College of Arts and Sciences senior Mary Kate Wolken was selected for the Fulbright Teaching Assistant Award for the academic year 2019-20.
According to the Fulbright website, “The U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program offers nearly 470 teaching, research or combination teaching/research awards in over 125 countries.”
Wolken will be an English assistant in the region of Galicia, Spain. She will be in a classroom geared for native speakers of English, helping out in English language classes. Teaching lessons with a host teacher and in the community, she will be a cultural ambassador.
“I’m really excited to be fluent after I’m there,” Wolken said. “I’m a Spanish major but it takes that immersion aspect to really get the language skills down.”
Advisers work over the summer with students to create the best possible essays to articulate the applicant’s qualities.
Students decide what country they would like to apply through. It is then a several month process including an interview, and winners are announced in March. It is a competitive program, and almost 400 students apply through Spain each year.
“When they look at her whole package, she’s a diligent student, she follows through on what she says, and she knows how to seek out information and bring it together,” said José McClanahan, Head of the Modern Languages Department and the Fulbright Program adviser. “I think all of that came together to help made her a much stronger candidate for the Fulbright Commission.”
“Mary Kate is very deserving of this award because she is one of the most selfless people I have ever met,” Katie Ruane, Senior Heider College of Business student and Tri Delta sister said. “Her dedication, compassion, and thirst for knowledge are unparalleled, and I am not surprised she has been named a Fulbright Scholar - she truly embodies what it means to be one!”
Wolken will leave for Spain in September 2019 and will be done with her program in June 2020.
“I am really grateful for the advisers and mentors here at Creighton and without the support of my friends I don’t know if I would have been half as inspired or motivated,” she said.