Alumna Melissa Wilk Named 2016 Fulbright Scholar
Alumna Melissa Wilk, MAT. ’15, has been named a 2016 recipient of an English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Fulbright Award. The nine-month Assistantship will take Wilk to La Rioja, Spain, an autonomous community and province, where she will be studying the process of second language acquisition. In lieu of a formal research topic, she will be working with a model UN for part of the year discussing educational and international policies.
Wilk has previously taught in Mexico and in Costa Rica, both of which strengthened her own second language acquisition and introduced her to teaching K-12 abroad. Her experience at Lewis & Clark not only inspired her to apply to the Fulbright program, but helped her find her way to this international path.
“At the Lewis & Clark Graduate School, the work was grounded in diversity, culture and change,” Wilk said. “Rediscovering a sense of agency in a classroom, as well as the mentors and fellow colleagues of my program, motivated me to think critically about the leadership I had as an educator.”
Wilk has a future interest in administration, generated while working in her first post-graduation teaching position in the Lincoln County School District—a district that has more than 800 homeless students who rely on the services the schools provide. For the time being, however, she plans to continue her work as a general educator and hopes to extend her experience abroad beyond the conclusion of the Fulbright placement.
Wilk is a Portland Area native, born and raised in Lake Oswego, OR. Prior to enrolling in the MAT. program at the Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling, she attended Portland State University, earning her BA in Liberal Studies with a minor in black studies, elementary education, and Spanish language. She sees the Fulbright award as an opportunity to further her role as a true global citizen.