Alexandra Regan ’12, of Medford, Mass., has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Sri Lanka where she will teach English to Sri Lankan students during the 2013-14 academic year. She also hopes to study Sinhalese literature and see how it relates to modernism, which she studied during her undergraduate career at Holy Cross.
Through her self-designed major at Holy Cross, titled A Study of European Modernism, Regan explored the philosophical, cultural and religious atmosphere that spurred the modernist movement in Europe, especially its relations to modernist art and poetry (namely the work of T.S. Eliot).
The Fulbright will help Regan continue studying the Sri Lankan culture that has long fascinated her. She studied abroad in Sri Lanka during her junior year, and focused her senior thesis on the complicated interconnectedness of Eastern and Western religious ideology in Eliot’s poetry.
“I love working with children — especially creating programs for at-risk youth — so it would be wonderful if I could get involved with an organization in Sri Lanka that works to care for and educate children that may otherwise slip through the cracks. I’ve also recently discovered yoga, so I’d really like the opportunity to learn more about the art of meditation,” she said.
Regan has always dreamed of becoming an English professor with a focus on comparative literature, and plans to continue her studies of Sri Lankan literature and philosophy to develop comparisons between Eastern and Western culture.
At Holy Cross, Regan was involved in Student Programs for Urban Development and the Spring Break Immersion Program. She also worked as a counselor at the South Worcester Neighborhood Center, and as a marketing intern at the YWCA of Central Massachusetts.
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.