Teresa CiminoEncinitas, CA
Academic SchoolLiberal Arts, Communication & the Arts
Congratulations to Teresa Cimino ’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 Malaysia. Cimino is a fashion merchandising major (with minors in Global Studies and journalism) from Encinitas, California.
Cimino already has considerable international service work under her belt, so teaching English in Malaysia is a logical next step. Beginning with a summer trip to Chile while she was in high school, she has devoted virtually every summer since to volunteer work, including a stint at an elephant sanctuary in Laos. She originally wanted to be a veterinarian, and at the sanctuary she learned how issues like tourism and deforestation can be harmful to the elephants’ well-being. Says Cimino, “I really wanted to go back to Southeast Asia because I love the region – the nature, the animals, the national parks – so this Fulbright really combines my interest in both service and international travel. It feels like years of hard work coming to fruition.” In Malaysia, she will be assigned to a secondary school, and there will be ample opportunity to get involved in after-school programs and community partnerships. For example, she is considering volunteering at an orphanage there. Prior to her departure, Cimino will also take a crash course in the Malay language to gain a working knowledge. She adds, “I don’t start my assignment until January, so I hope to do a fair amount of travel both before and during my Fulbright.”
Growing up in the San Diego area, Cimino knew she wanted to study fashion in New York, and she was attracted to both the Marist campus and the opportunity to dive into the liberal arts and explore a broader curriculum. She notes, “I’ve grown extremely interested in sustainability, so I’ve been able to take classes in areas like environmental science and global studies. I’ve been very involved in the Fashion Program’s ethical fashion initiative, as well as Habitat for Humanity and SEED (Students Encouraging Environmental Dedication).” As part of her major, Cimino completed five internships through Marist in Manhattan, as well as a summer internship with Toms Shoes in Venice Beach, California, but she has also indulged her “passion for tutoring and children” by becoming an active Campus Ministry volunteer. She notes, “I’ve discovered that I love working directly with people and would eventually love to work in education or for a non-profit, or even environmental law.”
After her Fulbright year, Cimino will have additional opportunities to mentor young people when she begins a two-year commitment as a special education teacher for Teach for America in San Francisco. During her time with Teach for America, she will also have the chance to earn her master’s degree in teaching. In whatever career Cimino ends up pursuing, there is no doubt that she will strive to have a positive impact on the world around us.