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Global Classrooms: SOE Doctoral Student Visits Senegal on Fulbright Fellowship
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Nikysha “Nikki” Gilliam, a student in SOE’s Doctorate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice program, spent 16 memorable days in Senegal in April 2019 as part of the prestigious Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms fellowship program.
An English and English Language Development teacher at Dorsey High School in Los Angeles, Gilliam was one of approximately 76 educators who traveled abroad in 2018-19 through the Fulbright program, the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government to build relations with people in other countries that will contribute to solving global challenges. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential. The program is funded by the U.S. Congress and U.S. Department of State, and operates in more than 160 countries.
Gilliam and approximately a dozen other Fulbright fellows spent a week in Senegal meeting with educators and visiting schools in major cities such as Dakar, Senegal’s capital, as well as in rural communities. For the second week, each fellow was placed at a school site with a host teacher, where they observed classrooms and taught students. Gilliam spent her time at Lycée Sanghe, investigating how the student voice was incorporated in a different culture.
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The way students cooperated with each other and shared resources, the way that teachers had and maintained high expectations for their students, and the way the community worked with and supported their local school was encouraging and inspiring.
“Visiting Senegal was a life-changing experience for me,” Gilliam says. “The way students cooperated with each other and shared resources, the way that teachers had and maintained high expectations for their students, and the way the community worked with and supported their local school was encouraging and inspiring. I look forward to continuing and strengthening the connection between Lycée Sanghe and Dorsey High School. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to bring the world into my classroom and show my students how connected we really are.” View pictures from her trip on her online global education guide here.
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