Congratulations to Erin Tebben ’21, St. Kate’s alumna who was selected for an English Teaching Assistant award through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Tebben, an English major with minors in international relations and Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL), will teach English in Thailand for a year, beginning in late September.
The Fulbright involves a demanding five-month application process, and only a select few receive the award. Once selected, recipients engage in an immersive educational exchange program where they conduct research, pursue graduate study, or, as in Tebben’s case, teach English abroad.
“The application process reinforced how passionate I really am about teaching and how I’m dedicated to learning many styles and ways of teaching,” Tebben says. “"I learned how to lean on others for support. The encouragement of St. Kate's faculty definitely helped guide me.”
Fulbright program advisor Susan Bosher, PhD, English professor and director of the English as a Second Language program, supported and guided Tebben throughout the extensive application and interview process. Erin also received guidance from former Fulbright program advisors Mysee Chang ’13 and Allison Adrian, PhD, for her previous application in 2021 for an ETA award in Laos, for which she was selected as an alternate.
“It is immensely rewarding to help young women dream big and take risks, especially those who might not otherwise have envisioned such opportunities for themselves,” says Bosher. “The commitment to the long process and an appreciation for the satisfaction it brings to hit the submit button is a testament to Erin’s determination and persistence, qualities that will serve her well in life.”
Bosher and Tebben testify to the importance of a combination of passion and determination, hard work, and mentor support in the Fulbright application process.
“If you have an interest in Fulbright, just try it and apply!” says Tebben. “Don’t be intimidated by the application process. It may seem overwhelming, but when you break it down, it is possible, especially with the support you receive from St. Kate’s.”
“St. Kate’s has a terrific support system in place for applicants for competitive scholarships,” adds Bosher, “not just for Fulbright but for other scholarships as well, such as Truman and Goldwater.”
Tebben is currently substitute teaching and working at a local restaurant. After her Fulbright in Thailand, she hopes to at some point pursue higher education and continue studying TESL, perhaps entering international relations or foreign service.
More about fellowships:
Competitive Fellowships is part of the Office of Scholarly Engagement, the University hub for engaged learning. See the long list of St. Kate’s Fulbright grantees over the years, and find more information on the Fulbright application process and how St. Kate’s supports applicants during it: Fulbright at St. Kate's
Read about more St. Kate’s fellowship opportunities for all areas of study and degree levels: Competitive Fellowships