Skip to content

Published: March 20, 2015

UT Senior Awarded Fulbright Fellowship

Kelly Fitzgerald, a senior at The University of Tampa, has been awarded a 2015-2016 Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) to Indonesia. The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The Fulbright ETA Program fosters mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries by providing a native speaker presence in schools, universities, teacher training institutions, culture/language centers or vocational schools. Fulbright ETAs assist in strengthening English language instruction overseas, as well as providing cultural insights in the classroom.

A senior from Mchenry, IL, Fitzgerald is an international and cultural studies major with a double minor in history and English. An honors student, she is also earning a Certificate of International Studies. She is set to graduate in May.

Beginning in August, Fitzgerald will spend one academic year at one or more host institutions where she will serve as a language-learning assistant to English teachers. Though she doesn’t know exactly where she will be placed in Indonesia, Fulbright ETAs are usually placed outside of capital and/or major cities where they can reach populations that typically do not have access to native English speakers and may not have interacted with individuals from the U.S. before.

Though she had heard of the program before, Fitzgerald said her first in-person encounter with a Fulbright ETA was in a small town in Laos during a three-and-a-half-month solo backpacking trip through Southeast Asia in 2013.

“Meeting them planted the seed, and when I got back to UT the idea to apply stuck with me,” she said.

Fitzgerald is no stranger to international travel. Before college, she lived in Thailand for a year as an AFS foreign exchange student. During her time at UT, Fitzgerald has participated in three education abroad programs — a UT Travel Course on Revolutionary Cuba in Fall 2011, an Honors Abroad scholarship to study at Oxford for the Fall 2013 semester and a PEACE Alternative Break program to Nicaragua in 2015.

“I like adventure,” said Fitzgerald about why she chose Indonesia. She said Indonesia is one of the more adventurous program options, and applicants have to read a disclaimer that running water and other things taken for granted in the U.S. are not guaranteed. “There's no better time than when I am untethered and young to have this kind of experience.”

“The Office of International Programs supports students, faculty and alumni who wish to pursue a Fulbright program and offers a personalized approach to advising throughout the application process,” said Marca Bear, associate dean of the Office of International Programs.

Fitzgerald is the fourth student to receive a Fulbright Fellowship since 2010. Carlos J. Salinas Zárate ’12 was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to continue his studies in Spain and New York City after graduation, Bethany Kreider ’11 received two Fulbright grants to work with school children in Indonesia and Randy Tarnowski ’10 served as a Fulbright ETA in South Korea.

“Involvement in the Fulbright program showcases UT’s exceptional students and our commitment to offering globally focused opportunities for students to engage the world beyond UT’s borders,” said Bear.

Related Stories:

On Friday, April 17, a panel of four industry professionals will present the obstacles and challenges faced in today’s business environment related to whistleblowing.

The panel will be held at The University of Tampa Sykes College of Business, Room 234, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. This “Hot Seat Event” is sponsored by UT’s Center for Ethics. The public is invited, and there is no charge for the event. 

University of Tampa film students will screen their work at the first annual Moon Dance Film Festival at UT’s Reeves Theater on Tuesday, April 14, at 8:30 p.m.

Aaron Walker, assistant professor of communication, said the festival is an opportunity for UT students both to screen their work and to curate the best work of their peers.

“It’s fully student-run, so it shows how deeply the students care about celebrating the strong work of their peers, but also shows how much desire there is for our FMA students to create venues of success for one another,” Walker said. “It’s a terrific collaboration, and will be a terrific party for film. Plus, the movies are great.”

The Sustainable Business Coalition of Tampa Bay Inc. and The University of Tampa Center for Ethics is calling for nominations for their annual Sustainable Business Awards, which will be held on Wednesday, June 10, at The University of Tampa’s Vaughn Center.

Now in its seventh year, the Sustainable Business Awards, sponsored by the Sustany Foundation, recognize and honor for-profit businesses in the Tampa Bay area that engage in practices that increase economic opportunities and improve the environment and community.