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Education Major Earns Student Fulbright Award to Germany

Sarah Fadlaoui '22

Fulbright winner Sarah Fadlaoui '22 (photo provided).

Sarah Fadlaoui ’22, from Ellicott City, MD, has won a 2022–23 US Student Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Award to Germany. Fadlaoui is a history and adolescence education major with a minor in German. She becomes the 44th Geneseo US Student Fulbright awardee and the fourth to Germany. 

Fadlaoui was raised by a Western European American mother and a Berber Moroccan father, so she has always viewed the world from a point of intersection. “I grew up celebrating Christmas and Eid, eating mac and cheese and couscous, and listening to Billy Joel and Orchestre National de Barbés,” she says.

Multiculturalism is one of her key values as an educator, Fadlaoui explains, “so Germany, with its blends of both Germanic and diaspora cultures, is the perfect place to learn about education through a multicultural lens. I hope to integrate my students’ diverse backgrounds into the content as I share my own culture as a Moroccan-American and to show them a multifaceted view of the English-speaking world.”

Cynthia Klima, associate professor of German in the Department of Languages and Literatures, notes that Fadlaoui’s upbringing gives her “a keen understanding of a dual world” and of students from mixed heritages and language environments. “Multiculturalism is no stranger to Sarah, as she will easily create a sense of community in her German classrooms,” Klima says.

Fadlaoui, who studied abroad in Vienna, Austria, during Spring 2020, plans to volunteer as a tutor with German immigrant groups, particularly from Morocco. She looks forward to how it will help her “learn more about my Moroccan heritage and the Moroccan diaspora as well as compare our experiences as Moroccan-Americans and Germans.”

After her Fulbright year, Fadlaoui plans to teach social studies, start a master’s degree in German history, and gain certification to teach German at a public secondary school in the Rochester, NY, area.

Fulbrights at Geneseo

In four of the past five years, Geneseo has been named a Fulbright Top Producing Institution by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in its annual article in The Chronicle of Higher Education. For the 2017–18 Fulbright cycle, Geneseo was the first dedicated SUNY institution to be named a Top Producer of US Student awards in any category—bachelor’s, master’s, research, or special-focus four-year institutions.

The Fulbright US Student Program provides grants for individually designed graduate study, research programs, or English teaching assistant programs in many foreign countries. Michael Hughes ’20, Isabel Owen ’19, and Kallie Swyer ’17 have also won 2022–23 Fulbright awards. Geneseo had nine semifinalists in this year’s competition and reporting on other finalists will continue through May.

The US Student Fulbright competition is open to students and alumni. It is administered at Geneseo by Director of National Fellowships and Scholarships Michael Mills, who can be reached at millsm@geneseo.edu and 585-245-6002. For more information about the Fulbright and other nationally and internationally competitive scholarship and fellowship programs, visit Fellowships and Scholarships.

—Michael Mills