Greencastle, Ind. — Ashlee L. Anton, a May 2011 graduate of DePauw University, has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Scholarship. The grant will allow Anton to travel to South Korea to teach English during the 2011-12 academic year through an English Teaching Assistantship. A softball player at DePauw, Anton also plans to teach English to 4-to-6 year old girls through the medium of sports and physical activity.
Anton is the second winner of a Fulbright ETA from DePauw this year. As previously announced, Chelsey E. Jonason ’11 will spend nine months assisting teachers in Slovakia during the upcoming academic year.
In her Fulbright application, Anton noted that an atlas she received as a child sparked in a curiosity in the world. “I decided to attend DePauw University not only to learn Japanese, but to fulfill my dream of traveling to Japan and Asia,” she wrote. “There were places I wanted to live and I learned everything I could about these places and the people that lived there. When I finally made it to Japan, the lessons I learned about being a woman in another country proved to be some of the most valuable experiences of my life. I knew that I had prepared myself as best as I could with the classes I took; however, nothing is like living in and adapting to a culture that is not your own.”
She notes, “Education encompasses much more than a desk, pens and paper. Being part of a team, facing adversity, and establishing a strong work ethic contributes to the success of women and men from all walks of life. A majority of South Korean families sacrifice seventy percent of their household income to benefit their children’s education, especially in hakwons (private schools) that emphasize extra academic learning. However, the South Korean government now realizes that outstanding standardized test scores might not indicate students’ abilities to learn outside a limited skill set. Booming technological advances in the past fifty years, such as being the most wired country in terms of Internet broadband access has placed South Korea on the global stage. In this context, speaking English becomes increasingly important to South Koreans as they examine their roles in cross-cultural understanding and economic prosperity. My future is in helping young people access global opportunities by sharing my knowledge of the English language.”
Anton, who traveled to both Japan and South Korea as an undergraduate, wrote in her application, “At college I have actively pursued opportunities that connect me to people from around the world and these have been the highlight of my collegiate career. I work with international students at DePauw’s Speaking and Listening Center to improve their English speaking abilities. I am also the international student and scholar intern, coordinating a weekly event called “Conversation Café” where domestic and international students come to discuss current topics regarding cultural issues and awareness. My work as a tutor fascinates me, and makes me want to pursue a career in English as a Second Language, eventually leading to research Korea-Japan relations and Korea-U.S. relations, especially in regards to women. The Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship will help solidify my credentials to carry out these plans.”
A double major in East Asian studies and communication, Anton declared, “My interest in working with young girls stems from the realization of my potential as a female to create my own life. After I lived abroad in Korea and Japan, I came back to the United States asking myself what empowered me as a female. I reflected on what made me feel good. I realized that my ability to play softball well makes me feel like I can control my life, and having discovered this makes me feel empowered. Through education, I want to make others feel good and to understand the agency they have in creating their own lives.”
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and established in 1946, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program competition aims to increase mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchange while serving as a catalyst for long-term leadership development. It is the largest American international exchange program offering opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide.
The U.S. Student Program currently awards approximately 1,500 grants annually in all fields of study, and operates in approximately 130 countries worldwide. Fulbright full grants generally provide funding for round-trip travel, maintenance for one academic year, health and accident insurance and full or partial tuition.
Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided approximately 300,000 participants, chosen for their leadership potential, with the opportunity to observe each others’ political, economic and cultural institutions, exchange ideas, and embark on joint ventures of importance to the general welfare of the world’s inhabitants. Learn more by.
DePauw students and alumni who are interested in applying for Fulbright Awards may contact Humberto Barreto, Elizabeth P. Allen Distinguished University Professor and professor of economics and management, or Marion “Marnie” McInnes, professor of English and women’s studies and director of nationally competitive scholarships.