|Grad Student Heading to Chile as Fulbright Scholar
Andrea C. Cano will teach English at a South American university next spring.
Story by Mimi Ko Cruz
June 15, 2006 :: No. 254
Andrea C. Cano, a Cal State Fullerton graduate who received
her master's degree in education with a concentration
in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL),
has won a Fulbright grant to teach English in Chile next
English was not the first language of the 29-year-old student,
who took part in commencement ceremonies Sunday, having earned
a 4.0 grade point average. Spanish was her first language
because her father, of Argentine descent, and mother, of
Mexican descent, spoke to her in that language. But, she
learned English fast while growing up in Westwood and Seal
In fact, Cano said, "I quickly forgot all my Spanish
skills until I turned 15."
That's when she participated in a foreign exchange
program that sent her to Argentina to live and attend high
school for a year.
"I took all my academic courses in Spanish, even statistics,
and it was a fabulous, fabulous experience," Cano said.
While she was a student at UC Berkeley, she participated
in another education abroad program, this time spending eight
months in Brazil where she learned Portuguese. She also took
classes in Madrid and traveled to Portugal, Italy and Japan.
After graduating from Berkeley with a bachelor's degree
in Spanish and Portuguese, she enrolled at CSUF.
During her time as a grad student, Cano was a member of
the Spanish department's honor society and she worked
with seniors, improving their language skills and preparing
them for naturalization through a program called Project
SHINE (Students Helping in the Naturalization of Elders).
She worked as a graduate assistant with the English department,
serving as tutor and classroom teacher in developmental writing
and English composition classes. She also conducted workshops
for university students in the writing center and presented
several papers at professional conferences. She served as
a student officer in the TESOL Club and recently was awarded
the University Senate Service Award, which includes a $2,000
"As a teacher, Andrea is insightful about language
learning and language teaching, in part because she is able
to draw upon her own considerable experience as a second
language learner," said Cheryl Boyd Zimmerman, assistant
professor of modern languages and literatures.
"My decision to be an English as a second language
[ESL] teacher came as I started thinking about what my strengths
are," Cano said. "It's so satisfying to
me when my students use verbs correctly. I am really looking
forward to teaching immigrants English. I really enjoy and
admire and respect those who come to this country for a better
life and to better themselves and are working very hard to
learn English, which is a very hard thing to learn."
She said her goal is to become a community college ESL teacher.
But first, she will be teaching a three-week English class
at Cal State Fullerton to students who will be coming from
Brazil in July. From March through December in 2007, she
will be teaching at a university in Chile as a Fulbright
Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors,
cabinet ministers, chief executive officers, university presidents,
journalists, artists, professors and teachers.
In a congratulatory letter to Cano from the J. William Fulbright
Foreign Scholarship Board, Steven J. Uhlfelder, chair of
the board, wrote: "Fulbrighters enrich the educational,
political, economic, social and cultural lives of countries
around the world... As a representative of your country in
Chile, you will help fulfill the principal purpose of the
program to increase mutual understanding between the people
of the United States and the people of 150 or so countries
that currently participate."
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S.
Department of State oversees the Fulbright program that awards
grants to Americans and nationals of other countries for
a variety of educational activities such as university teaching
and research. Since the program's inception in 1946,
more than 265,000 people, chosen for their leadership potential,
have participated. Thirty-five Fulbright scholars have been
awarded the Nobel Prize.
Cheryl Boyd Zimmerman, Modern Languages and Literatures, 657-278-4186 or email@example.com
Mimi Ko Cruz, Public Affairs, 657-278-7586 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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