PHILADELPHIA–International relations and German double major Margaret Myers, a , was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Turkey for the 2012-13 academic year. The graduate has had a passion for international relations from a young age.
"I had a lot of contact with foreign students growing up, so I have always been interested in different cultures," explains Myers. "Working in international relations, especially in diplomacy, would be an incredible opportunity to meet people from around the world while encouraging respect and understanding between different countries, cultures and religions."
In addition to her academic pursuits at SJU, Myers worked at the ELS Language Center, tutoring, providing orientation services, planning extracurricular activities and coordinating language exchange among visiting international students and full-time undergraduates. That was when her interest in Turkey began.
"While working on campus I became friends with a group of students from Turkey, and I realized how little time I had spent studying the history of the Middle East and Ottoman Empire, so that sparked my initial interest," says Myers. "Turkey is also interesting in the context of international relations because of its geographic location, secular government and expanding economy."
Myers has had various opportunities to pursue international study during her four years at SJU. In Munich, Germany, she immersed herself in the country's language at the Ludwig-Maximillians Universität during the summer preceding her sophomore year. During the fall semester of her junior year, she attended the University of Nicosia in Cyprus. As a senior, Myers completed two separate independent research projects, the first on nationalist stereotypes in Greek and Turkish Cypriote relations and the second on the peace building-process in Palestine.
The accomplished student was inducted into Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science national honor society, and Delta Phi Alpha, the national honor society for German. She also received the German award at graduation as the top student in the discipline.
Through the Fulbright program, she will be assigned to teach English at a university in either southeastern or eastern Turkey, and she is ready to face the opportunities that await her. "I think my greatest challenge will be faithfully representing America, and engaging in meaningful dialogue in an area where American politics are not always viewed favorably," she says.
Upon completion of her Fulbright placement, she plans to continue her education in international relations. "After my teaching assistantship," says Myers, "I plan on attending graduate school to prepare myself to assist in developing the relationship between the United States, Turkey and the Middle East."
Myers is one of five Saint Joseph's University students to be awarded a Fulbright this year.
This press release was provided by Saint Joseph's University.