Nicole Young, Sport and Exercise Psychology 2016 May graduate, was awarded a Fulbright grant to work as an English teaching assistant in Malaysia for 10 months, beginning next January. Young is from New Castle, Pa., about 50 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, with a population of 24,000.
“I know that living in Malaysia will be a completely different experience than what I am used to here. The areas that I may be teaching in are poorer, rural areas so it will be an adjustment. As far as teaching goes I think I think it will be fun to connect with secondary school aged students,” Young explained.
Young will teach students between 13 and 17 years old. “This is a pretty carefree age and I think that will make my job an interesting and fun one. I hope to show my students the diversity in culture and life that the United States has; from what I know, they tend to have a very one dimensional picture of the US,” said Young.
“I don’t exactly know what to expect yet but I hope to connect with my students in a way that contributes to their growth as students, as I am sure they will contribute to mine,” she added.
Young’s previous awards include an Academic Excellence Award at the Diversity for Equity and Inclusions graduate ceremony and the Outstanding Senior award in Africana Studies within Eberly College.
“I have been fortunate enough to be able to connect and receive advice and support from multiple faculty and staff on this campus. My mentor and professor Dr. Krystal Frazier in Eberly College often pushed me out of my comfort zone but still provided encouragement and support throughout the time that I have known her,” Young said.
Young credits the staff and mentors from the McNair Scholars Program for their guidance. “They helped me to grow in ways that I didn’t even know was possible. I feel that through their help within the program I have been able to become a better rounded individual in all areas of my life,” she stated.
CPASS faculty members also played a significant role as mentors. “Dr. Zizzi, Dr. Clement and Dr. Watson were also great influences in my success. They were tough but never in a way that I felt was unreasonable; I always felt like they were available to help me with anything that I needed,” Young added.
Young notes that her involvement in clubs, organizations and movements on campus offered “a rich and rewarding experience.”
“I have grown tremendously as a person just by surrounding myself and connecting with leaders on this campus,” Young explained.