The most meaningful goal in my life at this time is to be granted the honor of participating in the Fulbright program as an English Teaching Assistant in Poland. Through all of my academic and professional activities up to this date, I have proven to be an exemplary member of my community, devoting focused care, time and energy to fostering understanding and authentic expression among people. My deep appreciation of what it means to be an effective communicator, through words and body language, is a main part of the reason why I believe that I would be a highly successful and noteworthy Teaching Assistant.
I have a strong background of training in the field of language, theater and communication, and my expressive and artistic nature would be an asset in my being able to offer the experience to other people of learning something new. I have proven to be able to work well as a leader and director as well as a listener and team player, and I have great confidence in my ability to impart knowledge as well as learn from others.
The reasons for my choice of Poland as a target location center on my own personal ancestry, meaningful experiences in the Polish American community, and my heartfelt desire to work as a cultural ambassador to Poland. As a curious boy of 11, I became interested in genealogy and traced our family back to Poland in the 1700s. I learned that I have distant relatives who live in Poland, including a cousin in Lublin who owns a school where English is taught. I have visited Poland twice before, once with my grandmother when I was 17 years old and once with a friend when I was 25.
The church I attended growing up, St. Hedwig Catholic Church in Gary, Indiana, had a Polish Mass that I attended regularly. I was the organist at church and played during Mass. Although I did not understand everything that was being said, I truly enjoyed engaging in the Polish songs, even more than the English ones. I was only 14 years old when I became the organist there, and the memories of Midnight Mass, sunrise Easter services and the traditions carried over from Poland left distinct impressions on me.
It would be personally enriching for me to spend time in Poland, learning as much as possible about the Polish culture and sharing insight about my own Polish American culture. In my spare time, I would like to observe or assist at a local theater company in Poland. I have several years of professional experience in theater, and it would be interesting to examine the difference between American styles of directing and Polish styles of directing.
There are many past achievements and personal characteristics which qualify me for the opportunity of being honored as a Fulbright scholar. My current major in English and work towards my Bachelor degree at Purdue University is the most prominent demonstration of my high level academic understanding of the English language. This experience is supported by my leadership as President of the Alpha Mu Pi chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, English Honor Society, and awards as Consistent Semester Honors and Chancellor’s List Recipient.
In addition to my university experience, I have been engaged as a professional director and actor in the Indiana theater community. I have performed in over 60 productions, served as the Vocal Director of nine productions, choreographed three productions and served as the Director of seven award winning productions. My membership experience includes the Ball State University Singers, America’s #1 Collegiate Entertainment Organization, and Indiana’s Official Goodwill Ambassadors.
I have also engaged in leadership positions, serving as the Membership Chair, Marketing Chair and President of Portage Community Theatre and Development Chair for the Northwest Indiana Excellence in Theatre Foundation. Various awards received include Winner of Best Director, Best Actor, Best Vocal Director Awards, and Musical and Play Viewer for the Northwest Indiana Excellence in Theatre Foundation. Upon returning to the United States, it is my intention to enter a Master degree program and continue on to the doctorate level.