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Dickinsonians Awarded Fulbright ETA Grants

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Alexandra Fosbury ’21, Jacqueline Amezcua ’19 to serve in South America

by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson

Two Dickinsonians were recently offered Fulbright grants to serve as English Teaching Assistants (ETAs) in South America. Alexandra Fosbury ’21 will teach English in Argentina, and Jacqueline Amezcua ’19 will teach in Brazil.

Realizing a dream

Fosbury double majors in political science and philosophy, with a minor in Spanish. She’s involved at Dickinson as co-editor-in-chief of The Dickinsonian, a Liberty Cap tour guide, admissions intern, student-interviewer, student-mentor and Delta Nu member. She has planned to pursue a Fulbright since high school, when she first heard her older cousin share stories of her own Fulbright experiences in Bulgaria. With help from Dickinson’s Fulbright program advisors and the Center for Advising, Internships & Lifelong Career Development, she tackled the long and complex application process early and with relative ease.

“Dickinson’s Fulbright program advisors were so incredible at keeping us on top of our work and allowing us to submit our application prior to the Fulbright deadline so that we could ensure there were no errors,” she says. “Their unwavering support throughout the process made it much more manageable and enjoyable.”

Alexandra Fosbury '21

Alexandra Fosbury '21

When she received her Fulbright acceptance letter last February, Fosbury admits that she had to read it a few times before it sank in. “It initially felt a bit unreal,” she explains. “Once I realized it was in fact real, I did honestly cry a bit and called my mom right away to let her know I was a finalist. It was an extreme moment of pride but also an overwhelming feeling of nervousness and excitement for what lies ahead for me in Argentina.”

Focused perspective

Amezcua is a trainer for the Posse Foundation and a former Dickinson Posse Scholar and double major in Latin American, Latinx & Caribbean studies and Spanish. She was also a foreign-language tutor, co-founder the college’s Latina Discussion Group and Spanish-language student-coordinator at The Trout Gallery. In 2019, she pursued her interest in combining the arts and social justice when she curated a Trout exhibition of social-justice themed works.

Amezcua first considered applying for a Fulbright as a Dickinson junior, but it took a few years for that idea to crystalize, and for her to gather the courage to apply. After exploring Brazilian culture as an undergrad and taking a remote global-history course this past year, after Dickinson opened up remote classes to alumni, she realized that she could channel her passions for art, museums and language and cultural learning as a Fulbrighter in Brazil. 

Jacqueline Amezcua '19

Jacqueline Amezcua '19

“I told myself that even if I didn't receive the grant, the application process itself was worthwhile,” she recalls. “It really pushes you to self-reflect and think about what you want your next steps to be, why, and the impact you want your work to have.”

In distinguished company

As finalists, Fosbury and Amezcua have been offered grants to serve as Fulbright ETAs. When their medical and terms of agreement paperwork is complete, they will be officially named Fulbrighters.

That places them in a distinguished and growing community of Dickinsonians who have taken part in the prestigious Fulbright program, the largest and most diverse international exchange program in the world. The U.S. Department of State has recognized Dickinson as a top Fulbright-producing institution eight times during the past 10 years, and more than 20 graduating seniors have earned Fulbright awards during the past five years.

Both Fosbury and Amezcua encourage students to apply for opportunities like these, and both thank the Dickinson advisors who helped them navigate every step of the application process. “The amount of support I received from the committee and my professors made it much easier, and I want to give a big ‘thank you’ to them. My wins are theirs,” says Amezcua, who received insightful critiques on multiple drafts for each application essay. “It means so much to me to continue my goal of cultivating an arts-centered and equitable approach to language-learning within a culture that has deepened my own understanding of the world.”

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Published May 14, 2021

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