Elon senior awarded Fulbright to teach English in Argentina

Erin Luther ‘16, an international studies and Spanish double major from Bristol, Tennessee, travels to South America next spring as part of a federal program that builds good will between the United States and people of other nations.

An Elon University student with extensive study abroad experience will spend a year in Argentina starting next spring to teach students English with support from a 2016-2017 Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship.

It’s a homecoming of sorts for Erin Luther, an international studies and Spanish double major who spent the spring semester of her sophomore year studying in Buenos Aires.

As a Fulbright student, Luther will serve as a cultural ambassador while she continues to advance her Spanish and teaching skills. She also hopes to gain a deeper understanding of the nonprofit sector through a personal side project.

“These cross-cultural experiences will be invaluable in my future studies of immigration policy and my work with immigrant communities in the United States,” said Luther, a volunteer with the Burlington, N.C.-based nonprofit organization LUPE (Latinos United Promoting Hope).  “I expect this experience to be formative in many ways for me personally, academically, and professionally.

“I will have the opportunity to meet many new people, work closely with teachers and students, and continue to advance my Spanish skills, which are important for my future studies and career in immigration policy.”

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. Congress established the program in 1946 “to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.”

Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. It operates in over 160 countries worldwide.

“It is an honor to have the opportunity to deepen connections between Argentina and the U.S. and to be able to promote the learning of a second language through a Fulbright ETA,” Luther said. “I am also excited at the prospect of returning to Argentina to build relationships, make friends, and reconnect with the people I met while studying in Buenos Aires.”

In addition to her study abroad experience in Argentina, Luther also spent the spring semester of her junior year studying in Toledo, Spain.

She is a Periclean Scholar at Elon University and took part in several service opportunities, including The Village Project tutoring program, the Harvey-Newlin Mentoring Program at a local Title I school, and on campus as a Spanish tutor and an Elon 101 teaching assistant. Luther also took part in a Winter Term 2013 service trip to New Orleans through the Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement.

Her career goals to study and work in immigration policy formed in part because of her experience working with members of the community through LUPE.

“I am thrilled that Erin has been selected for a Fulbright honor. As I’ve gotten to know her over the past three years, she has consistently demonstrated her commitment to the wellbeing of others,” said April Post, who teaches Spanish in the Department of World Languages and Cultures and served as the faculty mentor to the Periclean Scholars Class of 2016. “Her strong dedication to lifelong learning combined with her humble spirit make her a joy to work with.”

Luther, a 2012 graduate of The Academy at King, is the daughter of David and Becky Luther of Bristol, Tennessee. Her sister, Sarah, is a member of Elon University’s Class of 2018.

Elon students and recent alums interested in the Fulbright program or other nationally competitive fellowships are invited to visit the National and International Fellowships Office in Powell building or by calling (336) 278-5749.