New Bedford resident first student at University to win prestigious Fulbright in five years
UMass Dartmouth PhD student Serena Rivera beat out stiff competition to win a prestigious Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) grant, beginning next February.
Rivera, a New Bedford resident and native of Rahway, New Jersey, is one of just thirty "Fulbrighters" to win grants, out of two hundred applicants.
As a Fulbright ETA, she will help prepare the country's English teachers and learners for such upcoming large-scale events as the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016.
After an orientation with all the Brazil Fulbrighters in São Paulo next year, she will start work at the Universidade Estadual de Londrina, one of twelve universities in and around the second-largest city in the state of Paraná in the south of Brazil.
Rivera, who completed her master's in Portuguese Studies at the University this spring, will return to campus next year to continue working on his doctorate in Luso-Afro-Brazilian Studies.
"I believe that the experience will be enriching, adding cultural depth to my research here at UMass Dartmouth," said Rivera, who plans a career as a professor of Lusophone literatures. "It's through immersive experiences like these that we tend to notice all that we tend to take for granted."
About the Fulbright Program in Brazil
The Fulbright Program is funded by the United States Congress as well as through contributions from other countries. The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State, along with the Fulbright Commission in Brazil oversee the functions of the grant and work together with Fulbright grantees to establish intercultural and international policies and understanding. The aim of the Fulbright, which goes beyond the grantee's defined duties as a researcher or ETA, is to promote mutual understanding between the U.S. and the countries in which grantees are placed. The ultimate objective of the Fulbright grantee is to serve as a cultural ambassador and build lasting intercultural and international connections.