One of nine Fulbright award recipients in 2019, Andrea Weyneth ’19 is heading to Ukraine to teach English. She says that students should be optimistic about their chances when applying for the prestigious award. Staff at the Lisska Center for Scholarly Engagement help navigate the process.
“Anyone can pursue a Fulbright Scholarship if they take the time to commit to writing persuasive and concise essays, and asking for help when they need it,” she says. “There is a great support system at Denison and the Lisska Center is very successful in helping students reach their goals.”
“Dr. Krone and Dr. Singer both extensively read and re-read my essays, which I had started many months before they were due. Cookie Sunkle was also instrumental in communicating what was due and when which was helpful to keep me on schedule for submitting required materials,” says Weyneth.
The Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship is a great match for Weyneth, a psychology major and biology minor who also worked with children through the America Reads program. Teaching in Ukraine will increase her strengths and knowledge of how to approach students without basic knowledge in English.
“I think being abroad in a new environment with new customs and language will be a challenge that I am excited to learn from. I look forward to gaining teaching experience while growing in my ability to speak Ukrainian,” she says.
In her spare time, Weyneth hopes to travel, read, hike, and spend time making friends while exploring the city’s cultural roots. “I have a desire to learn the Ukrainian language and connect to the country my grandparents grew up in,” says Wyneth, whose maternal grandparents emigrated to the United States from Ukraine.
“My advisor taught me that it is truly, honestly okay not to have the perfect plan for the future”
After her program ends, Weyneth hopes to attend graduate school and study cognitive psychology. Mentorship from key faculty helped her to determine her pathway — both in and beyond college.
“Dr. Andrea Lourie, my advisor, taught me that it is truly, honestly okay not to have the perfect plan for the future,” says Weyneth. Another faculty mentor, psychology professor Cody Brooks, guided Weyneth as she conducted experiments with Wistar rats during her Summer Scholar research project in 2018. The two went on to present that research at the Eastern Psychological Association in New York City. “I saw Andrea grow into her potential even more in that summer and throughout her senior year,” says Brooks. “I saw her really embrace psychology research as an exciting discovery process and one with great responsibility.”
“Dr. Cody Brooks was a huge influence during my last couple of years. He led me to consider graduate school for psychology.”
“Andrea is so friendly and caring. She is so very genuinely interested in others,” adds Brooks. “I barely get to say, ‘How are you?’ when I see her and she is asking me about how I am. She is so in tune with other people.”
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program, funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), is the largest U.S. exchange program offering opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide. The program currently awards approximately 2,000 grants annually in all fields of study, and operates in more than 140 countries worldwide.
During the 2018-19 academic year, 24 Denison students and recent alumni were awarded international fellowships and honors, including prestigious Fulbright, Boren, and Goldwater Scholarships. Denison was named a “Top Fulbright Producer” in 2015, 2017, and 2018.