Clavering ’13 Awarded Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Malaysia

May 22nd, 2013 by Nikolas Markantonatos


Image by John Buckingham

Alex Clavering ’13, of Dix Hills, N.Y., has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Malaysia, where he will teach English to Malaysian high school students from January to October 2014.

A political science major, Clavering says his enjoyment and interest in teaching blossomed at Holy Cross when he tutored at Elm Park Elementary School through the College’s Student Programs for Urban Development (SPUD). “It was here that I experienced some of my fondest memories, and I will never forget walking into the classroom every afternoon to smiling and curious children,” he wrote in his statement of grant purpose.

With an interest in languages and a desire to understand other cultures, Clavering studied Spanish and Arabic at Holy Cross. As a participant in the College’s Washington Semester Program last fall, he conducted his own independent research on the subject of Turkish accession to the European Union, in addition to interning in former Sen. John Kerry’s office.

“After being exposed to Turkey, I wanted to learn more about nations with large Muslim populations and how they functioned, how their governments were designed, and why they were or weren’t successful in promoting free institutions. This is how I became interested in the study of Malaysia,” he wrote in his personal statement.

Clavering hopes to attend either law school or get a master’s from a school in the Washington, D.C., area that offers an emphasis on economics, international relations and global distributive justice. He plans to work in the intelligence community or foreign service.

At Holy Cross, he writes for the Crusader, is a member of the College Democrats, an Admissions Senior interviewer and resident computer consultant with Information Technology Services. He has also worked in the Suffolk County (Long Island) district attorney’s office in the economic crimes bureau, and Rep. Steve Israel’s district office.

Each year approximately 1,700 U.S. college students are awarded grants through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. The Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship program in international educational exchange, awards grants 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 300,000 participants — selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential — have had the opportunity to observe each other’s political, economic and cultural institutions. The program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.

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