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Ohio University students win Fulbright teaching grants

ATHENS, Ohio (April 6, 2004) -- Ohio University students Sou Lackkaty and James Peterson have won Fulbright grants to teach English abroad for the 2004-05 academic year.

Lackkaty, a graduate student in linguistics with special emphasis on Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), will teach in Chile. Lackkaty, who has served as a teaching assistant in the Ohio Program of Intensive English, is one of the first recipients of the newly established Fulbright teaching assistantship in Chile. She will study Spanish and teach English at the university level, while also conducting research on Asian communities in Chile.

Peterson, who will graduate in June with degrees in German and German education, will teach in Germany. In addition to teaching, Peterson will also study German phonetics and literature and conduct research on German hip-hop music.

Lackkaty was born in Laos and also lived in Thailand as a child. She moved to the United States in 1982 and became a citizen in 1992. She earned a bachelor's degree in Linguistics and Chinese from San Diego State University and taught English in Beijing, China for four years. Upon completion of her Fulbright year, Lackkaty hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in education and work with international students in university classrooms.

"Sou's extensive experience as a teacher of English to speakers of other languages in the U.S. and abroad makes her a natural candidate for the Fulbright teaching award," said Scott Jarvis, Associate Professor of Linguistics. "This, combined with her advanced training in applied linguistics and language pedagogy, along with her level of maturity and familiarity with multiple languages and cultures, in fact makes her hard to beat."

"Sou Lackkaty's study of TESOL and experience teaching English were advantageous in this Fulbright competition," said Beth, Clodfelter, Ohio University's U.S. Fulbright Program advisor. "We have learned that she was the only graduate student in the United States selected for this inaugural English teaching program in Chile."

Peterson says he first became interested in making connections with people from other cultures during high school when a German student lived with his family for a month. While at Ohio University he taught in the local Foreign Languages in Elementary Schools Program and participated in the German conversation hour. He also spent a quarter studying in Salzburg, Austria. Peterson hopes to join the Peace Corps after his Fulbright year and plans a career in language and linguistics instruction.

"Jim Peterson's course of study and the excellent faculty members that he has had at Ohio University have prepared him very well for this Fulbright opportunity," Clodfelter said. "He has become proficient in German, demonstrated his interest in teaching foreign language through his German education major and earned Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification through the Department of Linguistics."

This year 13 Ohio University students were recommended to the final round of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. This is the highest number of recommended students that Ohio University has ever had in this prestigious national competition. These students, who applied to 11 countries, represent programs in four colleges, as well as the Center for International Studies. Last year seven Ohio University students were recommended to the final round of Fulbright competition.

The remaining candidates will each find out in the next few months whether they will actually receive a Fulbright award. Those who do will spend the 2004-2005 academic year abroad working on projects funded by the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

Clodfelter commends all of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program applicants. "The hard work, talent and potential that they demonstrated were exemplary, as was their initiative in deciding to apply in the first place," she said. "The Institute for International Education has confirmed that an even higher number of applications were submitted in the nationwide program this year than last year's record total, so our applicants were facing what was statistically the toughest Fulbright competition ever."

Students interested in applying for the 2005-2006 Fulbright U.S. Student Program, who are U.S. citizens and who will be seniors, master's or doctoral students next fall are invited to attend one of the following Fulbright U.S. Student Program information sessions in Baker University Center Room 332:

  • Tuesday, April 20, at 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 21, at 11 a.m.
  • Friday, April 23, at 1 p.m.

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Media Contacts: Center for International Studies Assistant Director Beth Clodfelter, (740) 593-2302 or clodfele@ohio.edu; Center for International Studies Assistant Director Jennifer Cochran, (740) 593-1842 or cochraj1@ohio.edu

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