Past Winners

Samantha's Story

Samantha Creel
Samantha Creel
Spring 2017 graduate
2017 Fulbright US Student Program: English Teaching Assistantship in Bahrain
2017 Critical Language Scholarship: Arabic language learning in
Oman


Samantha Creel is currently learning Arabic language in Oman as part of her 2017 Critical Language Scholarship. At the conclusion of her time in Oman, she will travel to Bahrain for her 2017 Fulbright US Student Program English Teaching Assistantship. As she reflects on her success, she has fond memories of the time she spent with the Office of National Scholarships in preparation for national scholarship applications.

"Ms. Lauren Chambers (Fulbright Program Advisor), guided me through the somewhat intimidating process of applying for the Fulbright ETA grant in Bahrain. With her expert advice and feedback, I started my application on a timeline that allowed for multiple statement revisions as well as a faculty review of my application before submission. I finished with a much stronger application and a much less stressed experience with her help!," says Samantha.

She is also thankful for the assistance she received during the application process for the Critical Language Scholarship.

"The Critical Language Scholarship Advisor, Robert, used his expertise in writing and this scholarship's specific requirements to provide me with feedback on each of the five essays the application requires. I'm positive that the integration of this feedback led to my success in winning the scholarship, and I am grateful to have had the chance to work through my application with his guidance," Samantha says.

Her time in Oman has given her the opportunity to speak Arabic and be exposed to the culture in a way which would not be possible elsewhere, and approach cultural differences from a new perspective. "Experiencing the challenges and rewards of learning in an immersive environment made me an infinitely better and more understanding ESL teacher," says Samantha. "I can better understand my students' emotions and be able to relate to them on a new level because of this experience."

She encourages interested students to put their self-doubts aside and work with ONS throughout the application process. "Working with people who know the scholarship selection process inside and out and showing your application to as many people as possible will help improve your essays and participation in meaningful self-reflection," Samantha says. "It will also improve your confidence in knowing – and being able to explain – why you want that scholarship, which is crucial to creating a competitive application."

After completing the Critical Language Scholarship in Oman and the Fulbright US Student Program English Teaching Assistantship in Bahrain, she plans to pursue a PhD in Sociolinguistics at Georgetown University. Upon completion of the PhD, Samantha hopes to work for the Department of State and/or as an English (EFL) teacher in the Middle East, where she can combine her two areas of interest - the Arabic language and teaching English as a second/foreign language.

Congratulations, Samantha!

Interested in Critical Language Scholarship Opportunities? Please contact Mr. Robert Annis at rannis@honors.usf.edu.

Interested in Fulbright US Student Program opportunities? Please contact Ms. Lauren Chambers at lschumac@honors.usf.edu.