Tukes ’15 Awarded Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Taiwan

May 18th, 2015 by 

Raven Tukes
Photo by: Tom Rettig

Raven Tukes ’15, of Morrow, Ga., has received a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship for the 2015-16 academic year to travel to Kinmen, Taiwan in August to serve as a teaching assistant.

Tukes, a Chinese language major with a minor in education with a focus on policy, has traveled to China three times while pursuing her undergraduate degree at Holy Cross. While in China she participated in intensive language immersion programs at Beijing University and the CET Beijing Institute of Education. She also independently pursued an internship with the Beijing Jilai law firm, where she is still currently acting as their corporate contracts translator.

In the summer of 2014, Tukes was named a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow at Princeton University, and participated in a seven week program that included intense public policy and international affairs seminars. Along with the seminars, she took graduate level statistics and microeconomics courses to prepare to evaluate both domestic and international policies. Tukes also conducted foreign policy research on foreign and humanitarian affairs regarding Syrian refugees in the Iraq region. At the conclusion of the program she gave a presentation with her peers on their foreign policy recommendations (a mock briefing) to a panel of foreign service officials and former United States ambassadors. Tukes focused her presentation on educational interventions specifically for Syrian refugee males in the Iraqi region.

The Princeton fellowship led Tukes to secure an internship for the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa as the curriculum auditor. In her role she audited the Academy’s social entrepreneurship curriculum, which teaches young African men and women across the continent about how they can be ethical and socially-conscious global leaders and entrepreneurs. She will be headed back to South Africa before beginning her Fulbright to teach students about economic empowerment and social entrepreneurship at the African Leadership Academy Global Scholars Program.

Tukes has also been active in the Worcester community as she participated in a yearlong internship at the Center for Nonviolent Solutions, an organization that specializes in peace education programs in the Worcester community. As the education intern, Tukes worked closely with the executive director on developing and revising curriculum for the peace education programs that are used in Worcester Public Schools.

At Holy Cross, Tukes has been involved with numerous student organizations including: Student Programs for Urban Development (SPUD), Study Abroad Ambassadors (co-chair), Modern Languages and Literature Student Advisory Committee (co-chair), Aptissmi Global Conference Committee, Multicultural Peer Educators, Black Student Union, Caribbean and African Student Association, and was a member of the cheerleading team in 2011. She is also part of the Black Lives Matter movement on campus.

After her Fulbright grant concludes, Tukes will be attending Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education to pursue her Ed.M. in international education policy. She has career aspirations of becoming an educational consultant for redeveloping educational systems in post-conflict societies. “As a future consultant I hope to help ministries of education, NGO’s and nonprofits around the world implement social justice and peace education programs that lead to the economic and social development of peaceful societies” says Tukes. Her long-range goals are to establish a nonprofit that offers programs in community building and economic empowerment for underserved youth in America. She envisions her organization to offer free study-abroad opportunities to the participants so that they will have the opportunity to learn first-hand from international activists, movements, and peace-makers.

Each year approximately 1,900 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 325,400 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 140 countries worldwide.

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For additional information, please contact Kelly Ethier at 508-793-2419.

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