Colleen Knill and Mary Kulhowvick (pictured at left with Philadelphia Superintendent Dr. Arlene Ackerman) have been selected as finalists for postgraduate Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships. If accepted, Colleen Knill will be traveling to South Africa and Mary Kulhowvick to Indonesia. Both women are English and Education double majors currently student teaching at Germantown High School in Philadelphia, PA. Knill hails from Littleton, CO, while Kulhowvick is from Essex, VT.
The two candidates already boast exceptional credentials in the field of education having worked in various urban Philadelphia schools as well as abroad—Knill in Ghana and Kulhowvick in London. Both women cite the challenges and incredible rewards that have accompanied their teaching experiences in urban schools as their motivation for exploring education outside of the U.S.
Knill and Kulhowvick credit their education professor Dr. Jerusha Conner and the Villanova academic community with inspiring them to apply for the grants. Knill previously held a research fellowship position under Dr. Conner, and their work together encouraged her to pursue her interests in urban education. Further, Kulhowvick notes that it was Dr. Conner’s Diversity and Inclusion course that ignited her passion for teaching in urban education settings.
On campus, Knill and Kulhowvick participate in a variety of activities. Knill, a former Villanova pole vaulter, is currently a member of the Blue Key Society and has been involved with a number of mentoring programs sponsored by the Department of Education and Human Services. Kulhowvick serves as Villanova Ambassador and has traveled on a Villanova Habitat for Humanity service trip. She is also involved with education mentoring programs.
As for the future, both Knill and Kulhowvick would like to continue their education and obtain Master’s degrees in either English or Education. They also plan to continue their work as teachers in urban education.
The Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships (ETA) Program places U.S. students as English teaching assistants in schools or universities overseas, thus improving foreign students’ English language abilities and knowledge of the United States while enhancing their own language skills and knowledge of the host country. Competition for grants is particularly fierce, yet Villanova ranked second among institutions receiving awards at the Master’s level for the 2010-2011 year. The Fulbright committee will be making their final decisions before June 2011.