Elon graduate receives prestigious Fulbright grant

An Elon University alum made school history this year by becoming the first person from the school to receive a Fulbright U.S. Student Grant, one of the premier fellowships for post-graduate international study. Details...

Jennifer “Jen” Romano graduated in May and now teaches at Williams High School in Burlington, N.C. She travels to Argentina in March 2008 for eight months to teach English through a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Grant.

“This is such an honor for me because I am sincerely interested in teaching English as a second language, and this is the best opportunity I could be given,” Romano said. “I am also in love with the Spanish language and culture, and this will allow me to become fluent in Spanish by living and learning as part of the Argentine community. I never would have been able to make this kind of trip and working experience happen on my own, so I am grateful to the Fulbright organization for providing me with the means to achieve my goals.”

Romano majored in English and minored in history, and she was an Elon Teaching Fellow while at the university. Her list of accolades include a semester in London interning in British public schools and leading a service trip to the Dominican Republic to build two houses with Habitat for Humanity International. Her parents, John and Debbie Romano, now live in Nashua, N.H., though Jen spent eight years in Charlotte, N.C., and graduated from high school there.

“Jen will be able to bring much of her undergraduate training and experience to bear on the work she will do in Argentina—from her background in education and her interest in teaching English to non-native speakers, to her Spanish language skills, to her considerable experience in leadership and service,” said Janet Myers, the fellowship adviser at Elon. “Jen’s successes in the Fulbright program will help to open the door for future Elon students to participate in this prestigious international opportunity.”

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright was established in 1946 by Congress to “enable the government of the United States to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.”

The program awarded about 6,000 grants in 2006 at a cost of more than $235 million. Precise numbers for 2007 are not yet available.