2017-2018 Fulbright U.S. Student Awards: Meaghan Waff ’17 to Teach in Malaysia

Meaghan Waff, a Rhodes senior pursuing an international studies and Spanish major, has been selected to receive a Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant for the 2017-2018 academic year. She will serve as an English Teaching Assistant in Malaysia. 
 
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs. 

“Unlike other Fulbright locations, the Malaysia ETA program encourages the teaching assistants to coach a sport or extracurricular activity alongside classroom activities,” says Waff.  “I plan to coach my students—mainly in high school— in dance. Dance requires a lot of vulnerability and willingness to make mistakes—but that capacity to be vulnerable also allows for a great amount of trust to be built. By training my students in dance, I hope that they feel comfortable enough and trust me enough that they will be willing to take the risks to learn English in the classroom.”
 
In 2015, Waff became the first Rhodes student accepted to study abroad in the prestigious London School of Economics’ (LSE) year-long General Course. She had the opportunity to study international relations from a global perspective. At Rhodes, she has served as an International Peer Advisor and as the Rhodes Student Associate for the Buckman Center for International Education. She also has served as chair/crisis director for Model United Nations conferences—Mid-South Model United Nations and the London Security Exercise Model United Nations.
 
Says Waff about her award, “My biggest hope is that I will come out of Malaysia having learned just an inkling of how the country manages to host such a diverse society in a vibrant, encouraging manner. I also hope that my students will teach me how they see the world because the Malaysian perspective is one I have not had the opportunity to truly engage with before now. After completing the program, I will return to the United States to attend the Fletcher School at Tufts University for a master’s degree in law and diplomacy.”
 
Waff is a graduate of Warren Township High School in Gurnee, IL.
 
Rhodes has been recognized by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs as a top producing institution for Fulbright U.S. Students for 2016-2017.

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