Thursday, May 05, 2016

[468] Alum lands 14th MTSU Fulbright; national director visits April 28

MURFREESBORO — As MTSU Honors College officials learned 2015 graduate Dalton Lauderback had been selected to receive a Fulbright Award, they also announced one of the top Fulbright administrators would be coming to campus Thursday, April 28.

Dan Kramer, director of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, will fly from New York to meet with students and faculty starting at 1:30 p.m. in Room 106 of the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building for an information session on how to be competitive in the Fulbright process.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program sends students, young professionals and artists to teach and/or conduct research for up to a year in other countries.

Lauderback, the 14th MTSU Fulbright recipient in the past seven years, will serve as an English teaching assistant in Sachsen, Germany, during the 2016-17 school year. He is from Christiana, Tennessee, and now lives in Smyrna, Tennessee.

To view a list of past and present Fulbright recipients, visit

Having graduated in 2015 with a double major in global studies and political science, along with minors in psychology and German, Lauderback chose to apply for the Fulbright teaching position in Germany for several reasons.

Not only did his grandparents emigrate from the area in the 19th century, but he also has a genuine interest in teaching and learning about other cultures, especially foreign languages.

“For me, learning a second language has, in a way, opened up the world,” Lauderback said. “While serving as an English teaching assistant, I not only hope to connect personally with the students, teachers and the local community, but I also want to help others form international connections and have the kinds of global experiences that knowing multiple languages allows.”

Lauderback has spent the past few years as a volunteer for Catholic Charities of Tennessee, where he taught English to refugees from Myanmar, Congo and Somalia. Once a week, he visited refugees at their apartments in order to teach them the basics of the English language and to help them transition into American culture.

In the spring semester of 2014, he completed a study at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. He describes his experience there as one that “really opened my eyes to what the world has to offer.”

As a result, when he returned to MTSU he decided to work as an International Student Exchange Program Ambassador because he wanted to encourage his fellow students to pursue similar study abroad opportunities.

After his time in Germany, Lauderback hopes to serve in Southeast Asia with the Peace Corps and to apply to Yale University’s Global Affairs master’s program. Eventually, he hopes to work for the nonprofit company Mercy Corps. Ultimately, he would like to work in developing regions on issues of conflict resolution and sustainability.

Regardless of his future career, however, Lauderback says that he “will always be a globally-engaged citizen.” For him, the Fulbright is a great opportunity to continue to pursue his passions in international relations, civic service and intercultural communication.

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs funds the Fulbright fellowship, one of the world’s most prestigious educational exchange programs. Recipients are chosen on the basis of academic or professional achievement and demonstrated leadership potential.

Honors College Dean John Vile credits Laura Clippard, Undergraduate Fellowships coordinator, for her role in MTSU students obtaining Fulbright, Goldwater and numerous other awards and fellowships in recent years.

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