Three recent UNH graduates who have received Fulbright English teaching assistantships will spend nine months abroad working in classrooms alongside local teachers and serving as cultural ambassadors for the United States. A fourth 2019 graduate and a 2016 alumna were named alternates.
Amada Guapisaca ‘19, a dual major in international affairs and economics with a focus on global trade and finance, received a Fulbright to teach English in Brazil. The Little Neck, New York, resident will also conduct research on how political corruption and the economic recession has affected Brazil’s favelas, or low-to-middle income neighborhoods.
“I am both honored and humbled to be representing UNH and the United States in Brazil,” Guapisaca says. “As a first-generation student and second-generation immigrant, I always felt the need to pursue opportunities to further my education and development, and this Fulbright award is definitely bringing all of these experiences full circle.”
Guapisaca says she plans to develop relationships with students who will become future teachers and those who are affected by the favela crisis. One of her goals is to take her teaching outside the classroom, through book and movie discussions.
Connor Mullins ‘19 is a graduate student in secondary education whose Fulbright will send him to Vietnam. There, Mullins hopes to learn more about the Vietnamese culture and gain a sense of what it means to be Vietnamese.
“I am very excited and extremely humbled to have gotten this award. It was a long and interesting process to go through and to see the work paid off is something that I am immensely excited about,” Mullins says.
The Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, resident is looking forward to working with students on a new language and also being able to share what he calls “a plethora” of wonderful things about America.
Andrew Jablonski ‘19 is going to Berlin, Germany, after graduating with majors in German, French and international affairs. While he is there, the Newmarket, New Hampshire, native hopes to work with children who have immigrant backgrounds. Additionally, Jablonski wants to volunteer outside the classroom with refugee organizations that are teaching newcomers to speak German to help them better integrate into German society.
“Without the UNH German program and its intensity, I would not be where I am today, which is a future Fulbright Scholar,” Jablonski says. “I am honored to represent UNH as an alumnus abroad, as well as the United States.”
Meaghan Gardena ‘19 was originally chosen as one of two UNH alternates. The UNH Manchester graduate recently learned there was funding available if she was willing to go to Tajikistan rather than Montenegro as she had hoped. An English teaching major and teaching English to speakers of other languages minor, Gardena readily accepted. “I was very surprised to receive this offer,” she says. “My work will improve English language proficiency and cultural awareness of the U.S. in the community."
Katja Kleyensteuber ‘16, a high school music teacher in Claremont, New Hampshire, was also selected as an alternate. She applied to go to the Netherlands.
“I am curious about the connection and similarities between teaching/learning music and language, which would be my research focus if I get to go,” Kleyensteuber says. “This would also help me better integrate ESL students into my music classrooms in the future.”
Kleyensteuber will begin graduate studies at Boston University in the fall to pursue a master’s degree in music education and arts administration.