Congratulating the three members of The University of Scranton’s class of 2009 who were awarded Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships to countries in Asia, Europe and Africa.
Cynthia G. David, Bronx, NY, received a Fulbright to Cameroon; Amy Lee, Duryea, PA, received a Fulbright to Macau; and Megan E. LoBue, Tobyhanna, PA, received a Fulbright to Germany. “The Fulbright Program is widely regarded as the U.S. Government’s premier scholarship program for overseas graduate study, teaching, and research,” said Susan Trussler, Ph.D., Fulbright program advisor and associate professor of economics/finance at The University of Scranton, who credits the University’s success to its “remarkable students.”
“A total of 124 Scranton students have received grants in the competitions administered by the Institute of International Education (Fulbright) and International Rotary since 1972,” said Trussler.
For the past four years, The Chronicle of Higher Education has listed The University of Scranton among the “top producers” of Fulbright awards for American students. The Chronicle listed Scranton among only 22 universities in the nation – and one of only two in Pennsylvania – in the “Masters Institutions” category in 2008.
According to the Institute for International Education, this year nearly 7,500 U.S. students competed for the approximately 1,500 scholarships awarded. In Cameroon, Cynthia David will teach English as a Second Language (ESL) at the University of N´Gaoundere or the Advanced Teacher’s College in Yaonde. She also plans to work with orphaned children as a volunteer at the Life and Water Development Group in Yaonde.
“When I started college, I knew that I wanted to study abroad. My experience in Senegal in 2007 made me want to go abroad again and learn about another culture. There is no better way to learn a language and culture than to live there,” said David.
A national finalist for a Truman Scholarship, David received a Benjamin Gilman Scholarship for study at Suffolk University in Dakar, Senegal in 2007. She also earned a Hispanic Scholarship Fund award in 2008 and an AmeriCorps National Community Service Award in 2007. Earning a prestigious Fulbright fellowship was more than she initially imagined.
“People at The University of Scranton believed in me. They set the sky as the limit, so I said let’s go for it,” said David. David earned her bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in elementary education with a minor in French. She was a member of the university’s undergraduate Honors Program and Kappa Delta Pi, the international education honor society.
It was David’s fourth grade teacher who inspired her to become a teacher. “I never wanted to do anything else,” said David, who wants to teach at an elementary school in an urban area. “I view the role of a teacher as being a safety net for students. Someday, I want to be that safety net for my students.” A dean’s list student, she served as co-vice president of the United Colors Organization, and was a member of the Urban Beats, the university’s hip-hop dance team, the Student Education Club, and the Latino Student Association. She also served as a mentor in the University of Success Program, a Scranton community mentor for the Employment Opportunity and Training Center in Scranton, and volunteered at the Jewish Home of Eastern Pennsylvania. She participated in an international service trip to El Salvador in 2008 and to Ecuador in 2009.
David interned as an eighth grade English language arts and French teacher with Breakthrough Atlanta in 2007 and as a resident assistant with Johns Hopkins University CTY Program at Loyola Marymount in 2008. In 2006 she was an education intern for the Wolf Trap Foundation for Performing Arts in Vienna, VA. She resides in Bronx, NY, with her mother, Nelda David, and younger brother Mario.
After completing her Fulbright fellowship, David plans to obtain a master’s degree in urban education policy at Brown University, teach elementary school children in an urban public school, and, eventually, develop policy improvements for ESL students in the U.S. For David, only the sky is the limit.
The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, was established in 1946 by Congress to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and people of other countries. The program is named after the late J. William Fulbright, the U.S. Senator who sponsored the program. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The international educational exchange program currently operates in over 150 countries worldwide. Among the thousands of prominent Fulbright alumni are: Craig Barrett, former Chief Executive Officer of Intel Corporation; Marek Belka, Prime Minister, Poland; Luis Ernesto Derbez, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mexico; Renee Fleming, opera singer; Javier Solana, Foreign Policy Chief, European Union; and Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate in Economics.