The Fulbright ETA Award to Azerbaijan will allow Camille to serve as an English Teaching Assistant at a university and engage in a cultural exchange project over the duration of a 9-month period.
Camille graduated with a BA in University Scholars, with concentrations and additional majors in Russian and Professional Writing & Rhetoric. For her Honors thesis, she wrote a 300-page creative writing memoir about Missionary Kid (MK) culture and her life growing up as an MK in Ukraine, Russia, and Germany. She also placed first in the national CARTA Russian Poetry Festival in the Non-Heritage Speaker category for her recitation of "Winter Night" by Boris Pasternak.
Upon her return to the U.S., Camille hopes to work as a Baylor Undergraduate Admissions Counselor and eventually earn her MA and PhD in Comparative Russian Literature.
More from Camille
I have known about the Fulbright Program for as long as I can remember. It has always stood out to me as both a pinnacle of academic and professional achievement as well as a unique opportunity to get paid to do what I love: teach and engage in another culture. The reason I chose to apply for the Fulbright was honestly just to see if I could do it. I came very close to not applying because I didn't think I was in any way as successful or as smart as the people I knew who had won Fulbright awards. But I applied anyway, just to see if I could. And it paid off. (So please, always shoot for the stars! You never know where the journey will take you.)
The application process was stressful, I will be frank. I did not realize initially how much work it would be specifically over the summer. I began the application process in March at the behest of the Office of Engaged Learning. However, I will say that the Office has the application process down like a well-oiled machine. I truly cannot think of a single way the assistance in the application process can be improved. They paced out the workload well over the course of the 7-month period before applications were due in October. Because it was so work-heavy over the summer, by the time school started in August, I was essentially almost finished. The only thing left was minor final edits to my essays, my application abstract, and getting my last letters of recommendation. I can very easily imagine how incredibly stressful it would have been had I not had the assistance of the Office of Engaged Learning. I cannot sing their praises enough; they are incredible. I will also say that I recommend finding a professor or two to send your essays to in addition to your assigned writing assistant. These writing assistants often handle dozens of these essays, and so having someone else who is focused just on yours may help you get more specific feedback. The feedback I found most helpful was from Dr. Hogue (Office of Engaged Learning) and Dr. Harris (Russian Department, personal mentor) regarding the final drafts of my essays in the last weeks of September.
I am most excited to experience a new culture and embark on my first life chapter of independent living in another country of all places! I can't wait to try the cuisine and go for tons of walks to learn about the history of the country.
I know that this award will open doors and opportunities for me that I can't even imagine yet. I feel much more confident about grad school applications with this on my resume and I know that if I ever develop aspirations to work for the U.S. government, this gives me great credentials to do so. I also know that this experience will help me develop into a more holistic, globally minded citizen and I cannot wait to see the ways that this experience will shape me. I'm just so excited!!
I recommend future students apply for this award for several reasons: 1) apply to see what you can truly achieve, 2) apply for the opportunity of a lifetime to live in another culture and get paid to teach/do research, and still have fun!, 3) apply so you can become a more globally minded citizen and reap the benefits from the opportunities that come along as a result.
Future applicants are more than welcome to contact me for advice!