Bryant Powell, a Senior French major with a Minor in Philosophy , was recently named a semi-finalist for the prestigious Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Scholarship. The program “place[s] Fulbrighters in classrooms abroad to provide assistance to the local English teachers.” His application is being forwarded to the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy in Belgium for final review. Thanks to the Honors College and the Education Abroad Office, and particularly Robyn Pizzo, for their assistance in helping Bryant prepare his application.
Bryant is also a McNair scholar. In November, he traveled to Philadelphia to present his paper “Gained in Translation: From Frozen to La Reine des Neiges” at the Mid-Atlantic Pop Culture Association Conference.
The Education Abroad Office Interviewed Bryant – here’s what he had to say:
What’s your hometown?
How did you decide to apply for the Fulbright?
My thesis adviser (Dr. Andy Black) told me it would be a good thing to do, and I trust him since he’s a pretty smart guy.
What do you hope to get out of the experience?
A broader sense of cultural awareness, a better grasp of the French language, and a killer grad school application.
Some information about what the application process was like for you
Not all that different from any other scholarship application. I had to write a couple of letters telling the committee who I am and what I do. Still have to do an interview. Nothing too stressful, honestly. I thought it would be a lot worse.
How you felt when you were notified you’d made it to the next round
I was thrilled! Totally amped up and ready to start the next round.
Any information you’d like to share about your previous study abroad experiences and how they contributed to your plans for after graduation
To be honest, I fell into my French major when I realized that I couldn’t finish any other programs before my scholarship ran out. That said, majoring in a language has provided me so many opportunities that I wouldn’t have had in any other department. I’ve been able to study in London, teach in France, and order coffee in Québec. When I first came to Murray, I was an English major who wanted to be a professor of literature. Now, I still want to be a professor, but learning so much about the French language and the Francophonic cultural experience has opened the door for me to study comparative literature, a field that I didn’t even know existed before I started studying abroad.