Steven Armendariz ’17, a political science and international and global studies double major, will travel to Spain as part of a federal program that builds goodwill between the United States and people of other nations.
Steven Armendariz ’17 will spend a year in Spain teaching English thanks to the support of a 2016-17 Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship.
The assistantship will add to the experience that Armendariz, who is an Isabella Cannon Leadership Fellow, Odyssey Scholar and Elon Commitment Scholar, has gained during his Elon career. His time at Elon has included a variety of study abroad and Study USA opportunities along with involvement in a broad range of community engagement and campus activities. Originally from Charlotte, N.C., Armendariz hopes to pursue a master’s degree in international affairs and then work abroad for the government or an international organization.
“This award will allow me to continue my passion for teaching and mentoring after I graduate from Elon while also enhancing my pedagogical skills,” said Armendariz, who is majoring in political science and international and global studies. “I will gain international work exposure that will positively impact my future aspirations. More importantly, I will be an ambassador of cross-cultural understanding between the U.S. and people of Spain to ensure improved relations between our two countries during these politically turbulent and ambiguous times.”
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. The program operates in over 160 countries worldwide.
Armendariz has been involved in the Student Government Association, the Model United Nations, the Leadership Education and Development program and the “It Takes a Village Project,” among other organizations and programs. His studies have taken him to the Study in D.C. programs, while internationally he’s participated in the Semester at Sea program, the Business in the Pacific Rim Winter Term course and the Alternate Spring Break program in Nicaragua.
Armendariz has worked with Jean Rattigan-Rohr, executive director of community partnerships and director of the Center for Access and Success, since his first year at Elon when he volunteered to serve in the “It Takes a Village” Project, a program he has been involved in throughout his Elon career. “Steven is diligent, passionate, and an absolutely wonderful ambassador of goodwill and service, particularly for the Hispanic community in the Alamance-Burlington area,” Rattigan-Rohr said. “It came as no surprise to me when Steven shared his intention to apply for a Fulbright with the hopes of continuing his outreach in Spain. We will miss him here, but I know he will do an amazing job there as well.”
Armendariz looks forward to his first international work experience and believes it will play a key role in his life as his career plans take shape. “My interest in the global economy will develop while being in Spain where I can learn more about the European economy and culture,” he said. “Through my Fulbright experience, I will acquire insight into a new culture and understand our similarities and differences better. I have confidence that by the end I will be a stronger agent of change by becoming a more culturally competent and globally informed citizen.”
Armendariz is a 2013 graduate of Myers Park High School in Charlotte, N.C., and is the son of Miguel Armendariz and Maria Portillo Armendariz.
Elon students and recent alums interested in the Fulbright program are encouraged to visit the National and International Fellowships Office in Powell building or by calling (336) 278-5749.