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Kirsten Nicholas, ’16, wins Fulbright to teach English in Cyprus

| By Stephanie Weaver
Kirsten Nicholas

Kirsten Nicholas, ’16, has been awarded a Fulbright scholarship for an English teaching assistant position in Cyprus for nine months starting in September 2016.

Nicholas, an international business and marketing double major, will be teaching English at an elementary, middle, or high school level. Her exact school location has yet to be determined.

Nicholas, from Miller Place, N.Y., has previously been abroad to Montpellier, France, and Bangkok, Thailand through Loyola. She is excited to experience a new culture in Cyprus and continue her work with refugees, as she does in Baltimore through the Refugee Youth Project.

“After my work here in Baltimore, I wanted to be in a place where I could continue to work with refugee students. I started my application during the start of the Syria refugee crisis, and I felt God calling me to this small island in the Mediterranean Sea—Cyprus,” Nicholas said.

At Loyola, Nicholas is a member of the Black Student Association, ALANA (African, Latino, Asian, and Native American) mentoring program, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Loyola’s dance company, and Green and Grey Society. She is also a volunteer for the Refugee Youth Project and a tour guide through the Ignatian Society.

During her time in Cyprus, Nicholas plans to visit Aphrodite’s birthplace and learn more about Greek mythology, all while eating local cuisine like kebabs, souvla, halloumi, and loukoumades.  

Nicholas said she has a love for learning new cultures and meeting new people, which inspired her to apply for the Fulbright. Her previous experiences abroad and her Loyola education have prepared her for her nine months in Cyprus.  

“Through volunteering with the Center for Community Service and Justice and the Refugee Youth Project, I’ve seen what is happening right in Loyola’s neighborhood–giving me a better understanding of the world around me. The core curriculum has also allowed me to gain an understanding of the larger world, through history and English classes that I really enjoyed,” Nicholas said.

Nicholas is the second member of the Loyola community to win a Fulbright this year. Gabrielle Smith, ’15, also won a Fulbright this year to teach English in Turkey. Last academic year, Taylor Rogers, ’15, won a Fulbrightto teach English in Malaysia. Faculty members Carsten Vala, Ph.D., associate professor of political science, and David Binkley, Ph.D., professor of computer science, also won Fulbrights in 2014-15.

Contact Loyola’s national fellowships office for more information on Fulbright opportunities and other scholarships and fellowships.

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