Allyson Butz, a 2020 Lebanon Valley College (LVC) graduate, recently received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant award to be in Germany for the 2020-21 academic year. 

Butz graduated as an elementary education major with minors in German and global studies. She had previously studied in Wurzburg, Germany through LVC’s Zerbe Summer Study Abroad Scholarship.

The Fulbright Program was established in 1946. The program has given over 390,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to important international problems. 

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Over 8,000 students, college and university faculty and administrators in the United States, as well as foreign students and scholars, are awarded grants each year to study, lecture, conduct research, or teach their native language on the program.

Butz is the eleventh LVC student to receive the award in the past five years. She told LebTown she hopes to expand her teaching skills, explore German culture, and use that experience to advance her career.

Read More: Lebanon Valley College a top producer of Fulbright students

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“I hope that I will be able to use this experience to improve my teaching in an elementary school later on,” she said.

Butz completed the Fulbright application process while she was working as a student teacher last fall.

“It is a long process and at times a little challenging,” said Butz. “I think that my biggest obstacle was completing this process while student teaching, which can already be stressful and busy. However, the support I received from Dr. [Philip] Benesch helped me to submit the best application possible.”

Dr. Benesch is an associate professor of political science, director of the pre-law program, and the faculty director of external scholarships fellowships and scholarships at LVC.

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“Dr. Benesch was a huge help with the overall process and I had four other faculty members help throughout this process,” said Butz. “They helped to write recommendations and evaluate my language performance. So, a huge thank you to Dr. Chamberlin, Dr. Meindl, Dr. Kanupka and Mrs. Summers for their support and encouragement throughout.”

Overall, the process has helped Butz learn to make better use of her time and write clearly and concisely in application essays.

Allyson Butz, pictured above, is the 11th LVC student to win a Fulbright scholarship in the past five years.

At this point, Butz does not know any additional details about her travel plans due to the COVID-19 crisis.

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“The plan is for me to be an English Teaching Assistant in a German school and through this, engage with the culture and life in Germany,” said Butz. “No matter what happens, I know that this honor is something that I will be able to carry throughout my life. Even though things are uncertain, I am excited about this opportunity and I want to thank everyone who supported me through this journey.”

Any LVC students or recent alumni who would like to apply for future Fulbright awards should contact Dr. Benesch at benesch@lvc.edu

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