Established by United States Senator William Fulbright in 1946, the Fulbright Program encourages transnational intellectual and cultural exchange. There are two types of Fulbright awards available for degree-holding students from the United States: the English Teaching Assistant (ETA) award and the Study/Research award.
This cycle, an impressive five Politics concentrators were named Fulbright grantees. Three of the five–Scarlett McNulty, Rebecca Han, and Hanying Jiang–graduated last month. Recipients of Fulbright’s English Teaching Assistant award, all will spend the next year in classrooms abroad to provide assistance to the local English teachers.
McNulty will head to South Korea with Fulbright support. Her award, she told us, “allows me to use what I have learned as an American politics concentrator here to be someone who is consulted on and teaches on American cultural topics abroad.” She chose Korea because of its geopolitical importance but also because of its unique popular culture. “Being a Politics concentrator has strengthened my skills of understanding difference and finding similarities within it which will be invaluable in living and working abroad,” she noted, “and we are also supposed to consult with teachers on American cultural issues so concentrating on American politics has prepared me greatly for that.”
Fulbright ETA grantees Han and Jiang will teach in Taiwanese classrooms this fall.
Han is particularly excited about “getting an immersive experience in an international community and broadening [her] understanding of Taiwanese culture” before heading back to school to pursue a JD. Her time as a Politics concentrator and in comparative politics classes specifically, she added, “has given me a range of tools to critically examine and understand the world around me and consider how I can positively impact it.”
Jiang, a FGLI (first-generation, low-income) student, highlights what she calls “the importance of education in providing opportunities.” This, she stresses, is what motivated her to apply for a Fulbright ETA along with a desire to “to expand [her] worldview by learning more about a new culture and people.” Moreover, “as someone who has spent many college courses and papers contemplating Taiwan and its role in the world,” she said, “I find that these lessons often rendered Taiwan a strategic character in world politics without appreciating the culture, tradition, and values of its people.”
Two Politics alumni have accepted Fulbright Study/Research Awards. Chelsie Alexandre ’20 will head to Seoul, South Korea to conduct a project in the field of international relations titled “An Alternative Path to Peace on the Korean Peninsula,” and Mahishan Gnanaseharan ’20 will head to Chennai, India, to conduct a project in the field of history titled “Nationalizing Self-Respect: A History of Relations among Periyar, Ambedkar & Jinnah.”
A hearty congratulations to our five Princeton Politics Fulbright awardees!