FIRST FULBRIGHT SCHOLARS AT SPU
The two American women cycling up the hill daily (on SPU bikes), from Belgravia to SPU, are the University’s first Fulbright Scholars.
Adeola Ajirotutu is from New York City. She has an undergraduate degree, in Religious and Italian Studies, from the University of Pittsburgh; and obtained her Masters in International Human Rights from the University of Denver.
Maria Mulrooney is from Florida and obtained her undergraduate degree, in English Language Arts Education, from the University of Central Florida. She then went on to the University of Mississippi where she studied towards her Masters in Higher Education and Student Personnel.
They arrived at SPU at the end of January this year to begin their nine-month placement in the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Programme Development under the mentorship of Dr Nhlanhla Mpofu. They are assisting in developing an Academic Literacy Framework for the University.
The Fulbright Program is an educational exchange programme sponsored by the US government and designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.
Adeola and Maria are in Kimberley as part of the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) Program, an element of the Fulbright US Student Program.
It provides recent US graduates or graduate students opportunities to engage in a cultural exchange experience as English Teaching Assistants in the host country.
Fulbright ETAs have strong leadership skills, have reached high levels of academic achievement, are dedicated to community service, and are enthusiastic about adapting to new environments.
Both women chose to come to South Africa because they were curious about the cultural and political similarities between South Africa and the United States of America.
They had expected to be placed in secondary schools as English Teaching Assistants but since they both have Masters degrees, they were placed at SPU to work with Dr Mpofu.
Both have embraced this opportunity to make a lasting contribution to the development of SPU.
Maria has already been given an opportunity to guest-lecture in the School of Education, an experience which she thoroughly enjoyed.
Adeola and Maria have adapted very well to life in Kimberley. They have found the people welcoming, friendly and helpful. They recently attended their first cricket match and were treated to seats in a hospitality suite.
They are looking forward to seeing more of our beautiful country and experiencing their first braai.