Daniel KnollBlue Bell, PA
Academic SchoolLiberal Arts, Social and Behavioral Sciences
Congratulations to Daniel Knoll ’19, who has been awarded a nationally competitive Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA), the latest in a long line of Marist students to receive this prestigious fellowship. The graduating senior will teach English in Indonesia. Knoll is a history/adolescent education major from Blue Bell, Pennsylvania.
Knoll is thrilled about his Fulbright opportunity, particularly since he wants to be a teacher. As he sees it, “This Fulbright means a whole new path for my future and where I will ultimately go. With this experience, there are many paths I can take now and many doors that will open.” A Boy Scout his entire life, Knoll is also deeply committed to service and working with children, having spent many summers as aquatic director at a Scout camp, as well as teaching Scouts with autism how to swim. In fact, swimming is a passion in Knoll’s life, and he credits the sport with teaching him the values of patience, dedication, and hard work. Describing it as the “defining part of my Marist experience,” Knoll has been a standout on the College’s swimming and diving team; he is a six-time record holder and the recipient of an MVP award.
There were many factors that went into Knoll’s decision to pursue a Fulbright in Indonesia. One of the biggest reasons he chose Indonesia is because it is so culturally distinct from the United States. Says Knoll, “Most Americans don’t know much about Indonesia, but it’s the fourth biggest nation in the world in terms of population, the largest Muslim country, the seventh biggest economy, and it has been growing in global importance.” He is also intrigued by the tremendous diversity to be found there. While Bahasa Indonesian is the official language, there are more than 300 native languages spoken in the archipelago of 17,508 islands. Knoll notes that “Indonesia provides the most opportunity to absorb different cultural experiences because each island is totally distinct. In addition, Indonesia has a Dutch colonial past, so I think it will be really interesting to spend time in a country that developed outside of the British Empire.” Before his departure, Knoll will begin exploring Indonesia by taking a 120-hour online class in Bahasa Indonesian.
While Knoll has yet learned where he will be assigned – it could be any part of Indonesia and any type of school – he does know that he will spend five hours a day teaching and will also participate in two community service projects. In particular, he would like to get involved in Indonesia’s scouting program and also sees an opportunity to be an instructor for the national swim program. Says Knoll, “It will be interesting to see how the Boy Scouts operate in such a different country. Also, I’m really excited about the opportunity to spend time outdoors in Indonesia and experience all of its natural beauty.” And Knoll plans to do some traveling in the region. In fact, he has a sister living in Sydney, Australia and plans to spend Christmas there. After Fulbright, Knoll feels fairly certain of his path: “I’ll spend probably seven to 10 years teaching, move into administration, get involved in the school board, and then see where I go. Education is a great way to get into politics.”