Kent State Senior Honored With Prestigious Fulbright Scholarship

Honors student selected for English Teaching Award in Ecuador 

In an impressive close to her undergraduate career, Kent State University Honors College senior Mallory Woods was recently awarded the prestigious Fulbright English Teaching Award (ETA). A native of Fairview, Pennsylvania, Woods is completing a major in translation with a Spanish concentration and minors in economics and Italian studies while also finishing a certificate program in teaching English as a foreign language. 

“I was extremely excited to learn that Mallory was the recipient of an English Teaching Assistant Fulbright to Ecuador,” said Frank Congin, director of academic programs for Kent State’s Honors College and the university’s Fulbright program advisor. “She will be an excellent representative of not only Kent State University in Ecuador but of the United States, which is one of the program’s key tenets: public diplomacy.”

Through the Fulbright grant, Woods will work as an English teaching assistant in Ecuador from September 2022 through June 2023. 

“I was very intrigued by the opportunity to live abroad and teach English, especially after studying abroad,” Woods said. “After researching the Fulbright ETA opportunities, I felt that my interests and academic background were well aligned with Ecuador’s program description.”

Although Woods has yet to officially visit her future Fulbright host country in person, she has had a great deal of experience becoming virtually immersed in the linguistic and cultural knowledge of Ecuador. As her plans of spending the summer of 2020 in Ecuador were disrupted by the pandemic, Woods was able to complete a virtual internship with the Tandana Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Otavalo, Ecuador, as an English as a second language intern from May 2020 through May 2021. Throughout the internship, Woods volunteered more than 100 hours leading small groups and tutoring university students from Ecuador in the English language through Zoom. She states that her internship and her many education-abroad experiences have taught her to live and work in a multicultural environment while navigating cultural differences. 

As an undergraduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences at Kent State who is currently studying in Florence, Italy, Woods acknowledges that her many education-abroad experiences in Israel, Palestine, the Czech Republic, Costa Rica, Spain and Italy have been fundamental in improving her language skills and multicultural competence. Her education-abroad experiences did not diminish her extensive involvement on campus. Woods easily transitioned into college with acceptance into the Provost’s Leadership Academy and the Honors College Leadership Academy during her freshman year. While maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA and an active life on campus, her accolades have continued over the course of her collegiate career, including induction into Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest academic honor society, and inclusion on the President’s List. Woods is a student member of the American Translators Association. She also participated in the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Program and served on the Honors College Senatorial Committee. 

Although the Fulbright winner has yet to be assigned a specific location for her nine-month commitment in Ecuador, Woods comments that it will likely be in the area of Quito. Based on her submitted proposal for the project, she anticipates spending 25 hours in the classroom setting per week as an English language assistant. Another 15 hours per week will be spent working on a social/volunteer project, which may include serving at local nonprofits or assisting with organizing community events. Woods hopes that she will also have the opportunity and time to enroll in an Indigenous language course to learn more about the linguistic diversity in Ecuador.

While Fulbright offers a variety of grant opportunities in more than 140 countries, Woods was included as one of a select few to receive a Fulbright Scholarship in the country of Ecuador. 

“Mallory submitted an extremely competitive dossier to Fulbright and was selected as one of five English teaching assistants who will be assigned to Ecuador,” Congin said. “She brings a strong passion for second-language acquisition, an impressive academic foundation and a well-rounded international outlook to the program.”  

“I am beyond excited to move to Ecuador and still can’t believe this is actually happening,” Woods said of her once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “This program has been a dream of mine for so long, and I feel so grateful for the opportunities I have been offered as an undergrad that have prepared me for this experience. I am really looking forward to using my Spanish as much as possible and learning more about Ecuador’s education system.”

The Fulbright Program receives an average of 10,000 applications annually from American students. It was the first international exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government after the bill was signed into law by President Harry Truman in 1946. Sen. J. William Fulbright initially introduced the bill to be dedicated to student exchange programs to increase international relations. Several other Kent State students applied to various Fulbright Programs for the 2022-2023 competition cycle. Kent State Honors College senior Moira Armstrong was announced as an alternate for a study/research award to attend Goldsmiths, University of London.

For more information about the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, visit https://us.fulbrightonline.org.

For more information about Kent State’s Honors College, visit www.kent.edu/honors

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Media Contact:
Stephanie Moskal, smoskal@kent.edu, 330-672-2312

POSTED: Tuesday, April 19, 2022 - 10:39am
UPDATED: Thursday, June 9, 2022 - 3:50pm
WRITTEN BY:
Stephanie Moskal