Nathaniel Bald (C’21) Wins Fulbright English Teacher Award
Nathaniel Bald graduated magna cum laude in 2021 and was awarded the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant award to Madagascar. Bald majored in economics, French and German.
The Fulbright Student Program is the U.S. government’s international educational flagship program which is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world. It offers fellowships for U.S. undergraduate college seniors, graduate students, young professionals and artists to study, conduct research and/or teach English abroad. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Fulbright Program.
When speaking with Echo, Dr. Christine Blackshaw, Professor of World Languages and Cultures and Associate Director of the Office of the Competitive Fellowships, mentioned that the, “Fulbright is a fairly competitive program where the applicant learns more about themselves.”
During his time at Mount, Bald always wanted to check out the world. He attended a focused mission trip to Guyana, one of the poorest countries in South America. He said that through that experience he was able to not only experience a different culture but appreciate the life he has. As a student, Bald was always driven to learn new things. His passions led him to study German as a new foreign language in order to branch out from romance languages, such as French. Despite having two study abroad trips canceled due to COVID-19, Bald was still able to virtually participate in an internship with the Austrian Economics Center.
Bald stated, “I haven’t actually gone on or left for the ETA Fulbright yet. Madagascar closed its borders in July and only recently opened them regionally and internationally on November 6th. I'll be part of a group arriving late on November 22nd in Antananarivo.” Bald is looking forward to teaching in Madagascar as he wants to teach the students the best he can. He even said that, “the Fulbright is not about the title but was a means to an end” for him to help others.
Dr. Marco Roman, Professor of World Languages and Cultures, remarked that, “It is pretty prestigious to get one these Fulbrights, to be able to go to the country. The selection process is pretty rigorous. It is a great honor for a student to get it.” He added that, “Nathaniel has a boundless energy and enthusiasm for languages and cultures and I think that was something that helped him get this position with the Fulbright. I was elated when I heard the news. I am really happy for him because I think he deserved that kind of recognition and honor. I was also excited for the adventure because I know that he is going to learn a lot being in a different country like that.”
Bald’s advice to current Mount students is to, “work hard, get to know your professors, have goals, discover who you are, confront yourself and to find something that you are passionate about.” Roman echoed the same sentiment when he stated, “We have had great success through the Fellows office and a lot of students who have gotten these kinds of recognitions are students who have studied foreign languages. It opens up the world and gives you these kinds of opportunities.” Additionally, Blackshaw’s advice is: “Don’t be afraid to apply. The Fulbright is looking for different students to apply. Go for it!”
For further information about the Fulbright U.S. Student Program visit: https://us.fulbrightonline.org/ or visit the Mount’s Office of Competitive Fellowships: https://msmary.edu/academics/student-success/fellowships.html.