Anna A. Lawrence, a May 2016 ECU graduate with dual degrees in anthropology and Hispanic studies, has been selected by the Phi Kappa Phi national honor society as a graduate fellow. Lawrence was the ECU chapter winner in the spring of 2016 and worked with Dr. Holly Mathews, Chair of the Phi Kappa Phi Student Awards Committee at ECU, to prepare her application for the national competition. She will receive $5,000 to be used toward her graduate education. Lawrence will pursue a PhD in Spanish linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin in the fall of 2016. Lawrence was also a member of the honors college and she completed an undergraduate internship with Dr. Christine Avenarius and her honors thesis in Spanish linguistics with Dr. Stephen Fafulas (pictured here).
“Recently I was awarded a scholarship from the International Foreign Language Honor Society, Phi Sigma Iota. I am very grateful for the society’s contribution to my studies and I will be using the scholarship funds to pay for my upcoming study abroad through East Carolina University in Strasbourg, France. This scholarship would not have been possible without the support and help of my professors in the French section of the Foreign Language Department at ECU. I love French language and culture and am aspiring to be a French teacher. This upcoming Fall semester I will be interning as a student teacher in Rocky Mount before graduating with my BS in French Education in December. Frank Smith said, “A different language is a different vision of life.”
ECU Honors College student and triple major Daniel Franch has been named a recipient of an English teaching assistant award from the highly-competitive Fulbright U.S. Student Program.
Franch, who is graduating in May with a degree in history, history education and German, is one of 140 students in the United States to receive a $30,000 grant that will support his international experience in East Germany teaching English for a year.
“For most countries, the competition is very stiff,” said Birgit Jensen, the Fulbright advisor at ECU. “In 2015, only eight applicants out of 98 for the Australia study grants were chosen. That same year, there were 381 applicants for English Teaching Assistantships in Germany and 127 were selected. Germany awards more grants than other countries because it funds additional stipends from its end.”
Franch, who worked in ECU’s University Writing Center for the past three years, will assist a lead teacher with English instruction in a German K–12 English classroom. In addition to teaching, he is also required to engage the local community as part of the Fulbright grant. He has proposed to join the local environmental organization and learn ways to increase sustainability practices.
“It seemed like an excellent opportunity to spend a year in Germany spreading goodwill between the United States and Germany,” said Franch, who is the ninth student from ECU selected as a Fulbright. “I had the choice to pick three federal states and I chose all former East German states, because the former East is still economically behind the rest of Germany.”
With ECU’s German Club, Franch spent nine days over spring break volunteering in Munich in conjunction with local organizations to assimilate displaced refugees.
“We taught basic German such as the alphabet, important survival phrases and traffic rules in addition to playing Frisbee and basketball with the refugees,” said Franch.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study and research projects or for English teaching assistant programs. A candidate will submit a Statement of Grant Purpose defining activities to take place during one academic year in a participating country outside the U.S., according to the program’s website.
“We know that to be successful ECU graduates must be more globally aware, more globally competent, and more globally competitive,” said Dr. William M. Downs, dean of the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences. “We’re delighted that Danny Franch has earned a prestigious Fulbright award for study in Germany, as it will provide him with precisely the kind of extended immersion experience that can enrich his personal growth and enhance his professional prospects. Speaking from personal experience (Fulbright to Belgium, ’92-’93), I can safely say that this opportunity will give Danny a lifetime’s worth of important connections and lasting inspirations.”