Fulbright Scholar MSU student Grace Anderson
MURRAY, Ky. -- Murray State University senior Autumn "Grace" Anderson has earned an English Teaching Assistant award from the Fulbright Program to teach English in Estonia Anderson, an English education/secondary certification major who will become a certified teacher by May 2019, will be working with local English teachers in the classroom to help students with reading and writing the language while hosting American culture-related programs.
"When I saw the email, I honestly screamed 'What?!'" Anderson said. "I couldn't believe it, and I still can't believe it. I had told myself that I hadn't gotten it; that way, I wouldn't be disappointed when they sent out the rejection notices, so seeing the email was just shocking and awesome."
During their grants, Fulbrighters will meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences. The program facilitates cultural exchange through direct interaction on an individual basis in the classroom, field, home and in routine tasks, allowing the grantee to gain an appreciation of others' viewpoints and beliefs, processes, and the way they think.
Awards are competitive, and are given based on criteria ranging from academic and professional record to personal qualifications and more.
Anderson is the second Fulbright Scholar representing Murray State in the past two years. Murray State alumna Samantha Wright, '18, received an English Teaching Assistant grant last year to teach in Taiwan.
"Grace's selection as a Fulbright scholar demonstrates her pursuit of knowledge coupled with a desire to impact others on a global scale," said Mark Arant, provost and vice president for academic affairs. "We are extremely proud of Grace as she prepares for this incredible experience."
Hailing from Huntsville, Alabama, Anderson has served in numerous campus organizations, including the National Council of Teachers of English, English Student Organization and Sigma Tau Delta. Most recently, she was named the 2018 Murray State University Outstanding Student in English Education, as well as the 2019 Outstanding Sigma Tau Delta Member. She has also presented research at the Kentucky Honors Roundtable and the Kentucky Council of Teachers of English Conference.
"Murray State gave me everything I needed to get here," Anderson said. "I'm from Huntsville, and people ask me all the time 'How did you end up at Murray State?' The short answer is that Murray State has one of the best education programs in the region.
"The long answer is that from my first campus visit, I saw that this University has endless opportunities and a fantastic support system of faculty and staff that will help in achieving any goal. I've gotten to lead and participate in so many programs and initiatives that have helped me to grow as an individual, thanks to Murray State."
Anderson thanked her family, friends and fiancée for their support, as well as her advisor, English professor Dr. Deborah Bell, along with Carole Inman, Murray State University Honors College student development counselor.
"Grace's academic career demonstrates that she is an excellent student with an intrinsic desire to do her best and be the best," Bell said. "I have truly enjoyed having her as an advisee and as a student these past four years. She will be missed."
"We're so incredibly proud of Grace," Inman said. "This is such a great honor, and it's a testament to the hard work she puts in day in and day out."