Lydia Kang ’23 Awarded Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship

August 2, 2023

The recent graduate will spend nine months in the southern periphery of Israel working with Achva Academic College.

Wheaton College IL Alumna Lydia KangStarting this October, Lydia Kang ’23 will teach English language classes as part of the Fulbright Teaching Assistant Fellowship run by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Achva Academic College, Kang’s work placement for the duration of the teaching fellowship, is an accredited higher education institution located a 40-minute drive south of Tel Aviv. The college’s programs primarily draw female students from rural agricultural towns and Bedouin settlements across southern regions of Israel and immigrants from Ethiopia. The diverse student body also represents many students with physical, emotional, or learning disabilities.

Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected in an open, merit-based competition that considers leadership potential, academic and/or professional achievement, and record of service. As Fulbright alumni, their careers are enriched by joining a network of thousands of esteemed alumni, many of whom are leaders in their fields. Fulbright alumni include 61 Nobel Prize laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize recipients, and 40 who have served as a head of state or government.

Kang applied to the Fulbright fellowship through Wheaton’s Global Programs and Studies, after a recommendation from Associate Professor of International Relations Dr. Timothy Taylor and guidance from Dr. Laura Montgomery, former Dean of Global Programs and Studies. She also cites the influential mentorship of Assistant Professor of Politics and International Relations Dr. Alex Haskins and Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations Dr. Michael McKoy, both of whom helped shape her view of cross-cultural communications, history, and the role of narrative in international politics.

Kang will primarily assist in classroom settings, but she will also have opportunities to build extracurricular activities for her students and interact in more interpersonal contexts. She hopes to integrate her international relations major, pre-law certificate, and minors in art and Spanish with her passion for storytelling and community during her stint.

“I’m excited to share my knowledge of English with the diverse academic community at Achva Academic College, building relationships with these students who are coming from so many different regions and groups,” Kang said. “It will be an honor to get to know their stories and exchange culture and language as a form of peacemaking and mutual learning.”

—Eliana Chow