Abigail Baker graduated from Temple University’s College of Education and Human Development with a degree in Secondary Education-English in 2021. While a student at Temple, Abigail worked with students from Philadelphia’s diverse community, both as a tutor for the Temple athletics department and as a student teacher. For the last two years, Abigail has been a Philadelphia public school teacher, working with high school students to grow their confidence as critical readers and writers. During the 2022-2023 academic year, Abigail participated in the Quality Teaching for English Learners professional cohort for the School District of Philadelphia. With colleagues, she designed and implemented high quality lessons to specifically support multilingual learners. Upon returning from Greece, she hopes to pursue an advanced degree in Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Abigail is excited to learn from her students and colleagues at Athens College and explore the culture and community of Athens. Beyond the classroom, Abigail has been a producer for high school theater, a camp counselor, and an avid cheerleader for her students and larger community. In her free time, she loves to read, hike, bake, and explore.
English Teaching Assistant Program - Athens College
Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Secondary Education English
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX
History, Ancient Mediterranean Studies
Acacia Oyler recently graduated from Trinity University with BA in Ancient Greek and History and minors in Museum Studies and Ancient Mediterranean Studies. During her undergraduate studies, she was primarily interested in exploring relationships between gender and power in ancient Greek literature, which culminated in her undergraduate thesis on gendered portrayals of death in Hellenistic and Imperial epigrams. As a junior, she studied classics and modern Greek in Athens, an experience that cemented her passion for Greek language and culture, both past and present. Outside of the classroom, Acacia held multiple leadership roles across campus, including serving as a Resident Assistant in Trinity’s sophomore college and a Teaching Assistant for ancient Greek. She also worked in various aspects of historical research and curation at the National Museum of the Pacific War, the Witte Museum, and the Texas Heritage Project at American Indians in Texas. Throughout these experiences, she sought to find new ways of reframing historical narratives for modern audiences in order to highlight marginalized voices. She looks forward to learning more about Greek culture in this upcoming year, and hopes that teaching in Greece will help her develop as a culturally mindful educator.
Villanova University, Villanova, PA
Psychology and Philosophy
Allison Bajada graduated from Villanova University in May 2023 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, as well as minors in Theatre and Ethics. At Villanova, she was selected as a Presidential Scholar and was actively involved as Station Manager of WXVU 89.1 The Roar, Villanova’s radio station. She also hosted the radio show “Please Tune In!” and co-hosted the weekly morning show “The Morning Roar”. Allison has delivered two TEDxVillanovaU talks about desensitization to violence and entomophagy. She served as an advocate for women’s leadership as a McNulty Institute Lorenzini Leadership Ambassador and worked as a Student Ambassador at Villanova’s Center for Research and Fellowships. During her summers, she conducted independent research as a member of the Adversity and Resilience in Development Laboratory, focusing on the impact of COVID on homeless shelter staff as well as the role of parent language in play interactions in shelters. She has also worked as a private tutor for several years. In her free time, Allison enjoys cooking, spending time with cats (she rescued her cat Austin from Villanova’s campus), and competitively watching Jeopardy! Allison chose Greece in the hopes of engaging further with her Mediterranean heritage. She looks forward to comparing the teaching of English as a second language in the U.S. and Greece, which will enrich her future research.
Georgia College and State University, Milledgeville, GA
Anagha Ramakrishnan graduated from Georgia College & State University in 2022 with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communication and a Minor in English, Creative Writing. At Georgia College, she worked for her university's leadership program, admissions office, student-run cable news station, and as an assistant director and teacher for a middle grades creative writing program. She was named her university's inaugural W.J. Usery Fellow for her thoughtful commitment to leadership for the public good. Following her graduation, Anagha Ramakrishnan became a freelance journalist and wrote for Georgia's top newspaper, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. During her time, she published over 150 articles that covered a wide range of issues including mental health, economic issues facing Atlanta’s aging population, ageism and discrimination in the workplace, problems in Georgia’s health care system, and highlighted the work of local businesses. Her work was picked up by other established newspapers like the Chicago Tribune, The Seattle Times, and Houston Chronicle to name a few. Then, Anagha began work at CNN as a freelance researcher. As a researcher, Anagha worked with some of CNN's top editors on the most sensitive and controversial stories before they went live. She communicated with reporters, writers, and producers across CNN's platforms to fact-check and offer editorial guidance on their pieces. Anagha hopes to reach across cultural boundaries, highlight global challenges, and bring people together through her work. She hopes that her grant will inspire new stories, widen her worldview, and help her become a stronger storyteller and communicator.
University of Delaware, Newark, DE
Criminal Justice and Sociology
Anika graduated from the University of Delaware with an Honors B.A. in Criminal Justice & Sociology. As a second-generation American, Anika has worked to uplift and empower minority communities. For over eight years, she has volunteered with underserved students across Wilmington, Delaware at several nonprofit educational organizations. During her undergraduate studies Anika interned at the American Civil Liberties Union of Delaware supporting communication strategies for campaigns like Equity in Education. Since graduating, Anika has worked at the New Castle County Family Court. Anika received her first exposure to Greek culture and language in her elementary school's Dual Language Immersion Program. Her own intercultural education inspired Anika to study abroad her freshman year in Athens, Greece and again her junior year in Prague, Czech Republic. Anika is thrilled to return and deepen her connection to Greece as a Fulbright Fellow. She looks forward to exchanging cultures, experiences, and perspectives in the classroom and community at Athens College - HAEF.
Brown University, Providence, RI
Classics, Ancient Greek and Latin
Anna Barnett graduated in May 2023 from Brown University with a degree in Classics on the Ancient Greek and Latin track. She has special interest in Jews in antiquity and completed an honors thesis on two first-century CE Jewish authors and the ways they used dreams to express resistance under the Roman Empire. During her college career she also fell in love with Modern Greek language and studies, and received a certificate in Modern Greek Level B1-B2 from the 49th International Summer School for Greek Language, History and Culture in August 2022. Outside of academics, Anna worked as a classroom assistant at the Jewish Children’s Folkshul in Philadelphia for three years, and she has taken on teaching roles in musical theater and a cappella throughout high school and college. She is very excited to develop her language skills in Greece and to strengthen cross-cultural education and communication as a teaching assistant at Athens College - HAEF.
Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA
Special Education, Psychology
Emma graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in 2021 with her B.A. in Psychology. While studying abroad in Italy, Emma found a love for teaching while tutoring English to local high school students. As an undergraduate during the COVID-19 pandemic, Emma tutored emergent bilinguals with learning disabilities in the diverse Lancaster School District and researched the systemic impact COVID-19 had on the learning and well-being of students. In May of 2023, Emma graduated from Boston College where she earned her M.Ed. in Special Education for Students with Extensive Supports Needs and was the recipient of Bernard A. Stotsky/Thomas H. Browne Prize. Emma also taught at the Campus School at Boston College, a school for students with multiple disabilities and complex health needs. Emma is an avid runner, having competed for F&M’s NCAA cross country and track teams, and ran the 2022 Boston Marathon, fundraising for the Campus School. As an educator, Emma is passionate about empowering underrepresented students to be active and respected citizens in their communities. She is eager to immerse herself in Greek culture and learn new perspectives on how to best support her students.
University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Childhood Education, Music, Creative Writing
Katie Hurwitz is a current graduate student working towards a M.S. in Elementary Education, TESOL, and Reading & Literacies at the University of Rochester, where she also earned B.A.s in Music in World Cultures and Creative Writing & World Literature in 2023. As a musician, Katie participated in the mbira ensemble and gamelan ensemble at the Eastman School of Music, founded and ran the University of Rochester Cello Choir, taught cello to elementary-aged students at El-Sistema-inspired nonprofits, worked for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and created lesson plan materials for the Little Orchestra Society. As a linguaphile, she tutored ESL to Mandarin-speaking K-6 grade students, researched translanguaging through dual-language picture books, interned for literary translation organizations, worked for Milet Publishing, and created curriculum based on the books of children's author Peter H. Reynolds. Katie's cross-cultural exploration of the arts and language in college led to her growing interest in sociocultural anthropology—and ultimately how it relates to pedagogic theory. Thus, she is thrilled to join forces with students and educators at Athens College-HAEF to begin to understand comparative education, as well as to experience the magical feeling of doing what she loves best: teaching.
Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Secondary Education English, Creative Writing
Melissa Ballow earned dual degrees in Creative Writing and English: Publishing & Editing from Susquehanna University in May 2018. She taught English as a Foreign Language in the suburbs of Madrid, Spain for a year before going on to earn her M.Ed. in Secondary Education: English and a graduate certificate in ESL from Temple University in May 2022. With nine years of experience working as a Girl Scout resident camp counselor and three years as a university residence life professional, Melissa strongly believes that learning is more than just a set of standards on a blackboard. Instead, she sees it as a commitment to critical and creative thinking, self-exploration, relationship building, multicultural awareness, and social action. As she studied abroad in Athens in Spring 2017 through College Year in Athens, earning this Fulbright Award is a homecoming for Melissa. She cannot wait to build partnerships in learning with the students, faculty, and fellows at Athens College; return to her study of Modern Greek; and reconnect with her former host family. In her free time, Melissa can most often be found singing, playing guitar, writing poetry and essays, acting, or walking her dog, Peaches.
University of California, Davis, CA
Creative Writing, English
Sarah Mayo recently completed an MFA in poetry at University of California, Davis. Her graduate thesis was a collection of poetry exploring themes such as femininity, performance, and the body. Alongside continuing to edit and shape her first collection, she hopes to expand her creative writing in the future to include creative nonfiction. Her other academic interests include 20th century poetry and fiction, and film and theatre studies, and she hopes to pursue a PhD after her time as a Fulbright ETA. A California native, she received her BA in English at the University of California, Irvine, where she also worked as an undergraduate writing tutor and a private tutor for students from elementary to high school. During her MFA, she taught undergraduate writing classes in both fiction and poetry, and is excited to continue teaching in a new context through Fulbright. She is so grateful to be spending the next year surrounded by Greek culture, landscapes, history, and language, and is specifically excited to learn more about the island Lefkada, where her grandfather is from.
Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH
Theo graduated from Oberlin with majors in Cinema Studies and Comparative Literature and a minor in Middle Eastern Studies. During college, he taught poetry at the local middle school, hosted a radio show about Balkan music and history, served on the board of Chabad, and started a klezmer band. For his thesis, he translated a Hebrew novel, “Kastoria” into English, a poetic reflection on the Greek diaspora. Theo’s writing has appeared in JTA and Tablet Magazine and he was a 2021 winner of the Peter Agris Prize for Greek-American journalists. He has produced audio documentaries for Israel Story (Jerusalem) and Culture-PL (Warsaw), and a multimedia performance art piece for the Onassis Center in Athens. Theo plays guitar, accordion, and bouzouki, and hopes to learn more rebetiko music in the genre’s birthplace. He also loves learning languages and speaks French, Arabic, Hebrew, and Greek. He is honored to be teaching at Athens College, where his grandfather won the Capps Prize in 1956. Theo divides his time between New York City and Vermont, where his family runs an organic farm, inn, and world music venue.
George Washington University, Washington, DC
Theodora Walton holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs and a minor in Arabic Studies from the George Washington University. In addition to Arabic, Theodora is proficient in Romanian, Greek, and Spanish. As an undergraduate, Theodora was an active leader on campus having served as the Mideast Regional Director of the National Hellenic Student Association of North America, co-President of the GW Hellenic Student Association, Policy Director for the GW Student Association Women's Caucus, and Committee Aide to the GW Student Association Diversity and Inclusion Assembly. Throughout her studies, she worked for the Institute for International Economic Policy at GW where she helped plan and host up to 60 events per year, often times in partnership with the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and United Nations Development Programme. Furthermore, Theodora has interned for the Political/Economic Section of the U.S. Embassy in Moldova and volunteered with the Greek America Foundation to teach English to unaccompanied refugee minors on Chios. An aspiring diplomat, the Fulbright Program's mission to foster mutual understanding and dialogue aligns directly with Theodora's professional aspirations and personal morals. Theodora aims to use her experience living abroad as well as her Greek-Romanian and Irish-American heritage to strengthen the ties between the United States and Greece by providing a cross-cultural educational experience. Equally as important as infusing her own cultures, enthusiasm, ideas, and language into the school is allowing the students to teach and enrich her. Summers spent helping to coordinate Fampeion Museum’s Annual Children’s Art Workshop in Lafkos, Greece and serving in the Greek America Corps empowered Theodora to become a Fulbright Fellow with the overall mission of affirming our shared humanity through a combination of academic mentorship, fun, and hope. In her free time, Theodora enjoys singing, training for the Athens Marathon, playing soccer, watching the New York Rangers, Greek dancing, and attending jazz as well as classical concerts.