Two alumni have won Fulbright Scholarships that will allow them to live, work, and study in foreign countries in 2013. Kelly McNulty ’11 received an English Teaching Assistantship Award, and Mathew Pezon ’10 won a scholarship to study in Spain. Thirty-three Lafayette students have received Fulbrights in the last 13 years.
McNulty begins her Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in South Africa next January and will be there until November 2013. She will teach English at a high school and university, as well as give presentations on issues related to the United States and South Africa. She also will complete an internship of her choice.
As a junior at Lafayette, McNulty studied abroad in South Africa and interned at an after-school soccer program that also taught life skills and HIV/AIDS prevention. She wants to incorporate that experience into an internship with a nonprofit organization that works with young people.
“This is indicative of my perspective on returning to South Africa, as I will inevitably build off past connections while still recognizing that this is a completely new and unique opportunity,” she says.
Through her teaching assistantship, McNulty will have an opportunity to compare educational strategies and to implement new approaches in her teaching.
“I hope to learn more about the issues that are important to many high school and college students in South Africa, of which I only scratched the surface during my previous homestays and travels throughout the country. By knowing these issues and determining if they are comparable to many students in the United States, I can personally connect with my students and spark a discussion on what educational, social, and political issues are somewhat universal and what are exclusive to the United States or South Africa,” she says.
Since graduating with an A.B. with majors in anthropology & sociology and American studies, McNulty has worked through a teaching fellowship from the Center for Inspired Teaching in Washington, D.C., and is completing a year of teaching kindergarten at the Inspired Teaching Public Charter School during its founding school year.
Prior to leaving for South Africa, she will take classes towards a master’s in teaching at Trinity Washington University, with which her teaching fellowship has a partnership.
After she completes her teaching assistantship, McNulty would like to either continue teaching in an urban elementary school or work at an educational nonprofit organization.
“Ideally, I would enjoy working with organizations that partner schools and students in the United States to those abroad and encourage an international dialogue in education. Viewing the individual challenges and successes of my current students has solidified my passion for education and I’m excited to apply my experiences from Lafayette, my current teaching fellowship, and my Fulbright Teaching Assistantship to a career in this field,” she says.
Pezon will earn a master’s degree in international management with a specialization in international business at IE Business School in Madrid, Spain, which is recognized as one of the world’s top business schools. The entire program, from lectures to presentations to assignments, will be carried out in Spanish. He will begin the 10-month program in February 2013.
“I’m very excited to have this amazing Fulbright opportunity, and Lafayette has been instrumental in realizing this success throughout my studies there and the application process,” says Pezon, who graduated with a B.S. in chemical engineering and an A.B. with a major in Spanish.
As a student at Lafayette, Pezon studied abroad in Spain and noticed that solar panels were much more evident there.
“I saw how our attitude toward energy in the United States is different to the way people approach the issue in other areas of the world,” he says.
Since graduation, Pezon’s interest in solar energy has been advanced through the Career Development Program in the Electronics Division at his employer, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. Pezon plans to return to Air Products after completing the master’s program in December 2013.
“These experiences have inspired me to return to Spain to study the cultural and business aspects that allow solar energy to be more widespread in that country. I want to contribute to the chemical engineering field by looking at the solar-energy approach from a different perspective and making it economically viable,” he says.
As he studies international management at IE Madrid, Pezon is interested in learning the business, operations, and manufacturing management fundamentals that can drive down the cost of solar power and make it more widely available to consumers.
“Spanish is quickly becoming a very important business language in the U.S. and internationally. Its influence throughout the Western hemisphere represents a vast market for the expansion of solar power and requires a serious need for bicultural and bilingual people who can help meet the sustainable energy demand of Spanish-speaking populations,” he says. “I aspire to gain the skills and multicultural understanding to endorse affordable solar power in underdeveloped markets in North, Central, and South America.”
For information on applying for scholarships and fellowships, contact Julia A. Goldberg, associate dean of the College, (610) 330-5521.