Another Brooklyn College Senior Wins Fulbright Award This Year

May 13, 2011

Graduating senior Adriana Caruso has just added some credence to the old saw that good things come in threes: She won a Fulbright award to teach English in Spain, making her the third Brooklyn College student to win the honor this year.

Caruso, who majors in both Italian and Spanish secondary education, applied for the esteemed scholarship because she says she feels it will help her in her quest to foster language and cultural education in New York City, where she plans to teach and counsel at the high school level. With the Fulbright award, she will be a teaching assistant in Madrid, a city that has experienced a great deal of immigration from South America.

“Madrid is becoming the No. 1 place for South American immigrants to go, and the idea of seeing firsthand how the community and school system have been so accepting of them and help them become a part of society was very appealing to me,” says Caruso, who is currently a student teacher at Edward R. Murrow High School, which she attended. “We also have tons of South American immigrants, and I think that learning from Spain’s policies would better teach us how to help our immigrants as well.”

Caruso comes from a long line of teachers. Her father has taught for more than 32 years. Other members of her family are teachers as well.

The composition of her family also influenced Caruso’s choice of majors. With a Sicilian father, she grew up going to Italy often, and she studied abroad there during her sophomore year. Her Cuban mother also ensured that Spanish was spoken in their home.

“Being exposed to all these different worlds opened doors for me,” she says, lamenting the fact that the United States does not mandate bilingual or bicultural education the way many other nations do. “I want to be able open doors for my students.”

She says that despite the melting-pot nature of New York City, she’s not sure that all New Yorkers truly appreciate or take advantage of their diverse surroundings. She hopes that fostering language education will help change that.

After her year in Spain, Caruso, a former peer mentor, plans to attend graduate school, hopefully at Brooklyn College, to obtain a master’s degree in school counseling.

She joins Michelle Leuenberger and Christine Pigott, two other Brooklyn College seniors who won Fulbright Scholarships earlier this year. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the scholarship was established after World War II to foster greater understanding between nations through educational exchange.

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