Fulbright Scholar Interview with Kelly Reiling '18

What are you studying at Colgate, and what other activities are you involved in at college?

I am a Chinese and International Relations double-major at Colgate, so I will be receiving my BA in both in May 2022. Breck certainly had a significant impact on my choice of majors, as I was first exposed to the language through Breck’s Chinese program. I was fortunate enough to start studying Chinese in kindergarten with Lucy Lofquist (or Liu Laoshi as we called her) and continued having impeccable teachers from there. I also attended the China Immersion Trip during my senior year of Breck, which only amplified my interest in the Chinese language and its culture. I want to express how grateful I am for all the Breck teachers who helped me fall in love with the language and culture – I firmly believe I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. 

In terms of other activities on campus, I am currently the president of my sorority and a co-leader of Colgate’s Experimental Theatre Club (ETC), which is our campus’s sketch comedy group. Both have gifted me such incredible experiences at Colgate, from performing in front of hundreds of students to getting to be a role model for my sorority’s underclassmen. I also have tutored elementary and college students in Chinese throughout these last four years and now am in the midst of working on an Independent Study for my Chinese major that centers on 1950s Chinese propaganda cartoons (called Manhua 漫画). 

Where are you going to do your Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Fellowship?

I was awarded the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Fellowship in Taiwan, which means I will teach a class of elementary, middle, or high school students while I am there. I have yet to take the placement test, so I do not know exactly where I will be located in Taiwan, but the program placements range from the busy city of Taipei to more rural areas throughout the country. While I am there, I hope to explore all of the beautiful national parks that Taiwan has to offer and to use my experience with ETC to start a sketch comedy group with my students. My highest priorities, however, are getting as fluent as possible in Chinese while helping my students get as fluent as possible in English.

Is there anything else we should know about your Fulbright? 

Julia Murphy '18 also was awarded a Taiwan Fulbright ETA Fellowship. We took Chinese together starting in kindergarten, and it is so cool to see how it all has come full circle with us teaching in a place where we can use our Mandarin. I am really excited to share this experience with her.

 

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