Arkansas Tech University’s Matti Ibrahim and Tina King have been selected as 2021 Fulbright semifinalists for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards through the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
According to the sponsoring bureau, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study and research projects or for English teaching assistant programs. Successful candidates meet, work, live with and learn from the people of their host country and share in their daily experiences.
Ibrahim is on pace to graduate from ATU in May with a Master of Arts degree in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). A resident of Russellville, Ibrahim believes that becoming a Fulbright award recipient would create academic, career and personal growth opportunities.
“The Fulbright program appeals to me because it’s an opportunity to broaden my worldview beyond borders by being immersed into the culture not like my own,” said Ibrahim, who would like to continue her studies and earn a doctoral degree in cultural geography. “Teaching English as a second language in an international environment is a wonderful opportunity not only to share my own culture but to learn how to teach from another cultural perspective.”
King is originally from Pittsburgh, Pa., and attended high school in the northeast Arkansas community of Salem. She graduated from Arkansas Tech in 2018 with bachelor’s degrees in rehabilitation science and psychology. Shortly after completing her studies at ATU, King made a life-changing journey to Nepal.
“The land feels like home and the people like family,” said King, who said her dream job would be working in Nepal for the U.S. Embassy or for a non-profit organization. “I want to help create sustainable change in Nepal. The Fulbright English teaching assistantship would allow me to create this change. My role would be as both an educator as well as a cultural ambassador. I know in my heart that I will return to Nepal one way or another, but it would be especially wonderful to return to Nepal as an English teacher with Fulbright.”
Ibrahim and King were supported in their Fulbright applications by the ATU Office of Distinguished Scholarships, which is led by Dr. Jason Warnick, ATU professor of psychology.
Learn more about the ATU Office of Distinguished Scholarships at www.atu.edu/academics/nifs.php.