Lauren Salig '17, a psychology and Spanish double major from Downingtown, Pennsylvania, will travel to South America as part of a federal program that builds good will between the United States and people of other nations.
Lauren Salig, an Elon senior majoring in psychology and Spanish, will spend a year teaching English in Argentina with support from a 2016-17 Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship.
The experience will build upon Salig’s study abroad experiences in Turkey and Santiago, Chile, and will offer the opportunity for the Downingtown, Pennsylvania, native to exchange knowledge and experiences with students in Argentina. Salig plans to continue her study of the psychology of language following her time as a Fulbright student.
“Teaching English in Argentina, which is renowned for its unique Spanish dialect, will make me a more informed language researcher in graduate school and beyond,” Salig said. “My experience in Argentina will shape the questions about language that I hope to answer with my research and will provide me with additional teaching experience should I seek a job in academia.”
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.
An Honors Fellow and member of the Phi Eta Sigma, Phi Kappa Phi, Psi Chi and Phi Beta Kappa honor societies, Salig has been an active undergraduate researcher with a “phenomenal” work ethic, said Kim Epting, associate professor of psychology and Salig’s mentor. Epting notes that Salig has devoted significant time to teaching English to elementary students in the surrounding community and to volunteering as an ESL tutor for adults.
“She is conscientious, culturally aware, sensitive to difference, a good listener, and open to new experience,” Epting said. “Respectful in professional and casual situations, Lauren understands and appreciates the importance of listening and learning from those native to a cultural context first rather than assuming what is needed or wanted in the guise of help.”
Salig credits Epting for helping her develop her interest in the intersection of psychology and langage, noting that “her engaging teaching style, her understanding guidance and our shared passion for language has led me to the future I am now working toward.”
She is looking forward to becoming “a more adaptable, open-minded global citizen” during her time in Argentina as she navigates a difficult dialect and a new culture while confronting the challenges that come with teaching English abroad. She intends to pursue a doctorate in psychology as a cornerstone in a career in language research, with particular interest in cognitive psychology, experimental psychology and psychoanalytics.
A 2013 graduate of Downingtown East High School, Salig is the daughter of John and Carolyn Salig of Downingtown.
Elon students and recent alums interested in the Fulbright program are invited to attend the Fulbright Info Session on Thursday, April 13 at 4:15 pm in Lindner 208, and are encouraged to visit the National and International Fellowships Office in Powell building or by calling (336) 278-5749.