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Haughey, Surman named 2013 Fulbright Scholars

Office of Communications & Marketing | Northeastern State University
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. -- Taiwan and Greece are the respective destinations of a Northeastern State University student and faculty member who are grant recipients of the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship Program for the 2013-14 academic year.
NSU's newest Fulbright Scholars are Abbey Haughey, the university's first U.S. student scholar, and Dr. Patricia Surman, lecturer of music.
“I want to fully seize the moments given to me,” said Haughey, a senior from Tulsa completing her full teaching internship at Bixby High School. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will expand and strengthen my teaching skills. Also, I am excited to travel and get to know about another culture as their guest. I may never have this opportunity again – to teach and live in another country. It is such an honor.”
Haughey will spend a calendar year in Taiwan as an English teaching assistant. She chose Taiwan because of some knowledge of Mandarin Chinese gained as a foreign exchange student. She said Taiwan seeks education majors to teach English.
“I want to focus on getting as much experience with teaching as possible,” she said. “This Fulbright scholarship will help me grow as a teacher and as a person, so I want to absorb as much as I can. I know a little about the language, and I hope to become fluent in Mandarin while in Taiwan.” Haughey will be based in Kaohsiung County, in southern Taiwan.
Surman said her first reactions to being named a Fulbright scholar were surprise and excitement.
“Once it sunk in, I felt incredibly humbled and honored to be chosen," she said. "It is a great opportunity for me as a teacher and researcher, and it will also bring more well-deserved honor and respect to our university.”
Surman applied for her Fulbright grant in August 2012 and received confirmation of her award in April. She will spend six months in Greece providing instruction and conducting research at the University of Macedonia, located in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, the second largest in the Mediterranean country. She has studied the Greek language at home and will attend a language immersion course before beginning her research.
“I will give lectures and performances featuring American music for flute, and I will research contemporary works for flute by Greek composers,” said Surman. “Greece offers a semester-length Fulbright option, which works well for what I want to accomplish.”
Surman said Greece is a beautiful country, rich in historical and cultural significance in her field, and she wants the experience of living abroad. 
“I hope to foster connections with the Greek people through music, to serve as a cultural ambassador for the United States, Oklahoma and NSU and to learn about their system of higher education,” said Surman.
The Fulbright Program, one of the most prestigious awards programs worldwide, provides funds for scholars, educators, graduate students, advanced research and teaching in elementary and secondary schools abroad. About 8,000 grants are awarded each year.
Fulbright Scholars are celebrated on campus, and help NSU fulfill its mission of empowering individuals to become socially responsible global citizens.
Students or faculty interested in applying for the Fulbright grant can call Dr. Andrew Vassar, Fulbright campus representative at NSU, at 918-444-2728. Vassar approves applications, can assist with the process, and offer advice about selecting a country that best matches an applicant's skills and background.
"NSU is looking for more students who have qualifications such as experience in foreign countries, some knowledge of a foreign language, and the desire to study or teach abroad," Vassar said.
For more information about available Fulbright grants and requisite qualifications, visit

Published: 8/6/2013 3:19:27 PM

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