Kayla Stewart, who earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism last year from the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, has been awarded a Fulbright Indonesia English Teaching Assistantship for the 2016 – 2017 academic year.
She will soon travel to Indonesia to teach English and photojournalism. After this experience, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in international relations with a focus on Southeast Asia.
“I've always been interested in other cultures and how the implications of various upbringings affect how nations interact,” Stewart said. “In regards to Southeast Asia, my dad spent time in Asia during the Vietnam War. While his journey of course wasn't for pleasant reasons, his descriptions of Asia sparked an interest in me early on. I ended up connecting with Indonesia because of the culture, language and history there. Also, as a journalist, I felt that I could have a significant impact as an ambassador for more progressive media behavior – starting with my students.”
Fulbright scholarships are administered by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Stewart, who was a member of the Honors College and graduated with honors, credits the lessons she learned at UH for helping her to earn this highly competitive academic award.
“My impassioned professors, the array of extracurricular activities, and the incredible students and friends I met along the way were all integral in preparing me for this,” Stewart said. “I can honestly say that if I hadn't gotten my degree from UH, I would not be embarking on this journey.”
- By Mike Emery