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Two Geneseo Graduates Earn Fulbright Awards

Patrick McCormick '15 and Kiaya Rose Dilsner-Lopez '17 have received U.S. Student Fulbright English Teaching Assistant awards to Brazil for 2018.

GENESEO, N.Y. -- Geneseo graduates Kiaya Rose Dilsner-Lopez '17 and Patrick McCormick ’15 have been awarded U.S. Student Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) awards to Brazil for 2018.

Dilsner-Lopez graduated this last spring with a double major in English Literature and Spanish and was an alternate selection for a Fulbright to Spain during the 2017-2018 application period. McCormick majored in political science and is now works for the New York State Migrant Education Program. He also serves as an at-large board member for the Enlace Project after serving from 2015-16 as marketing manager for the organization.

Dilsner-Lopez also was a Presidential Scholar and in the Edgar Fellows Honors Program.

“Kiaya is one of those students you root for as she puts her heart and soul into everything she does,” said Michael Mills, director of national fellowships and scholarships. “Her award to Brazil is a testament to her determination and the skills she developed here at Geneseo. She was not deterred by the disappointment of being named an alternate the first time she applied. Her and Patrick’s popularity with faculty and staff members was most evident in the glowing letters of support they received for their applications to Brazil, so all of Geneseo can take pride in these awards that recognize the quality of the graduates we produce.” 

Dilsner-Lopez is from Oceanside, N.Y., and will begin her Brazilian nine-month grant period in February 2018. She will live and work at a Teacher's College in a public university, teaching English to students attending four-year undergraduate programs to graduate as English Foreign Language (EFL) teachers.

“Receiving the Fulbright ETA position has given me the opportunity to review my Geneseo education as a recent graduate,” said Dilsner-Lopez. “When I reflect on receiving this honor, my mind immediately turns to my relationships with educators, books, and local geography. I think of lessons of growth from my mentors, my friends, my mothers, and my sister. I think of the writers who have shaped how I imagine, create and advocate. And finally, I think of the Geneseo earth, which has given me the space to experience both the blessings and hardships of young adult life. Today, all I feel is gratitude toward these relationships, and as I approach my service as a Fulbright representative in Brazil, I look forward to carrying these loving ties with me.”

As marketing manager for Enlace, McCormick developed the group’s social media, graphic design, fundraising, and blog story writing, a task now handled by Jesse Bennett '17. McCormick also taught intermediate level English classes and for 14 months served as the head of the English program in El Sauce.

“A Fulbright ETA position will allow me to fulfill my desire to be of service to others and an opportunity for professional growth as a teacher and global citizen” said McCormick.  “As a native English speaker, I will be able to help university students advance their language skills, opening up opportunities for them both in Brazil and across the world, and in doing so, develop my skills in ESOL teaching and learn more about another language and culture.  I see a Fulbright as a chance to both take part in an exchange of ideas, learning about a new culture and sharing my own, as well as a place where I can continue to grow professionally as an educator and researcher.  The combination of teaching and research especially appeals to me as someone hoping to one day teach at the university level.”

McCormick sees the Fulbright ETA as a logical extension of his undergraduate political science classes at Geneseo, where he focused on democratization. After completing the ETA, McCormick wants to pursue a doctorate in political science in the U.S. “toward a career teaching at the university level while also conducting research throughout Latin America related to the establishment and trends of democracies throughout the region.”   

During the last application cycle for 2017-2018, a record four Geneseo students and alumni won Fulbright awards to Vietnam, Malaysia, Germany, and Belgium, with Dilsner-Lopez being named an alternate. Historically, McCormick’s and Dilsner-Lopez’s Fulbright awards bring the college’s total of winners to 20, with 11 coming in the last three years alone. This year, more than 20 Geneseo students and alumni will be submitting applications to the Fulbright program to countries all over the world including Sweden, Senegal, South Korea, India, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Malta, and Uruguay.


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