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Morehouse’s 2008 Fulbright Scholars Prepare to Teach English in Foreign Lands

By ADD SEYMOUR JR.


LeSean Brown ’08 and Eric Baylor ’08 are preparing to head overseas as the two recent Morehouse graduates have become the College’s latest Fulbright Scholar Program award winners.

The new Morehouse men are two of 3,500 students in more than 150 countries who are Fulbright scholars this year.

Named in honor of the late U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright, who pushed for an international exchange program in the 1940s, the Fulbright Program is designed to increase mutual understanding between people in the United States and in other countries. Brown and Baylor will both be participating in the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Program.

Brown, an international studies major from Lithonia, Ga., is headed to Germany in June for 10 months where he will teach English and American studies at a high school there while Baylor, a Spanish and philosophy major from Birmingham, Ala., will teach English in Argentina for eight months.

Brown already participated in a German student-exchange program in high school. But he said the Fulbright Program allows him to implement his own student-exchange program, which will give African American high school students an opportunity to spend their spring break with German students. The German students will, in turn, spend their Christmas break with African American students.

“This program is an attack on those stereotypes that are given to Europeans,” Brown said. “So this is another perspective of African Americans that I want to afford to Germans.”

After returning to the United States next year, Brown will attend Princeton University to pursue a master’s degree and then will go to work for the U.S. State Department as a foreign officer.

“My long-term goal is to become an ambassador for the State Department,” he said.

The news that he had been chosen as a Fulbright scholar had great timing for Baylor, who was a copy editor for The Maroon Tiger and also tutored Spanish and English at Morehouse.

“I didn’t know what I was going to do after graduation. I didn’t apply to any graduate schools and I knew I wasn’t ready to go into the work force,” he said. “(The assistantship) gave me direction.”

Baylor’s teaching assignment in Argentina begins in March 2009. But he is busy this summer as he prepares to go to Cairo, Egypt for three months as part of a U.S. State Department critical language scholarship program. He will study modern standard Arabic and Egyptian colloquial dialect.

“I’ve always been into foreign service,” said Baylor, who is now considering a career in teaching English in other countries. “I’m just really ecstatic.”

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