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Third Loyola University New Orleans Graduate Selected for Fulbright Student Award

Loyola press release - April 11, 2017

More graduates going global! Loyola University New Orleans is pleased to announce that 2017 graduate Lauren Stroh is the third student selected as one of the 2017-18 Fulbright U.S. Student Award recipients. A native of Lake Charles, La, Stroh will teach English in Venezuela while pursuing a supplementary research project of her own.

The Fulbright program’s English Teaching Assistant programs place Fulbright recipients in classrooms abroad to provide assistance to the local English teachers. ETA’s help teach English while serving as cultural ambassadors for the United States. The U.S. Embassy will arrange placement for Stroh at a bi-national center in Maracaibo.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. During the experience, Fulbrighters meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the host country, engaging in daily experiences. The program facilitates cultural exchange in the classroom, field, home, and in routine tasks, giving recipients an appreciation of others’ viewpoints and beliefs, the way they do things, and the way they think.

Graduating this spring with a contract major in cultural studies through Loyola’s English department, Stroh will embark on a new chapter of her life in Venezuela. The Fulbright year marks her first extended abroad experience.

While at Loyola, Stroh wrote and edited for Loyola’s award-winning newspaper The Maroon, served as president of the Student Advocates for Gender Equality and studied in Loyola’s nationally recognized Honors Program.

In addition, Stroh spent two years as a researcher for the Modern Slavery Research Project, a program working to address the issue of human trafficking in New Orleans, the U.S. and abroad. She also worked senior year as an editorial assistant for Associate Professor of English Chris Schaberg’s nationally acclaimed Object Lessons series.

In Venezuela, Stroh will work with adults teaching them English at a bi-national center. She plans to make an extra effort to move her classroom to the streets and engage her students in their own culture.

“I really want to move education out of the traditional setting,” Stroh said. “I want to immerse students in their own culture and promote engaging day-to-day conversations.”

Stroh will also dedicate some of her time in Venezuela working on a supplemental research project aimed at local political graffiti artists. She will curate an exhibition that will spotlight political graffiti and work to accomplish her goal of generating exposure for the underrepresented art form.

“During an artist residency in Black Mountain, North Carolina, I was exposed to a lot of street artists and graffiti writers and became acutely interested in the art form because it is underrepresented in a museum and art historical context,” said Stroh. “As a curator, I want to expand scholarship and representation of this medium in the Western context and abroad.”

Through Fulbright, Stroh plans to sharpen her curatorial skills and advance her global perspective in her pursuit to become a teacher and building schools around the globe.

“Lauren has worked with me as a research assistant for two years now, and she quickly rose to becoming my lead student researcher because of her intellect and dedication,” said Associate Professor of English and director of the Modern Slavery Research Project Laura Murphy. “Her achievements over the last couple of years have been remarkable — from interning at Columbia University Press to starting Free Schools in New York and New Orleans — and so she very much deserves this honor and opportunity. I can't wait to see what Venezuela has in store for her.”