Student Achievement

Two Students Awarded Fulbright U.S. Student Grants


Mangan will head to Taiwan and McClear will head to South Korea as English Teaching Assistants.

July 6, 2021—Olivia Mangan ’21 and Anna McClear ’19 are the 30th and 31st Marist students to be selected for a Fulbright U.S. Student Grant. The Program’s English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) award will take them to Taiwan and South Korea.

Olivia Mangan ’21

Image of Marist student Olivia Mangan A double major in adolescent education and English, Mangan applied to the prestigious program in order to forward her long-term goal to “become more culturally adept as an educator in the United States.”

A native of Fairfield, Connecticut, Mangan was a very active student at Marist. She served as a peer tutor in Marist’s Writing Center, president of Kappa Delta Pi (the International Honor Society in Education), and was a member of the English honor society, Sigma Tau Delta. The aspiring teacher has also worked as an academic tutor at the College and at Poughkeepsie High School through the College’s Liberty Partnerships Program, as well as a peer mentor to first-year students at Marist. Mangan was awarded the baccalaureate Award for Excellence in English and graduated with the Class of 2021 in May.

“I decided to apply for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grant in order to broaden my cultural horizons and bring a more informed cultural perspective to my future classroom,” said Mangan. After conducting extensive research on the various locations in which Fulbright offers ETA grants, she was drawn to Taiwan because of its progressiveness, cultural richness, and diversity. “Its culture is comprised of Chinese, Japanese, and Western influences. As someone who is seeking to deepen my cultural understanding, Taiwan is the perfect place to gain this exposure because there are so many historical and contemporary influences on the island.”
Mangan received support and guidance from Graduate School and Fellowship Advisor, Pat Taylor, throughout the application process. “Pat Taylor supported me throughout the whole application process and with my countless Statement of Grant Purpose and Personal Statement drafts,” Mangan said. She also credits professors Dr. Lea Graham, Dr. Kathleen Weisse, and Dr. Jennifer Powers for their assistance.

Mangan plans to pursue a master’s degree upon her return to the U.S. and will eventually embark on a career as a secondary school English language arts teacher. She’s confident the ETA experience will be a formative one. “The ETA Fulbright grant to Taiwan will help me to fulfill my educational plans of fostering an inclusive and welcoming classroom environment where all students can thrive because I will be able to bring to my classroom a whole new cultural perspective and awareness,” she said. “I plan to integrate new teaching strategies that I learn while in Taiwan and incorporate those techniques into my lesson plans to promote alternative ways of learning by which my students can succeed.”

Anna McClear ’19

Image of Marist student Anna McClear Anna McClear ’19 is the 31st Fulbright recipient from Marist College and will be an English Teaching Assistant in South Korea from January 2022 to December 2022.

After graduating from Marist in 2019, applying for the Fulbright program was always in the back of her mind. McClear decided gaining more experience teaching before applying was the best route for her. “I realized I wanted to gain some experience teaching before submitting an application,” said McClear.

Spending a year teaching at the Waianae Intermediate School in Oahu, Hawaii, McClear couldn’t let the Fulbright program escape her. With the help of Taylor, McClear pursued the dream to teach in South Korea. “The application process consisted of countless drafts and meetings with Pat to tear apart essays I hoped were done but never seemed to have the right wording or would inevitably have a comma out of place,” said McClear.

Beginning her time at Marist participating in the Freshman Florence Experience, McClear came from West Hartford, Connecticut, without an idea of what post-college life can be like. That was until Taylor presented in Florence, which left a lasting impact on her post-graduation journey. “I remember Pat saying ‘Forge your own path’ and wrote down that quote along with details about Fulbright in a notebook that I used throughout my time at Marist,” said McClear.

McClear was drawn to Marist because of the education program and the flexibility to experience international cultures, an initial inspiration to pursue the Fulbright in South Korea. “As an education major, I realize how lucky I am. Few schools allow for the mobility of their education students to study abroad. Additionally, this experience showed me the power of fully immersing myself in a country’s culture rather than just visiting for a week or two,” said McClear.

A unique aspect of the South Korea placement is that it allows recipients to extend their teaching assistantship up to three years; a feature McClear plans to take advantage of before returning to teaching in Hawaii. “Currently, I intend to teach in South Korea for a couple of years before returning to Hawaii. I have loved my time at Waianae Intermediate and hope to return after completing the Fulbright,” said McClear.

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