Gjinko ’11 Awarded Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Germany

May 3rd, 2011 by Rachel Salemme ’12

Image by John Buckingham

Herma Gjinko ’11, of Worcester, Mass., has earned a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Germany, where she will teach English to German students.

A political science major with a self-designed minor in European integration, Gjinko has always been interested in the cultural and political differences between Eastern and Western Europe. A participant of Holy Cross’ Washington Semester Program, she interned for the East European Studies Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and researched the Greek financial crisis, and Turkey’s position in the transatlantic system.

“My own personal story propelled me to intellectually explore the political phenomenon of European Integration that creates an increasingly closer union between Europeans. From my studies, I began to realize that Germany was the champion of this new vision that surpasses national boundaries,” Gjinko said of her academic interests in Germany.

Gjinko pursued a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Germany because she recognized the country’s struggle to integrate its recent influx of Eastern immigrants into its national culture. As someone who has personally experienced bridging the gap between Eastern European and Western cultures, Gjinko hopes that she can help participate in efforts to promote multicultural tolerance.

She plans on pursuing a graduate degree in international relations and hopes to one day work as a professor or for the State Department.

At Holy Cross, Gjinko is a senator at large for the Student Government Association and a member of the Political Science Student Advisory Committee, Relationship Peer Educator, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Gjinko has also tutored students in Worcester’s Let’s Get Ready! SAT prep program.

Each year approximately 1,000 college students are awarded grants through the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship program in international educational exchange. Fulbright grants are made to U.S. citizens and nationals of other countries for a variety of educational activities, primarily university lecturing, advanced research, graduate study and teaching in elementary and secondary schools. Since the program’s inception in 1946, more than 250,000 participants — chosen for their leadership potential — have had the opportunity to observe each other’s political, economic and cultural institutions.

Read about this year’s other Holy Cross Fulbright Grant recipients: Francesca Bruzzese ’11, Jennifer Caffrey ’11, Kerry Drury ’11, Kristen Dunlap ’08, William Grebe ’11, Jamie McCarthy ’11, Thomas McGlynn ’11, Abigail Chorlton Riskind ’11, and Kathryn Simison ’11.

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