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Oklahoma State University

College of Education Senior Selected as Fulbright Scholar

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Madison Harry, a secondary education social studies senior, has been selected a Fulbright Scholar. Beginning in the fall, Harry will spend nine months in Poland doing an English teaching assistantship at a collegiate institution.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Programs provides over 1,500 grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs in over 140 countries. These awards are available to graduating seniors and recent bachelor’s degree recipients, master’s and doctoral candidates.

The Institute of International Education (IIE) administers the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, the U.S. Government’s premier public diplomacy initiative.

“I ultimately plan to teach middle school geography,” the Oklahoma City native said. “The Fulbright experience will hopefully make that richer for my students as I apply my [overseas] experiences to my classroom teaching and maintain connections that I plan to make while in Poland.”

Harry, who is currently student teaching seventh grade geography in the Oklahoma City metro area, started the process of applying for the Fulbright scholarship more than a year ago.

“I had coffee with my professor, Dr. Emily Graham, who is in the history department,” Harry said. “We started talking about ways to see the world and expand my worldview. She had been a Fulbright Scholar so I looked it up and saw an awesome opportunity that aligns with my values.”

Harry said that she wrote her applications, then through revising, many kind people helping her, and many coffees later her application was finally complete.

“I applied through OSU, the American and Polish offices, and here I am. It was definitely worth the wait,” she said.

Based on Harry’s placement, the Fulbright scholarship will help with her housing and offer a stipend for living expenses. She will be required to complete 20 hours of teaching per week while she is there and the rest of her time will be spent on a community engagement project.

“Each person who applies chooses their own project,” Harry explained. “It was hard for me to choose initially, but I decided I will set up a pen-pal project. I am passionate about my education career and helping middle school students. I think connecting students with real people around the world through letters, my blog or Skype once I have my own classroom will help them learn geography through relationships.”

Harry plans to be very intentional with her time while in Poland to gather maps and currencies but mostly to develop relationships that she can draw on once she is back in the U.S.

Harry credits her OSU experience with preparing for this next opportunity.

“The OSU faculty really inspired me to do this with their love for learning, history and geography. Without the staff in the College of Education I wouldn’t be ready for this,” she said.

Harry will graduate in May 2016, which is the final qualification she must meet.

While at OSU, Harry co-founded and served as the director of EdCamp-Stillwater, a professional development day for nearly 100 educators from around the region. She has served as a senator and leader in the Student Government Association, as a facilitator for Intercultural Friendship, been on the College of Education Student Council, served as a small group leader for Life.Church Stillwater and been active in Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. Harry has volunteered with Life.Kids and was a Project Transformation Oklahoma team coordinator with AmeriCorps.