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Two Students from Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus Are Fulbright Grantees for the 2009-2010 Academic Year

Fulbrights take Helen H. Park, a video artist, to South Korea; And Cynthia L. Rotella, an ESL teacher, to France

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Helen Saffran,Associate Director of Public Relations
Brooklyn Campus,
Long Island University
718-488-1419

Brooklyn, N. Y. – Helen H. Park, 33, a video artist from Muncie, Indiana, and Cynthia L. Rotella, 27, an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher from Shoreham, New York, both master’s degree students at Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus, have been awarded 2009-2010 Fulbright U.S. Student Scholarships. Park was given a scholarship to South Korea to study its culture and do a performance piece. Rotella was awarded a scholarship to teach ESL in France to underprivileged students.

The Brooklyn Campus was listed in an October 19, 2009, article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, “Top U.S. Producers of Fulbright Students by Type of Institutions, 2009-10.”

Park and Rotella are two of more than 1,500 U.S. citizens traveling abroad for the 2009-2010 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

A student in the master’s program in New Media Art and Performance at the Brooklyn Campus, Park is residing in Seoul, South Korea, embarking on research exploring the national psyche of Korea as a divided country, and how narratives of national identity have manifested through Korea’s traditional performing and visual arts. The culmination of this work will include a multimedia installation to bring back her cultural experience to the United States. “As a Korean-American new media artist, I have a very strong personal wish to connect with the emotional, social and psychological realities of the Korean experience, and to articulate what I find through a dynamic multimedia work,” says Park.

Fluent in French, Rotella teaches at a French high school in Saint Ouen L’Aumone, a town located in the suburbs of Paris. In 2009, Rotella received from the Brooklyn Campus an M.S.Ed. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). She has had experience teaching ESL with underprivileged children in New York City and has taught in France previously. “My current experience teaching English in the suburbs of Paris has shown me how education can be a vehicle for intercultural understanding and change,” says Rotella. “France, like the United States, is grappling with how to meet the educational needs of increasing populations of socioeconomically and culturally diverse students.” Her Fulbright project includes creating afterschool, weekend and summer programs to help her students become more integrated into the local community.

James P. Clarke, co-director of the University Honors Program and the Fulbright Program Adviser for Student Fulbrights at the Campus, says about the Program, “It’s a kind of ambassadorial exchange, with the students bringing back what they have learned about other cultures to share with their own countries.” Clarke works with a standing Fulbright Committee, and a faculty committee in the student’s academic discipline, to choose the Fulbright applications the Campus will submit.

The Fulbright Program, America’s flagship international educational exchange program is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The Program operates in over 155 countries worldwide.

Posted 01/07/2010

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