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Duquesne Senior Awarded Fulbright in Slovakia

Kathryn Gallagher, a Duquesne University senior graduating in May with a dual major in elementary education and international relations, has received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Slovakia for the 2013-2014 academic year. After nearly a year-long application and review process, she was one of only eight U.S. students invited to participate in this prestigious program in Slovakia.

Encouraged by faculty, Gallagher began the Fulbright application process in spring 2012, looking for an opportunity to blend her education experience and her international training with her interest in Slovakian culture and language. The Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship would allow her to teach English to students in another country while utilizing her international relations major. Gallagher chose to pursue an opportunity to teach English in Prešov, a city in northern Slovakia where relatives live.

Gallagher began as an elementary education major in the School of Education in 2008. The following spring, she added an international relations major, carrying a course load of 18-21 credits each semester while earning high grades. Shortly after adding the second major, Gallagher began a program at the University of Pittsburgh in the Slovak language and culture. She also completed a 170-hour TEFL/TESOL certification course designed specifically for those looking to teach English as a second language to international students.

"With education, I have experience in how to read students' learning, to see how receptive they are to what I'm doing," Gallagher said. "With the international relations major, I have learned how governments and systems are set up, and how to adapt to other cultures. Duquesne has prepared me for this experience by teaching what I need to most benefit my students."

In addition to her academic pursuits, Gallagher works three jobs and has toured nationally and internationally for four years as a member of the Tamburitzans. She is student teaching at Sacred Heart Elementary School in Shadyside.

"This all has been such a great experience for me," she said. "I'm able to balance my time and I'm proud to say I'm graduating cum laude."

Karen Davis, Gallagher's academic advisor in the School of Education, said, "Kathryn's self-initiative, creativity and love of teaching combined are her strongest points that will enable her to work well and to adapt to everything that comes her way."

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.