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December 2017 Belmont Alumna Erin Sanislo Awarded Prestigious Fulbright to Spain

Erin Sanislo, photo by Zoe VandeWater Photography Erin Sanislo, photo by Zoe VandeWater Photography

Corporate communications, Spanish graduate to teach overseas

Recent Belmont University graduate and Woodbury, Minnesota resident Erin Sanislo was recently awarded a Fulbright program grant for overseas teaching to the Canary Islands region of Spain. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is an international exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government that provides competitive grants to graduating seniors and graduate students to serve as cultural ambassadors of the United States abroad.

After graduating from Belmont in December 2017 with degrees in corporate communications and Spanish, Sanislo took advantage of a Lumos Travel Award to journey to Ecuador to advance literacy and develop children’s programming. While there she worked with children through cooking, physical activity, homework help, reading time and English classes at a community center outside of Quito.

An Honors student, Sanislo previously studied abroad for five months at the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain, completing her senior thesis on “The Making of the Modern Pilgrim.” “Fulbright was recommended to me by a friend while I was studying abroad in Spain,” she said. “The prestige and international recognition of Fulbright immediately intrigued me. I fell in love with Spain and its people as I researched my senior honors thesis and walked a section of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. I realized my passion for Spain and experience abroad could be channeled into a higher purpose by becoming a cultural ambassador of the United States on a Fulbright award.”

Sanislo will be teaching in Spain from September 2018 through June 2019. Upon her return to the United States, she plans to enroll in a Master of Arts in Teaching Spanish program to become a certified Spanish teacher. She hopes to teach for a few years at the high school level and then pursue a PhD in Spanish so that she can advance her research on the Camino de Santiago and propel her career to teach at the university level.

“Belmont offered me a global education. The excellent Study Abroad programs at Belmont enabled me to study Spanish in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Santiago de Compostela, Spain and to study history in Istanbul, Turkey. My Spanish and Communications professors taught me to think from a cross-cultural mindset and influenced my desire to teach Spanish from the context of culture. The Honors Program at Belmont modeled an intercultural perspective in its curriculum and provided me courses on world religions, philosophies and literature. As a future Spanish teacher, I will demonstrate the cross-cultural understanding that my Belmont professors modeled to me.”

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