Kelly Richard '17 is one of seven Elon students to be offered Fulbright awards this spring.
Elon senior Kelly Richard will continue building a career in education after graduation this spring as she heads to Indonesia to teach English through a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship.
Richard, who is majoring in English with teacher licensure, is a Teaching Fellow at Elon and a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Tau Delta honor societies. A recipient of the Betty Lynch Bowman Scholarship, Richard has been involved at Elon with The Writing Center, Elon’s She’s the First chapter and the Elon Academy, a college access and success program.
Richard said receiving the award brings her “one step closer to reaching my dreams, but more importantly, one step closer to helping my first students achieve theirs.”
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.
Originally from Apex, N.C., Richard plans to pursue a career as a high school English teacher or land a position within the nonprofit education sector. As an Elon student, Richard studied in London in spring 2015 and spent the summer of 2016 in Hyderabad, India, in an independent study experience. Richard’s ability to pursue the internship in India points to her independence and ability to thoughtfully negotiate difficulties, said Associate Professor of English Kim Pyne, who recommended Richard for the award.
“Alone in a country she had never visited, immersed in a culture radically different from her own, she met the challenge with serious reflection, willingness to step outside of her personal lens and comfort, and open communication,” Pyne said of Richard’s experience in India. “She was devoted to her own learning, but even more dedicated to the needs of students and colleagues. Whether serving abroad or in classrooms here in North Carolina, Kelly asks great questions, proactively seeks solutions, and is driven to support students, especially those who may not have the privileges so many of us take for granted.”
Richard said her personal and professional goals have been shaped by the women in her life, noting that she will become part of the fourth generation of women in her family to graduate from college, a privilege she says she does not take lightly.
“I know how powerful an educated woman can be, and I want to make it my life goal to give as many other young men and women the opportunities to succeed academically as I was, whether as a teacher or through a larger organization,” Richard said.
Richard is a 2013 graduate of Apex High School and is the daughter of Debra and Tad Richard of Apex.
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.