country of Malaysia, will be nothing new to Lauren Wederich, both a seasoned traveler of Hawaii, Cancun, Italy, and the Appalachian Trail, and selection by the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship program. Lauren (22), fresh off a stellar senior year sporting a nearly perfect 3.86 GPA, is preparing to spend nine months beginning this fall, on the island nation in the Pacific as both a teacher in English, and as an American Cultural Ambassador, seeking to submerge her senses in to the pristine cultural traditions that flow throughout the nation.
Humbled by the prestigious honor awarded to her, Lauren is "excited" to help others. Having dyslexia, she believes that her life's challenges will make her a more empathetic teacher. "It's harder for me to put words on paper and to comprehend the words I see, and reading takes longer," she says, "For me, listening and taking notes makes comprehension easier, so I understand different types of learning." As to her exact assignment, "I requested elementary school but my assignment could fall anywhere from elementary to high school."
Lauren's thirst for involvement and eagerness to learn about global cultures reflects back to her study abroad experience in Florence, Italy. Lauren, to future Rowan graduates states: "study abroad changes you. It helped me feel independent and gave me a drive to keep traveling, to keep getting these outside-the-classroom experiences," she says, "it's one thing to open a textbook to look at the Berlin wall, it's a whole other thing to actually be standing there."
The Fulbright Scholar Program was established in 1946 under Freshman senator J. William Albright, with the intention of" increasing mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries." It is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and awards approximately 8,000 grants to students, and teachers, both foreign and domestic, per year. The program operates in 155 countries and has had over 310,000 participants since its inception.
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