Scholarship recipient makes history

Jessica Brown, Staff Writer

     Alexandra Miller, a senior at Bloomsburg University, was recently awarded the Fulbright Scholarship, making her the first Bloomsburg University student to be given this prestigious honor. With this scholarship, she will be traveling to Argentina as part of the scholarship program.

     The program began in 1946 when former president Harry S. Truman signed into law a bill sponsored by Senator J. William Fulbright that called for the promotion of international good will through the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture and science.

     “I first heard about Fulbright back in high school and it has been something I have always wanted to do. I love traveling and learning languages,” said Miller. “This past fall, Dr. Julie Vandivere, the Director of the Honors Program, encouraged me to apply for a Fulbright. She also offered to write me one of the letters of recommendation. After I considered what I want to do after graduation and the things I’m passionate about, I decided to apply for the Fulbright.”

     She continued, “The process of applying for the scholarship included contacting Amarilis Hidalgo-DeJesús for the Spanish language assessment and I contacted Solange Garcia-Moll, Mykola Polyuha and Mr. Nathan Conroy for letters of recommendation.”

      According to Miller, this opportunity has already had a great impact on her life. “It is always an incredibly rewarding feeling when something you have worked so hard and so long for is attained and accomplished.”

     “The first person I called was my brother and best friend, Eric. My senior year in high school, he was the one who opened my acceptance letter from Bloomsburg University and then my acceptance lettance letter from the Honors Program because I was too nervous to open them myself. My family’s unwavering support of me and all of my dreams has been invaluable throughout my college career.


     ”With this scholarship, Miller will be traveling to Argentina to teach English “because bridging language barriers has been a passion of mine for as long as [she] can remember.” The culture of Argentina has always been a fascination for Miller but she hasn’t had the opportunity to absorb the culture and linguistic nuances of the country.


     “My aim is to live and work in Argentina as well as to experience first-hand these overlapping cultures,” she said.For the volunteer part of the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant program, she plans on learning Argentine Sign Language and work with the deaf population. “I plan to work with them, teaching them written English and working on reading comprehension in the English language,” said Miller. “I believe that access to language leads to access of exciting opportunities.”Miller’s experience in Argentina will undoubtedly be a very fulfilling experience; she has already started looking ahead.“


     Upon returning from my service to Fulbright, I would want to return to the United States for a short time to teach English as a second language. I would love to help others get involved in similar programs by telling them about my experience,” said Miller.She also plans on pursuing a Master’s degree in Linguistics of Political Science because “as a multilingual interpreter, I would like to work in the legal setting, bringing equal access to communication to people who need it the most, people who have a constitutional right to a fair trial,” said Miller.The Fulbright Scholarship grant is very competitive and when she received the email that she was accepted, Miller could not believe it.“I know that this once in a lifetime opportunity will change my life for the better and will teach me lessons few people are lucky enough to learn in a lifetime.”