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Gesenia Viviescas '17 Will Have Fulbright Teaching Experience in Taiwan

Gesenia Viviescas '17 Will Have Fulbright Teaching Experience in Taiwan

May 17, 2017

DePauw University senior Gesenia Viviescas has been awarded an English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and will spend the upcoming academic year teaching English in Taiwan.

She becomes the  fifth member of the DePauw community to be announced as recipients of Fulbright awards for the 2017-18 academic year. Sarah Scully '13 will also serve in Taiwan with an English Teaching Assistantship.  Sarah Salazar '17 and Olivia Flores '14 will both serve as ETAs in Colombia, while Jacqueline Rueda '17 received a Fulbright U.S. Student scholarship and will conduct research in Brazil on gender and diversity.

Viviescas, who is from Chicago, is a religious studies major with minors in women's, gender, and sexuality studies and Asian studies. 

"As a transformative educator, I want to instill self-confidence in every youth that comes in my path whether it be academically, socially, and spiritually," she wrote in her Fulbright application. "As a person who’s cycled through homelessness, I have become a product of the importance of education and cultural awareness. My teaching will be focused on cultural exchange and social diversity within the Taiwanese context utilizing strategic group activities, one-on-one support, and critical pedagogy."

Viviescas hopes to instill in her students that they can "become agents of change."  She notes, "I plan to establish open lunch sessions and a free after school club with engaging physical activities in creating a space of mutuality where they teach me about their community and learn."

The DePauw senior -- whose activities include serving as a Presidential Ambassador, a Compton Center for Peace & Justice International Ambassador & Mentor, and an Intercultural Life Office Intern, hopes to pursue a master's degree in international relations following her experience in Taiwan with a goal of becoming a U.S. diplomat.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and established in 1946, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program competition aims to increase mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchange while serving as a catalyst for long-term leadership development.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments, host institutions, corporations, and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The Program operates in over 160 countries worldwide.

The Fulbright Program awards approximately 8,000 grants annually. More than 370,000 individuals have participated in the program since its inception.

Learn more here.

DePauw University is listed among the "Top Producers of Fulbright Awards for U.S. Students, 2016-17" in the Chronicle of Higher Education. DePauw has been cited as one of the USA's top producers of Fulbright Fellows six consecutive times and in ten of the last 11 years.

See the names of DePauw's Fulbright recipients here or visit the University's Fulbright page.

DePauw students and alumni who are interested in applying for Fulbright Awards may contact Jason D. Fuller, associate professor and chair of religious studies and director of the Asian studies program, or Kate Knaul, assistant dean of experiential learning and director of national fellowships and awards.

DePauw University ranks #4 among the nation's baccalaureate institutions in the number of students who studied abroad in 2015-16, according to the 2016 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange. Read more here.