LMU Students, Graduates Named 2020 Fulbright Finalists

Seven Loyola Marymount University graduates and master’s degree candidates have been awarded prestigious Fulbright grants to serve as English teaching assistants in countries around the globe during the 2020-21 academic year.

LMU’s Fulbright U.S. Student Program finalists have all studied in the School of Education. In joining the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Program, these educators will provide assistance to English teachers in classrooms abroad while also serving as cultural ambassadors for the United States.

“The talented individuals selected for this highly competitive program have such rich experiences ahead of them,” said Roberta Espinoza, LMU vice provost for global-local initiatives. “They have been given the opportunity to pursue a passion — teaching — while simultaneously broadening their perspectives of the world and experiencing other cultures.”

Those selected as Fulbright finalists are:

  • Morrissa Berman, ’19, who earned a master’s degree in urban education with a concentration in digital learning while serving as a Teach For America corps member, to Uruguay;

  • Emily Harrison, who is pursuing a master’s degree in urban education with a concentration in administration and policy while serving as a Teach For America corps member, to India;

  •  James Corvin, ’19, M.A., urban education, to Spain;

  • Cecilia Estupinan Gomez, ’17, M.A. in urban education and TFA corps service, to Mexico;

  • Edgar Grajeda, ’19 M.A. in educational studies and TFA corps service, to Taiwan;

  • Margaret Kathryn LaFountain, who is pursuing a master’s degree in urban education with a concentration in administration and policy while serving as a TFA corps member, to Taiwan;

  •  Jennifer Mendez, ‘19, M.A. in higher education administration, to Romania.

Another two from LMU were named alternates to serve as English teaching assistants for the country programs to which they applied: Hallie Ryan, a senior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biology from LMU’s Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering (Spain), and Saemyi Jeong, who completed coursework for a teaching credential in LMU SOE (Czech Republic).

The LMU finalists were announced as the Fulbright Program team is closely monitoring the progression of COVID-19 in the United States and around the world. Due to the U.S. Department of State’s global Level 4 Travel Advisory caused by the pandemic, the start date of several components of the 2020-21 Fulbright U.S. Student Programs will be delayed until after Jan. 1, 2021.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the country’s largest exchange program, offering opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide. The program awards roughly 2,000 grants annually in all fields of study and operates in more than 140 countries.

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