Student, alumna named Fulbright Scholars

Anna Treesara, left, and Nausheen Farishta ’11, right, will spend the year teaching English with the prestigious Fulbright program in Thailand and Spain respectively.

April 25, 2013

By Frank Radosevich II

A Bradley graduating senior and recent alumna were awarded Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships for the 2013-14 academic year. Anna Treesara and Nausheen Farishta ’11 will spend the year teaching English as a second language with the prestigious exchange program in Thailand and Spain respectively.

Treesara, an English secondary education major from Chicago, is currently student teaching at Elmwood High School and will head to Thailand in October. Farishta, a public relations graduate who is finishing a two-year stint in Houston with Teach For America, will teach in Spain come September.

As the daughter of Thai immigrants, Treesara developed her interest in education at a young age. While still in grade school, she taught her parents English pronunciation and grammar. Once at Bradley, she began working in local classrooms and is excited to promote cross-cultural understanding while in Thailand.

“This will be a great experience,” she said. “I’ll be able to reconnect with my Thai culture and have a newfound appreciation for my American culture, as well.”

Farishta participated in one of the Bradley’s study programs to London and later traveled to France and Italy before deciding on pursuing a Fulbright. Her assistantship will provide her the opportunity to improve her Spanish language skills, which she developed at Bradley and in the classroom, and expand upon her educational training.

Both applied for the program under the guidance of Dr. Timothy Conley, an associate English professor and chair of Bradley’s Fulbright Advisory Committee. Dr. Conley has created a course that focuses on helping students apply for Fulbright grants. He said the pair possessed the experience and cultural awareness the Fulbright Program requires. “Both were very justified in receiving the teaching assistantships. They were very strong applicants,” he said.

The University’s Fulbright committee assisted Treesara and Farishta with the extensive application process, which included selecting their country-specific program, writing multiple drafts of essays and gathering letters of recommendation. Both grantees said the assistance they received was invaluable.

“Without Dr. Conley’s support, I don’t know if I would have received my assistantship,” Farishta said. “I’m very grateful for all the help I had.”

Treesara added, “It’s so helpful to have that guidance and support from Bradley professors.”

Begun in 1992, the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship program places American as teachers at the primary, middle, high school and university level. Each year the program brings about 20 Americans to Thailand and 68 to Spain.