April 22, 2011
Fulbright Scholar Catherine Trainor will teach English in Russia beginning this fall.
WOOSTER, Ohio — Catherine Trainor, a senior history major with minors in Russian studies and physics, has been selected as a Fulbright Scholar for the 2011-2012 academic year. A resident of Piedmont, Calif., and a graduate of Piedmont High School, she will teach English in Russia beginning in the fall.
“I’m really excited,” said Trainor, who becomes Wooster's 17th Fulbright recipient since 2000. “I am hoping to make connections in places other than Moscow and St. Petersburg, where I spent time in an off-campus study program as a junior.”
Trainor is also hoping to translate her Senior Independent Study (I.S.) project (Wooster’s nationally acclaimed undergraduate research experience) — a documentary film about Fort Ross, a little-known Russian settlement in the 1800s on the northern coast of California — in Russian. In addition, she hopes to invite Russian students to the U.S. for a conference celebrating the 200th anniversary of Fort Ross next year.
Greg Shaya, associate professor of history at Wooster and advisor for her I.S. project, said he was thrilled but not surprised by Trainor’s honor. “Cathy is a credit to the College and to the Department of History,” he said. “She is a talented dancer and choreographer, a polyglot with a keen ear for language, an excellent student of the physical sciences, and an exceptional student of history who stretched the bounds of I.S. with her documentary work. For all of her academic talent, Cathy is a testament to the power of hard work and determination. The Fulbright Foundation could not have made a better selection.”
Trainor was selected on the basis of her fluency in the language as well as her familiarity with the country and the culture. “I’m excited to have an opportunity to return to Russia,” she said. “I am looking forward to representing my country and changing some of the misconceptions about America and its people. I want to make a difference as a teacher, and I would also like to start an informal dance company while I am there.”
Long term, Trainor is considering graduate school to pursue an advanced degree in history or film studies, leading to a possible career in international diplomacy. “I’m hoping that my second visit to Russia will help clarify some of the things I am thinking about doing in the future,” she said.
Fulbright scholars combine 18 hours of weekly classroom instruction with up to six hours of advising or working with Russian teachers of English. An additional six hours per week is reserved for research projects or intensive language study for those with a Critical Language Enhancement Award.
The Fulbright Program is the premiere international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Government. Established in 1946, it is designed to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the citizens of other countries.” During the past 65 years, the program has provided nearly 300,000 participants — chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential — with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
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