• A Spanish and Latin American Studies graduate.
  • A runner.
  • Teaching in Colombia.

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Making my education global

Runner Jaela Dinsmore heads to Colombia through a Fulbright Grant.

Jaela Dinsmore ’12 had a successful four years at Willamette, both in the classroom and on the track, where she competed in the 100-meter dash.

Her hard work and accomplishments paid off after graduation when she earned a Fulbright Grant to teach English in Bogotá, Colombia. The Spanish and Latin American studies double major will work to help students improve their English-language skills, and also conduct research on racial and ethnic relations in Colombia, which was the focus of her studies at Willamette.

“This will allow me to share my culture and English language with Colombian students,” Dinsmore says. “At the same time, I will be learning about Colombian customs and a different form of Spanish than what I’m used to, by living in the country and interacting with the community.”

Dinsmore says her time at Willamette, both as an athlete and through a study-abroad experience in Mexico, helped prepare her for the challenges of living in a foreign country.

“Being at Willamette — through rigorous class work, participating in varsity track, and other personal challenges — has taught me how to be adaptable, open-minded and to keep a positive attitude, especially when things are not going my way.”

During Dinsmore’s senior year, she finished 5th in the finals of the 100-meter dash at the NCAA track and field championships, and she received a NCAA Elite 89 Award by achieving a 3.99 cumulative GPA.

She earned academic All-American honors twice, and she worked with the Willamette chapter of CAUSA, Mid-Valley Mentors and as an international student peer advisor.

Dinsmore is eager to use the Fulbright grant to prepare for a career in bilingual education.

“I look forward to being able to challenge and improve upon my skills, expand my knowledge and get to know another part of Latin America,” she says.

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