Graduate to teach English abroad

UH graduate Glenn Trujillo, who received his M.A. in philosophy this spring, was awarded a 10-month-long teaching assistantship in Germany from the Fulbright Scholar Program.

The scholarship, which aims to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries,” was awarded to only two graduate students from UH.

“I’m excited to go to Germany and teach, humbled that I could get this fellowship and happy for my family and friends because they’ve been just excited as I have,” said Trujillo.

Trujillo will teach middle or high school students the English language and American culture through film, highlighting philosophical and cultural themes. He said mutual cultural exchange is beneficial for mental and emotional development, making aware, active and good citizens.

“(The assistantship) would allow me to learn German even better and improve my teaching skills, which I take seriously,” Trujillo said. “So between my goals and the goals of the Fulbright Program, it just fit.”

After the Institute of International Education deemed Trujillo a recommended applicant in January, it sent his application to the Pädagogische Austauschdienst, an international exchange service, and the Fulbright Commission in Germany. Now a grantee, he is waiting to begin his fellowship in September at a German school.

“I’ll focus mostly on teaching,” he said. “But I really just want to interact with my students and learn the culture of my host community through service projects and the extracurricular activities I have planned.”

As an undergraduate at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Trujillo studied philosophy with minors in German and religious studies. His German professor first encouraged him to apply for the scholarship when he was a senior. Instead, Trujillo pursued a master’s in philosophy at UH. As a graduate student, he decided to apply for the scholarship in October 2010.

“At St. Edward’s University, I developed my love for other cultures and social justice,” he said. “The University of Houston allowed me to mature more. I gained valuable experience as a T.A. for the Department of Philosophy, learning different teaching styles.”

After his assistantship in Germany, Trujillo will continue to focus on furthering his studies by earning a doctorate in philosophy. He later hopes to become a professor at a small university or a liberal arts college.

“People who are able to do (the Fulbright assistantship) can draw from broader historical, cultural and intellectual resources, which help them lead a fulfilling life,” he said.

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