Megan Lederman, who received a BA in English and creative writing from the University of Iowa in May 2019, is the winner of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award to Vietnam for 2022-23.
Hometown: Bettendorf, Iowa
Award: 2022-23 Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award to Vietnam
Degree: BA, English and creative writing (with an emphasis in Native American literature and French language); certificate in secondary English education
Could you give us a brief synopsis of what you'll be doing with your Fulbright?
I will be an English Teaching Assistant at a regional university in Vietnam.
What drew you to this field of study?
For the past three years, I have taught 8th grade English and creative writing in the pueblos of Northern New Mexico and want to develop my teaching skills in the global sector. Specifically, I am interested in the Vietnamese education system that was built post-colonialism. I want to learn from what they have implemented successfully to use with my students in the pueblos of Northern New Mexico where they have been occupied since the mid to late 15th century.
How do you envision this will influence your life/future career?
This will greatly impact my life, but I’m very amenable to how it will do so. I have career goals and general life aspirations, but I want to go into my Fulbright without expectations to build towards something specific. I believe that’ll keep me open to more possibilities and experiences, for myself, my future community, and students.
What advice do you have for future students interested in applying for a Fulbright?
You never know unless you try, and if you are going to try for the Fulbright, only write an application that earnestly reflects you. Ask for feedback, and revise often. This is not a resume booster, it is an opportunity to grow as an individual and global citizen. If you understand that, then apply.
Are there individuals you'd like to thank for their investment in this process?
I'd like to thank Anne Stapleton, Mary Wise, and Karen Wachsmuth for their feedback on my application, and robust support of my current and future projects.
Trang Vu, for working with me on my Vietnamese and helping me prepare for my interview.
Phillip Round has been a mentor of mine since I was a freshman at Iowa in all my endeavors. He is also the first person to inspire me to go for the Fulbright award.
The Española Valley community, where I teach, has been an incredible place for me to develop my pedagogy, my sense of self, and be my first home outside of Iowa. I am eternally grateful to the families, friends, staff, and students with whom I teach and am taught by. This valley will always be a home to me.
Lastly, my parents, whose unwavering support of my siblings and my own independence have allowed us to discover and appreciate who we are and what we want.
Students are encouraged to begin their funding searches and applications at least six months to one year in advance. Schedule an advising appointment with Karen Wachsmuth to discuss your interest in an international fellowship or begin an application (as a UI undergraduate student, graduate student, or alumna/us).