Zoya Hsiao Zoya Hsiao received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award to South Korea from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and will support the teaching of English as part of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship. (Photo Provided)

Bright Futures

Recent grads earn Fulbright Awards to teach abroad

When Purdue’s National and International Scholarships Office (NISO) recently honored 33 students who placed in prestigious nationwide and international scholarship competitions during 2017-18, the list of those who received a Fulbright grant included two from the Krannert School of Management.

Zoya Hsiao, a December 2017 graduate who earned a degree in general management and marketing, received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award to South Korea from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. She will support the teaching of English as part of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship.

Shannon Kane, a May 2018 graduate of Krannert’s marketing program, received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award to Germany from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and also will support the teaching of English as part of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship.

Hsiao credits her success not only to the Krannert School, but also Purdue’s Honors College. “The classes offered drive students to consider current issues from a unique perspective while preparing them to design and implement innovative ideas for the future," she says.

"One of the honors classes that shaped me the most was actually taken my freshmen year. I took a course about the culture and history of Afghanistan and its central Asian neighbors — things beyond the Afghanistan War, and even had the opportunity to tutor a local Afghan girl, Bahara, in English. We developed a genuine relationship that thrived off exchanging tidbits of each other’s culture, and Bahara and I kept in touch after the class. Besides understanding and redefining how topics like city planning, the Middle East and terrorism are perceived in society, I learned things you cannot learn within a traditional classroom.” 

Working with Krannert faculty members Meara Habashi and Charlene Sullivan as part of her Senior Honors Thesis, “Perceptions of Racial Discrimination against Asians,” Hsiao also analyzed potential discrepancies of perceived discrimination against those with an Asian ethnic background versus those with other racial backgrounds on Purdue University's main campus.

With study abroad experiences in both South Korea and France, as well as serving as peer advisor for Purdue Study Abroad Programs, Hsiao’s global perspective goes far beyond Purdue.

“I got to learn and experience contrasting cultures, as well as learn about the foundations of each nation that influence their societies today, which really influenced my philosophy how I view the world today,” she says. “I'm a naturally outgoing person, but my study abroad experiences still pushed me to step out of the box and be proactive in trying new things.

“Having previous involvement in teaching English at summer camps in Taiwan, combined with all the enriching experiences I had in college, the Fulbright seemed like the perfect challenge. I'm so thankful to have received this opportunity and look forward to growing beyond my comfort zone in terms of teaching, learning and adapting at a higher level.”

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