May 13, 2015
Lisa Gulasy
Talia Greenberg '15 says she could teach students ranging from grades 1 through 6 during her 10 months in Yilan County. Photo credit: Jennifer Manna

Talia Greenberg ’15 has been awarded a 10-month Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) in Taiwan. She will begin her fellowship August 1.

A psychology major with a minor in Jewish studies and concentrations in cognitive sciences and education studies, Greenberg served as musical director of and performed with CHALLaH cappella, a Jewish music a cappella group she and Lyz Glickman ’13 founded in 2012. She also served as Grade Level Coordinator for 2nd grade Spanish In The Elementary Schools (SITES) program instructors for the past two years, held leadership positions in Hillel and the Jewish Student Union and ViBE Dance Company, and was involved in Oberlin Zionists and Student Honor Committee.

Greenberg gained teaching experience by working as a SITES program teacher for eight semesters; a writing associate in the Writing Center and for a course taught by Oberlin College President Marvin Krislov; and a teaching assistant in a course taught by Kim Faber, instructor of Spanish and language teacher training and SITES program director. Greenberg also worked in the Quantitative Skills drop-in center and in the psychology department with Professor of Psychology Patty deWinstanley; taught Hebrew school at a synagogue in Sandusky, Ohio; led on-campus prayer services for Jewish High Holy Days; and recreated and taught a tap dance Experimental College course with junior B.J. Tindal.

“I mostly applied for the ETA because I am passionate about teaching. Through my four years in SITES and other teaching experiences, I have honed my skills, created tools and activities, and developed my philosophies of teaching,” Greenberg says. “I'm also really interested in languages. I've studied Hebrew, Spanish, and Arabic, but I've never learned Mandarin, so I'm excited to add it to my linguistic repertoire.”

Greenberg will be stationed in Yilan, a county close to the Taiwanese capital Taipei, for her fellowship. She expects to be teaching students ranging from grades 1 through 6, which “would certainly be an exciting challenge,” she says.

Following her fellowship, Greenberg says she would like to teach in a public elementary school in her hometown of Boston. “When it comes to education, Taiwan is known as a world leader, so I'm really excited to learn ideas and skills I can bring back and use when I go into education in the U.S.,” she says.

She credits Oberlin with helping prepare her for success in her fellowship and future career. “The greatest skill I learned at Oberlin was how to be a leader,” she says. “Each leadership experience I've had involves figuring out how to interact with, teach, and empower others.” She says Oberlin also prepared her by helping her learn one very important lesson: You can’t do everything on your own.

“Having been involved in a great number of activities on and off campus over the past four years, I think learning my limits was one of the most important lessons I can take away from Oberlin,” she says. “Oberlin has taught me to do as much as I can in a meaningful way, but that I also must pass the torch on to others.”

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