Kensington resident wins Fulbright award to teach English in Malaysia

Emma Cogan, a senior at Loyola University Maryland, will "dedicate her life to making the world a better place"

BALTIMORE, MD (04/24/2012)(readMedia)-- Emma Cogan, '12, has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) to teach English in primary and secondary schools in Malaysia for 10 months beginning in January 2013. This is the fourth year in a row that a Loyola University Maryland student has won a Fulbright.

Cogan, a history major and philosophy minor from Kensington, Md., will be assigned to a small town in a rural area. She will spend 20 hours per week in the classroom assisting English teachers and an additional 10-15 hours per week participating in or leading school-related activities. Only 75 Fulbright applicants receive ETAs in Malaysia each year.

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Cogan. "Service is such a strong aspect of our Jesuit education at Loyola, and my experiences here combined with what I'll learn in Malaysia will help shape my plan to dedicate my life to making the world a better place."

Cogan applied for the Fulbright because of her interest in education as a bridge between cultures, particularly between the Islamic and Western worlds. She learned about the Fulbright through Loyola's national fellowships office and its director, Arthur M. Sutherland, Ph.D., who guided her through the application process. Her application was supported by Loyola faculty members Timothy Stapleton, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy; R. Keith Schoppa, Ph.D., professor and Doehler Chair in Asian History; and Jane Edwards, instructor of history.

"I'm thrilled that a student of Emma's exceptional academic caliber and leadership ability will represent Loyola in the Fulbright program this year," said Sutherland. "Her experience and proven commitment to excellence in the classroom, campus organizations, and service initiatives will be of remarkable value to her work in Malaysia."

Cogan is currently interning at the Rumi Forum in Washington, D.C. and has previously interned at the National Institutes of Health and the Baltimore office of the American Civil Liberties Union. She is a high school tutor and acculturation support provider at the Refugee Youth Project, vice president of Loyola's natural disaster relief agency Hounds for Hope, president of Loyola's chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, and head coordinator of Loyola's mentoring program for first-year students. As a Maryland state representative to the Henry Clay Center's Student Congress on public policy and diplomacy, Cogan's research skills placed her debate team take second place in a critical agenda debate. In 2009, she was a teaching assistant at St. Mary of the Assumption School in Baltimore. Her numerous awards and honors include an undergraduate merit scholarship from the American Council on Italian Matters and an award in experimental fiction from the Columbia Press Association.

When she returns to the United States, Cogan plans to work at a think tank or NGO and focus on international development issues in the areas of children's rights and education. Her long-term goal is to have a career in foreign service, specifically in international development.

Cogan follows Mazen Shomali, '11, who won a Fulbright grant in 2011 to teach English in Macau, a former Portuguese colony now governed by China, located 37 miles southwest of Hong Kong. In 2009 and 2008, respectively, Frances Quattrone, '09, won a Fulbright to do research in Turkey, and Tania Ziegler, '09, won a Fulbright to do research in China.