As an educator, Lesley graduate Joanie Andruss believes that the experience of cultural exchange is vital to effective teaching in an interconnected world.
Monday, May 13, 2013
In February, 2013, Joanie Andruss earned her Master of Education Degree in the Self Designed Master’s Degree Program in the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences at Lesley University. And, she couldn’t have been happier about it, until she received a special letter. Her excitement mushroomed when she learned that she won a Fulbright Award to work in Montenegro with English Language Learners in 2013-14.
Joanie grew up in magnificent rural settings from Southeast Alaska to Eastern Oregon. She became a nature enthusiast at a very young age, and had the unique childhood experience of growing up as a student of nature. Her family imbued her with reverence for the earth and all of its riches. As an undergraduate student, Joanie observed a lack of environmental awareness in her fellow teaching candidates.
Joanie articulates her passion for her work brilliantly: “The lack of awareness in my fellow teaching candidates propelled me into my graduate studies in which I’ve pursued the question of how to build cultural and ecological sustainability awareness among pre-service teachers.”
Joanie added that, “Marion Nesbit was my faculty adviser, an inspirational person at Lesley, where the culture of learning is so advanced, I was able to combine intercultural competency, global citizenship, and sustainability awareness. And, I was encouraged to apply for this Fulbright Award.”
When Joanie’s faculty advisor, Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Marion Nesbit, PhD., was contacted about Joanie, she was proud and moved by her gifted student’s achievement, “It was a true privilege and pleasure to serve as Joanie's core faculty advisor over the course of her degree program. Joanie's work was masterful, as she applied Integral Theory and methodology to cultivating critical global citizenship in teacher education.” Dr. Nesbit went on to share, “I believe that these master's accomplishments at Lesley provide a terrific foundation in transformative international education and cultivation of global citizenship for Joanie’s Fulbright service in Montenegro.”
More thoughts from Joanie, this extraordinary recent Lesley graduate: “In order to explore the world and deepen my understanding of global sustainability issues, I have sought opportunities to conduct research in Sāmoa and American Sāmoa. This experience allowed me to take a group of education students to the South Pacific, many of whom had never left the confines of Idaho, thereby sparking a sense of travel and expanded perspectives in a group of new educators. Considering that I have just turned 25, I feel very grateful for the richness of these opportunities. As an educator, I believe that the experience of cultural exchange is vital to effective teaching in an interconnected world.”
Joanie is awaiting further details of her Fulbright, and she encourages students at Lesley to apply, “I encourage anyone interested in pursuing a Fulbright to apply to a country or program that best fits their passions and skills.”
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