Vanlam Hua Luu of Mercyhurst University has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarship to Vietnam for an English Teaching Assistantship, according to an announcement by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.
Luu, a graduate student in Mercyhurst’s master of science degree program in special education, earned her undergraduate degree in elementary education from Mercyhurst in 2010.
“This award represents the academic dedication and persistence of Vanlam, which in turn will result in the most unique of experiences for her,” said Dr. Phil Belfiore, vice president for academic affairs.
Luu, 23, of New Jersey, said she is grateful to have the opportunity to live and work in her family’s homeland next year.
“My family came to the United States during the Vietnam War and I was born and raised here,” she said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to spend a year in Vietnam, expanding my teaching background and gaining a cultural understanding of the educational system there. I’m also looking forward to getting more in touch with my family there, some of whom I’ve never even met.”
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed 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.
Luu said she is grateful to her friends and family for their support during the arduous application process. She also thanked her Mercyhurst family, in particular Belfiore, Fulbright adviser Dr. Marnie Sullivan, faculty of the university’s education department and mentors at St. Gregory Parish School in North East, where she currently is teaching as a graduate assistant.
Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in government, science, the arts, business, philanthropy, education, and athletics. Forty Fulbright alumni from 11 countries have been awarded the Nobel Prize, and 75 alumni have received Pulitzer Prizes.
For more information on the Prestigious Awards Program at Mercyhurst, please contact its director, Dr. Verna Ehret, at 824-2532; firstname.lastname@example.org.