(Note: Brandon Boyer, a 2019 Villanova University graduate, is the inaugural Penny Gerber Fellow at Ceisler Media. The fellowship, named in honor of former Ceisler Media Senior Analyst Penny Gerber, is designed to provide opportunity for a newly graduated student to break into the business.)
Stepping out of our comfort zone can be an intimidating but rewarding experience. For many, young adulthood is a time of self-discovery, an opportunity to push one’s boundaries and learn more about ourselves in the process.
That’s exactly what 32 Villanova students are doing this school year.
More than 35 percent of Villanova students and alumni who applied were accepted into the Fulbright program this year.
Named after the late U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright, the program was established in 1946 with the intention of connecting the United States with partnering countries after World War II. Scholars who are accepted can pursue interests from a variety of fields, from teaching English to conducting research.
“I’m most excited to learn what identity means for the people of Brazil,” said recent Villanova graduate Nawnora Manosca, who will be teaching English in Brazil next spring through the program. “I want to see how the people of Brazil go about discovering and making sense of their identity considering the complex history the country has.”
Whether in college or the workplace, most people can feel apprehensive when confronted with new experiences. As feelings of uncertainty take hold, we can lose sight of the opportunities for development and growth. By being willing to immerse themselves in an entirely new country and culture, Villanova’s Fulbright scholars are leading by example, showing the possibilities that can open up when we choose to lean into discomfort. In doing so, we can learn more not just about others, but ourselves as well.
“I hope to make a new friend- someone I connect with and share ideas with,” said Manosca, “We make it seem like because people are from different countries that people are so wildly different, but I think we’re more alike than people think.”