2014 Fulbright recipients: Ellen Gawarkiewicz
An environmental studies major who graduated Phi Beta Kappa, Ellen Gawarkiewicz ’13 of North Falmouth, Mass., has received a 2014 Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship for work in Nepal.
“From Somali refugees in Lewiston to rural teenagers in Ifaty, Madagascar, I’ve had the good fortune to teach students in communities with diverse pedagogical traditions,” says Gawarkiewicz. “Teaching is where my enthusiasm lies.
“I’ve learned that one cannot begin with assumptions about the best way to convey information or about what students comprehend. Knowledge is constructed based on what the student already knows. A teacher needs to appreciate the ‘foundation’ of cultural context, interests, learning styles, living conditions, on which to build.”
The Fulbright award for Nepal, she says, will enable her to deepen her affinity for educating through community immersion. She seeks to extend the experience in environmental and language education that she amassed at Bates.
“Teaching English in Nepal will be an important step toward my long-term goal of becoming a naturalist-educator with a global perspective, both cultural and environmental.” After her Fulbright experience, Gawarkiewicz plans to attend graduate school and go on to work as an environmental educator and to write children’s books.