Monday, April 4, 2022

Alia Mnayer, who will receive a BA in English and creative writing from the University of Iowa in May 2022, is the winner of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award to Morocco for 2022-23.

Alia Mnayer

Hometown: Waterloo, Iowa
Award: 2022-23 Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award to Morocco
Degree: BA, English and creative writing

Could you give me a brief synopsis of what you'll be doing with your Fulbright?   
I will be an English Teaching Assistant in Morocco and will be placed at a university to teach English as well as American culture and literature.

What drew you to this field of study? 
Language studies (from language learning to media to literature) combine my most important motivators: to understand the world, to make meaning of it, and to make it kinder. In Morocco, the French and Spanish interference has put language in an especially complicated place, and I am eager to directly engage with it.

"Language studies combine my most important motivators: to understand the world, to make meaning of it, and to make it kinder."

How do you envision this will influence your life/future career? 
Enormously. Beyond the experience in the classroom that will allow me to fulfill my desire to share and examine language, living abroad will fundamentally change my relationship with the world. Both my identity as an Arab-American woman and my Arabic studies will flourish as I, for the first time, travel to the Arab world. I also think that the experiences I will gain and the people I will meet while navigating my grant term in Morocco will help me hone my craft as a writer.

What advice do you have for future students interested in applying for a Fulbright? 
1. Regardless of the result, the application process is really beneficial for those who are trying to figure out their path. 2. Don’t be afraid to apply twice.    

Are there individuals you'd like to thank for their investment in this process?   
Of course! My biggest thank you goes to Yasmine Ramadan, director of the Arabic program, who recommended me for a Fulbright in the first place, nurtured my love for Arab language and literature, and supported me through both of my applications. I am additionally thankful to Louisa Hall and Bennett Sims for their excellent teaching, kind support, and recommendations. Thank you also to Lucy Schiller for creating the initial opportunity for me to realize that writing is something I can do and thank you, of course, to Karen Wachsmuth, for her expertise and direction throughout this process.

Explore the many funding opportunities open to UI students and alumni

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).