-- Awards Will Fund Teaching English as a Second Language in Thailand; Educational Research in Israel; and the Study of Global Justice in England --
FLUSHING, NY, May 31, 2016 — Good things came in three this spring as a trio of recent QC graduates—Linda Mathew ’14, MSEd ’16; Yvette Deane ’16; and Shani Small ’15—received Fulbright awards.
In September, Mathew will head to Thailand for a year through Fulbright’s English Teaching Assistant program. “I’m excited and nervous,” says Mathew, who specializes in English as a Second Language. “This is the first time I’m going this far away for this long. I’ll be celebrating two birthdays over there.” Her Fulbright isn’t, however, her first educational assignment in Asia; in July 2014, she went to Vietnam on a paid QC internship to work with children studying English.
“Teaching has always been an interest of mine,” comments Mathew, who grew up in New Hyde Park. Her resume includes helping younger students as a volunteer in sixth grade, assisting in a day-care center at 19, and teaching Sunday school at her church. At QC, she majored in elementary education and psychology; while in graduate school here, she worked part time in QC’s Advising Center. “Every experience I’ve had has been a stepping-stone,” Mathew says.
After her year in Thailand, Mathew hopes to continue teaching overseas. Her language skills will no doubt come in handy: She’s a native speaker of Malayalam—her family immigrated to New York from South India—and has a decent command of Spanish. Perhaps her biggest challenge will be packing light. “I’m trying to learn the minimalist lifestyle,” she notes.
Deane’s destination is Israel, where she will spend nine months conducting educational research with a sociology professor at Hebrew University.
Raised and educated within the Orthodox Jewish community of Midwood, Brooklyn, Deane opted for QC because of its diversity. “I wanted the opportunity to meet a lot of people from different places,” she explains. She got all that and more during a two-week tour sponsored by the Ibrahim Family Foundation.
“We went to Israel, whatever you call the West Bank, Jordan, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates to look at entrepreneurship, cultural understanding, and conflict mitigation,” says Deane, a Macaulay Scholar who majored in sociology and political science. “The trip made me question what I thought I believed and what I thought I knew.” Upon her return she helped lead interfaith QC initiatives, such as taking Jewish and Muslim students to a Bronx mosque that made space within its walls for a shul, to accommodate the local Jewish community.
“I believe that education is a major change agent,” observes Deane, who expects to apply to graduate programs in international politics upon her return to the United States. Her professional goal: To work for a think tank concerning Middle East policy.
Small will use her Fulbright grant to study global justice at the University of Sheffield in England. She, too, was inspired by her experiences on and off campus.
As an Adult Collegiate Education student who enrolled at QC in 2012, Small was fascinated by a mandatory class: introductory psychology. The following summer, she took a Study Abroad course on peace and conflict resolution. “We went to London, Northern Ireland, and Jordan,” she recalls. “What I found related to different types of conflict: intergroup, interpersonal, intrapersonal.” Putting her interests together, she majored in psychology and minored in political science.
Upon graduating from QC, Small landed an internship at the Legal Aid Society’s special litigation unit. Subsequently hired by the community justice unit, she worked with Cure Violence, a nonprofit that borrows practices from public health. “We find models with credibility, such as former gang members, and involve them in violence interruption,” she says.
Small’s Fulbright will fund her interdisciplinary research within Sheffield’s Department of Politics, where she can draw on sociological and psychological perspectives. Her long-term plans call for her to obtain a master’s in political science and a doctorate in clinical and social psychology—tools that will enable her to serve as a consultant to organizations such as Cure Violence.
Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. With its graduate and undergraduate degrees, honors programs, and research and internship opportunities, the college helps its nearly 20,000 students realize their potential in countless ways, assisted by an accessible, award-winning faculty. Located on a beautiful, 80-acre campus in Flushing, the college is cited each year in the Princeton Review as one of the nation’s 100 “Best Value” colleges, thanks to its outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs. Learn more at www.qc.cuny.edu