Skip to main content

Inside Education and Health Sciences

Three students selected for Fulbrights

Tyler Delahanty started studying Mandarin when he was 10 years old. He has always had an interest in the language and in Chinese culture, and a two-week trip to China in high school solidified the idea that he would someday go back to that part of the world. 

Danielle Hammond entered the teacher education program knowing that teaching English in other countries is her dream career. She has taught students in South Korea through the online platform HelloTalk since high school, and has been able to learn some Korean from her students as well as through a tutor.

Simone Schuller's father and grandparents emigrated from Romania in the 1970s to escape a communist dictatorship. She traveled there in 2017 with her extended family, and is determined to return to make Romania as defining to her personal story as it has been to her family's history.

These three students were all selected to participate in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program for 2023-2024. They are all graduating from the pre-kindergarten to grade 5 concentration in the Department of Teacher Education, and all three have been awarded an English teaching assistantship. Delahanty and Hammond have accepted the assistantship, and Schuller is still in the process of finalizing her future plans.

Around 2,200 students across the United States are awarded a Fulbright each year, and the program exists in more than 160 countries worldwide. 

The purpose of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program is to expand perspectives through cross-cultural dialogue, according to the US Fulbright program website. Fulbright creates connections in a complex and changing world. The English Teaching Assistant programs place Fulbright Students in classrooms abroad to provide assistance to the local English teachers. ETAs help teach the English language while serving as cultural ambassadors for the United States.

Laura Cotten Howell, associate director of the University Honors Program, said the application process is long and requires the student to make a compelling argument for why Fulbright should invest in them.

"I'm incredibly proud of our three winners this year," she said. "They showed dedication to the process and really unique and fun reasons for wanting to teach English abroad in their respective countries."

Since China is difficult to reach these days, Delahanty applied to and was awarded a ETA Fulbright in Taiwan where the official language is Mandarin Chinese and the rich culture stems from Chinese origins. He won't get his official placement for a few more weeks, but he has requested to work with the Pre-K to 5th grade age group. 

"My goals for next year are simply to engage in as many opportunities as possible," Delahanty said. "I’m going to be teaching English, but I really want to step out of that zone and also engage in teaching other subjects as well. I’d also love to get involved as much as I can with school environments or extracurricular activities. Anything that expands my worldview and introduces new experiences, I’m likely on board for."

Hammond has similar goals for her year with the Fulbright program. Since her goal has always been to teach English abroad, she sees this opportunity in South Korea as a great starting point to a career that will take her around the world. 

"I want to get out of my comfort zone. I want to meet new people and get involved in new experiences," she said. "After Fulbright, my goal is to find another English teaching job in another country -- maybe in Spain or Japan next."

One of the reasons Hammond chose UD was because she heard the education program was one of the best, plus they offer a TESOL certification which equips an educator to teach English to speakers of other languages. She says that after practically growing up on campus attending Christmas on Campus, Upward Bound programming, and doing NJROTC color guard for men's basketball games, the University of Dayton has always felt like home to her.

"I did the UD-Sinclair Academy, so I was only at UD for two years. Just in two years, I grew a lot as a future educator," she said. "The teacher education department has done an amazing job preparing me to become a successful teacher."

Delahanty applied to UD with an undecided major, but chose Education by the time his freshman year began. Throughout his years at UD, he definitely enjoyed and appreciated the program and all of the opportunities he was offered. 

"I thought the ability to go into a classroom and observe from the very first year was an opportunity that would be very unique and beneficial to me," he said. "I truly believe that I’ve gained so much from this program, thanks to these experiences."

Photo caption: (L to R) Tyler Delahanty, Simone Schuller, Danielle Hammond

Previous Post

Keep Playing the Game

Taking a catchphrase familiar to any of his former students, a group established a scholarship to honor the influence that Dr. Peter Titlebaum has had at UD for nearly 30 years. The first recipient is Abagail Tharpe '23.

Read More
Next Post

Bombeck Family Learning Center Enrolling for Preschool

The Bombeck Family Learning Center is enrolling new students in the preschool classroom, for ages 3-5.

Read More