Congratulations to Kristi Bezhani (CLA 2018, Minor in Africology) who received a Fulbright Award! Kristi is heading to Germany in the fall, congratulations Kristi! You can read a Q&A below about this tremendous accomplishment and how Temple helped to support and carve her path.
Why did you choose the College of Liberal at Temple?
I chose Temple's College of Liberal Arts because I wanted to study a multicultural approach to understanding history, popular culture and literature through pursuing a major in Global Studies, minors in Africology and Psychology. My experience of Albanian, German and American nationhood informed my interdisciplinary approach to learning.
In addition to my international experiences, I attribute my communication and collaboration skills to the vast amount of writing combined with engaging seminars that took place in CLA. Through CLA's learning environment, I learned to harness my academic skills towards teaching and researching racial and cultural phenomena to bridge social gaps.
What will your Fulbright Project entail?
My Fulbright project will explore education in Germany through a project-based and student driven teaching approach. I was selected to be an English teaching assistant in a high school in the suburbs of Münster. As a School District of Philadelphia educator of almost three years now, I am excited to continue to learn about student perspectives from another country, the public education sector, and the cultural context of teaching as it pertains to Environment, language and identity politics in Germany. Outside of the classroom, I am excited to connect with local community service organizations as well as explore the academic opportunities that the University of Münster offers.
How did Temple support you along your journey?
Throughout my time as a student thanks to passionate and dedicated Temple University professors such as Dr. Aaron X. Smith, Dr. Nilgun Anadolu-Okur, Dr. Anthony Waskie, Dr. Donna Marie Peters, and Dr. Terry Rey who have all inspired and encouraged me to become the Academician and person that I am today.
The ongoing academic support, kindness and encouragement that I received from these professors, shaped my fortitude to keep going when revisiting and redrafting Fulbright materials until I succeeded in winning this award.
How was the application process?
Applying for and winning a Fulbright was a consistent, ongoing and patient process. I endeavored to apply and reapply for a Fulbright over a six-month period. I spent full days drafting applications, asking friends and family for feedback on my writing, and meeting with the Office of Scholar Development and Fellowships Advising. Each application pushed me to continue to evolve and grow into the best version of myself. The months of waiting to hear about semi-finalist and then finalist selections were absolutely nerve-racking and humbling. Ultimately, I felt honored to be recognized as a Fulbrighter for my scholarship and overall contributions to my community.