Adrian Pilkington, a senior software engineering and French major at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, has earned a Fulbright award to teach English in France.
Pilkington is a Lincoln native and University Honors Program member who will graduate May 14. As a School of Computing teaching assistant and Student Resource Center tutor, his focus on inclusive excellence allows him to provide tailored support so that students with diverse perspectives and backgrounds can achieve their learning goals. His Honors thesis explores approaches to education in virtual reality games. With this creative, interdisciplinary mindset, he began to recognize the similarities between teaching fledgling programmers and language learners and realized that he could make a unique contribution as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant.
This fall, Pilkington will realize a lifelong dream of cultural immersion in France.
“I want to combine my passion for educating others with my love for the French language,” he said. “Fulbright gives me the opportunity to learn about a different culture and teach others a second language.”
Pilkington said he hopes to give learners the opportunity to be creative while practicing the language. He plans to host an after-school coding club in France.
As a resident assistant, Pilkington has demonstrated leadership and diplomacy, helping others overcome misunderstandings and thrive. For his academic excellence and campus service, he was recently selected as one of 13 students to represent his class in the Innocents Society, the chancellor’s senior honorary society.
“Adrian is thoroughly prepared to help youth strive toward greater empathy, understanding and appreciation for one another and will be an excellent cultural ambassador in the Fulbright program,” said Courtney Santos, who directs the Office of National and International Fellowships.
After returning, Pilkington plans to use his global experience and technical expertise to develop innovative technologies for language learning.
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to forge lasting connections between Americans and citizens of other countries; counter misunderstandings; and help people and nations work together toward common goals. Since its establishment in 1946, the program has provided more than 400,000 participants from more than 160 countries the opportunity to study; teach and conduct research; exchange ideas; and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
At Nebraska, the Office of National and International Fellowships advises and nominates undergraduate candidates for 30 supported scholarships and fellowships. To learn more, students and campus community members may contact Santos at firstname.lastname@example.org.