MILWAUKEE – Two Marquette University seniors were selected for 2016-17 Fulbright U.S. Student Awards and they will spend several months working overseas as English teaching assistants through the prestigious program celebrating its 70th year.
Olanrewaju Awosika, a senior in the Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences majoring in Spanish for the health professions, and Robert Borowik, a senior in the College of Education triple majoring in secondary education, history and economics, each were selected for the Fulbright English Teaching Assistants awards.
They will be placed in classrooms abroad to help local English teachers while serving as cultural ambassadors for the United States. Awosika will work at Universidad de Simón Bolívar in Barranquilla, Colombia, and Borowik will be at a not yet determined location in Azerbaijan.
“Both Lanre and Robert perfectly fit the larger purpose of Fulbright, which is cultural understanding in a one-on-one environment,” said Dr. John Pustejovsky, associate professor of German and Marquette’s Fulbright adviser. “Fulbright chooses the smartest young Americans they can find and the ones who show the greatest promise for being effective one-on-one with students in other cultures.”
Awosika, of Milwaukee, is a graduate of Divine Savior Holy Angels High School. At Marquette, she participated in the Educational Opportunity Program and is a Ronald E. McNair scholar. She also served as president of Allies of the Club and is a member of the African Student Association. Awosika has studied abroad in Madrid, Spain and traveled to Quito, Ecuador as a participant in the International Marquette Action Program.
After her 10-month Fulbright stint ends, she plans to attend graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in public health.
“In Colombia, I have the opportunity to participate in a social or community project tailored to my interests/career goals,” she said. “Since I hope to attend graduate school for public health, I am interested in a community project that promotes health education or raises health awareness.”
Borowik, of Greenfield, is a graduate of Greenfield High School. He will receive a bachelor of arts in middle/secondary education.
“I’m excited to be going to Azerbaijan, a predominantly Muslim country, to experience a culture that is completely different from the United States,” Borowik said. “I specifically chose Azerbaijan because it was formerly part of the Soviet Union, and ideally I would like to attend graduate school to study Eastern European history after my Fulbright service ends.”
Borowik, whose parents emigrated from Poland, was the president of the Polish Club and was a board member of Phi Alpha Theta, the history honor society, at Marquette. He also was a member of the Ukrainian Society and Alpha Sigma Nu.
From its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has fostered bilateral relationships in which citizens and governments of other countries work with the U.S. to set joint priorities and shape the program to meet shared needs. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the largest U.S. exchange program offering opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide. The program currently awards approximately 1,900 grants annually in all fields of study, and operates in more than 140 countries worldwide.
Photos available upon request.