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Jessica WalkerJessica Walker

Walker Wins Prestigious Fulbright Award

Jessica Walker, a senior majoring in cultural anthropology from Sebastopol, Calif., has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright grant to teach English in Korea.

The Fulbright program, administered by the Institute for International Education of the U.S. State Department, allows recent graduates to travel to more than 140 countries each year to take classes or conduct research projects to "foster mutual understanding among nations through education and cultural exchange."

"I was interested in the Fulbright program for what it offers for traveling, living and working in a foreign country," says Walker, who submitted an application, resume and two lengthy essays in the Fulbright competition. "I'm especially interested in teaching English."

Walker believes her background in cultural anthropology makes her well suited to working internationally. "As a anthropology major, I'm sensitive to the similarities and differences between cultures and am very interested in learning about and from other cultures in the world."

Walker has been active on the Willamette University campus as a director of S.H.E. (Strength, Health and Equality), a campus gender equality organization, and she served as co-director of the fall 2004 production of "Breast Play." She has honed her teaching skills as a special education teacher, in service learning programs at Bush Park Elementary school in Salem and as a study abroad student in Ecuador.

When Walker returns from her 13-month adventure in South Korea, she hopes to work for Teach for America, a national teacher corps of recent college graduates who commit two years to teach and effect change in under-resourced urban and rural public schools. She then plans to return to school to pursue an advanced degree in educational administration.