Earlier this summer, the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board announced that Lianne Gonsalves ‘10 was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Venezuela. Gonsalves is one of over 1,500 American citizens who will travel abroad for the 2010-2011 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.
Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship grantees are assigned various activities designed to strengthen English language instruction by establishing a native-speaker presence and to improve their students’ language abilities and knowledge of the United States. At the same time, American participants conduct community work, and gain from intensive cross-cultural interaction and an international education experience while increasing their own language skills and knowledge of the host country.
Originally from Cary, North Carolina, Gonsalves majored in international studies and biological sciences with a minor in Spanish. As an undergraduate, she participated in a number of experiences which helped prepare her for her upcoming ambassadorial role in South America. Gonsalves held two internships with the State Department – one in Washington, D.C. and the other in Honduras, as well as studied abroad in Guatemala. She was a national finalist in ballroom dancing and served as president of the Ballroom Dance Team. Gonsalves was a coxswain on the Rowing Club and a member of the Order of Thirty and Three, Phi Beta Kappa, and University Ambassadors.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without the Park Scholarships experience,” says Gonsalves. “The Park faculty and staff encouraged me to dream big and the program has been instrumental in preparing me for opportunities like the Fulbright.”
After returning from Venezuela, Gonsalves plans to pursue graduate studies in global health and a career in the U.S. Foreign Service. She intends to work as a diplomat in embassies around the world advancing foreign relations through person-to-person diplomacy. Gonsalves credits her experience on her Park Scholarships Learning Lab II in Washington D.C., which focused on American foreign assistance to other nations, as a significant influence on her career decision.
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the American government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 300,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.