Academics and Research

Fulbright scholar heads to Turkey to teach English

Tanner Mastaw hopes to expand his understanding of international development, and receiving a Fulbright Scholarship is helping to pave the way.

Mastaw, a senior in the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, will leave for Turkey this fall and spend nine months in the country teaching English as part of his scholarship.
Mastaw’s previous international experience has been almost exclusively in developing nations in Asia and Africa; he says he chose Turkey because of its international status as a “newly industrialized country.”

“In many circles, Turkey represents an idealized ‘next step’ in development,” he says. “My hope is to witness this next step in action, providing me with new frames of reference.”

Toward the end of 2013, Mastaw spent four months studying abroad in India and assisting with research for a nongovernmental organization. He spent summer 2014 in Zanzibar, teaching math and English.

“My philosophy behind study abroad was simply that it had to be something that I can’t experience in the classroom here,” he says.

Mastaw anticipates that while he’s teaching in Turkey, he also will be involved in civic engagement efforts. At DU, he is part of Public Achievement, a program offered by DU’s Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning, where he helps students at Denver’s South High School become more engaged in their communities.

Luc Beaudoin, DU’s associate provost for internationalization, says that although the number of Fulbright scholarships awarded to DU students varies each year, he has begun to see a broader range of students applying for them across campus.

“Fulbrights are a unique opportunity that are among the most prestigious grants to get,” Beaudoin says. “For someone like Tanner, getting a Fulbright is an honor — a chance to be abroad as a representative of the U.S.”

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