Dr. Kimberly Vanderlaan, an associate professor of English at Cal U, serves on a national committee of three to select participants for the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program in the Netherlands.
The ETA fellowship is part of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, which facilitates cultural exchange through direct interactions in the classroom and also through encouraging extracurricular activities while serving as English instructors.
The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant programs place grantees in schools overseas to supplement local English language instruction and to provide native speaker presence in the classrooms.
Vanderlaan traveled to Washington, D.C., to make the selections. The teaching assistants are bachelor’s and master’s graduates who will spend 20 to 24 hours per week in primary schools, secondary schools, middle vocational training schools and universities of applied science in the Netherlands.
Vanderlaan is also the Fulbright program adviser at Cal U.
“Dean Mohammed Yamba (the former dean of the College of Liberal Arts) appointed me as the adviser in 2014,” Vanderlaan said. “I was invited to serve on the national screening committee for the English Teaching Assistants in 2017 for a three-year term.”
Vanderlaan has encouraged Cal U students to apply for Fulbright scholarships and hosted a forum featuring Fulbright specialists — well-established faculty members and professionals across academic disciplines — for Cal U students interested in applying.
Four Cal U faculty members have participated in the Fulbright Specialist Program. Two faculty members participated in the Fulbright Student Program. The University also has welcomed three Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants to campus.
“I have enjoyed serving on the ETA in the Netherlands committee,” Vanderlaan said. “The applicants are so inspirational. Also, it gives me insights into what committees may be looking for from our students at Cal U. Of course, I am hopeful that one of our own students in the near future will secure one of these prestigious and extraordinary fellowships.”