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Five Seniors Receive Fulbright Teaching Fellowships

For their academic merit and leadership potential, Oberlin seniors Susan Albright, Lidia Arshavsky, Monica Lee, Annelies Fryberger, and Reginald Patterson have received Fulbright fellowships to teach English abroad during the next academic year.

Albright, who is majoring in French, will teach in Grenoble, France, and conduct research on the pedagogy of Francophone literature—the study of the literature of French-speaking people who are not French—in French high schools. Albright, who is from York, Pennsylvania, then hopes to work as a French teacher in a private school in this country before pursuing a graduate degree.

Arshavsky emigrated from Russia when she was seven and is fluent in French and Spanish as well as in Russian and English. "I feel very strongly about the need to improve cross-cultural communication," she says. "My teaching assistantship in France will allow me to gain more teaching experience and improve my French."

The creative writing major, who is from Newton, Massachusetts, spent spring 2003 studying at the Sorbonne and this semester studying at the University of Cordoba in Spain. Upon her return to the United States, she plans to apply to graduate-level interpretation programs in Paris and Geneva and pursue a career in translation and interpretation.

Lee, a sociology major from Westmont, Illinois, will journey to Germany in mid-August to serve as a teaching assistant in Berlin. She says she will take classes at a university and also continue her research on the German university system as it undergoes significant financial reforms. Post Fulbright plans include graduate school in sociology.

Guadeloupe, the center of the Caribbean's Creole culture, is the destination of Fryberger and Patterson.

Fryberger, a French and piano performance double-degree student from Black Mountain, North Carolina, says she is excited about teaching in the Caribbean, as she did her honors project on the great French poet from Martinique, Aimé Cesaire. Her post-Fulbright plans include graduate school.

Patterson, who is from the San Francisco Bay Area, is a double degree student in French and viola performance with a minor in African American Studies. For his honors project, he studied the popular 17th century French fabulist Jean de La Fontaine and the promotion of his work in the Francophone world.

While teaching English, Patterson plans to learn the Creole dialect spoken in Guadeloupe and use it to learn how the country's history of slavery and colonialism has affected its educational system.

"Teaching English in a Francophone country whose history is personally interesting will allow me to be among the majority after having always been a minority," he says. 

After his Fulbright year, Patterson will work toward a Ph.D. degree in French and Francophone literature at Duke University.

An international educational program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and Department of Education, the Fulbright Program is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and those from other countries. The program has provided more than 250,000 participants with the opportunity to study and teach in other countries, exchange ideas, and develop joint solutions to shared concerns.

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