Dyson Student Breaks Record with a Fulbright Scholarship
— Megan Chiusaroli ‘07
“I remember how challenging it was to learn Italian and I would love to make the experience of learning English a little bit easier and hopefully enjoyable for Italian students,” says Megan Chiusaroli ‘07. “I really enjoy teaching and understand how difficult it is to learn a second language.”
Chiusaroli’s Fulbright teaching assistantship takes her to Rome, Italy where she will teach English as a foreign language to Italian high school students.
An English, Language and Literature major, with an Italian minor (NYC campus), Chiusaroli, who is of Italian descent, was also a Pforzheimer Honors College student. She received an Honors College grant to conduct independent research on Italian Existentialism, and spent a semester in Rome during her junior year.
Connecting to family and finding a calling
During her semester in Rome, Chiusaroli had an opportunity to get to know her paternal family in nearby Viterbo. “I spent time reconnecting with my relatives and became very close to my grandmother and the rest of my family. My cousin Simone and I would practice Italian and English with one another. I spoke to him in Italian and he answered me in English. We both struggled to get the words out, but it was an incredible learning experience. I realized then that I enjoyed helping others learn English as much as I enjoyed learning Italian.”
A two-way street
With experience teaching preschool children and youngsters in summer camp, Chiusaroli says that she is prepared to teach and to learn a great deal from the Italian students. “By teaching English in Italy, I hope to build bridges of communication between Italian and American students. I will also be able to improve my Italian, and immerse myself in Italian culture. This will give me a strong foundation for advanced study as I intend to pursue a PhD in Italian Literature and Culture, concentrating on Italian women poets of the Renaissance.”
Professors’ invaluable guidance
“Professor Bill Offutt was the most helpful person to me in just about everything I’ve been through at Pace, especially my Fulbright application. I couldn’t have done it without him. Beverly Kahn, Special Advisor, President’s Office, also helped with advice on my essays. Professor Raubicheck, Assistant Professor Pender, Assistant Professor Silverman and Poet-in-Residence North of English helped me with letters of recommendation and advice. And Assistant Professor Marafioti, my Italian teacher, helped me with my language evaluation and an endless supply of encouragement,” she adds.
Looking to a bright future, Chiusaroli has career aspirations to teach Italian literature at the collegiate level.