Fulbright winner to teach English, theater in Indonesia

· 3 min read

Fulbright winner to teach English, theater in Indonesia

Bryan Howard
Bryan Howard

Winning a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship presents Bryan Howard with an opportunity to take his interests to Indonesia and combine them into a unique cultural exchange experience.

Howard, an English, theater arts and human behavior major, is one of five UNL students who have earned ETA grants for the 2015-16 academic year.

A graduate of Howell High School near Farmingdale, N.J., Howard first became interested in Indonesia for the Fulbright because of its rich theatrical tradition of wayang puppet drama. He is heavily involved in theater at UNL and in Lincoln, and sees this aspect of Indonesia as a basis for cultural sharing.

“A main component of the Fulbright program is fostering mutual understanding through community engagement,” said Laura Damuth, UNL’s fellowship adviser. “Bryan’s plans to become involved with local theater are exactly what Fulbright is looking for.”

Established in 1946 and funded by the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright program is designed to promote understanding between the United States and other countries. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program gives recent graduates, graduate students and young professionals the opportunity to conduct research, study or teach in one of 155 designated countries. About 8,000 grants are awarded annually, and about 1,600 of those are awarded to U.S. students.

The UNL Honors Program student maximized his time at the university, gaining extensive experience as an English tutor, theater teaching assistant, and peer mentor leader in the honors program. Combining these experiences in Indonesia is an exciting next step for Howard, who said he feels well prepared.

“I work heavily with language,” Howard said of his current academic curriculum, “so I’m excited to go abroad and work to help others learn the English language.”

Howard will engage with the community outside of the classroom by creating a way to compare Western theater traditions and Indonesia’s own tradition.

“I’m really fascinated by their theater culture,” he said. “I’ve never learned about [it] before … I’m excited to immerse myself in it.”

Upon his return, Howard will continue his education through a graduate program in dramaturgy. After obtaining his master’s degree, Howard wants to work as a freelance dramaturge and eventually become a professor. He said he believes the Fulbright will help him achieve these goals.

“It will expand my knowledge about different cultures and how the world functions, which will help me become a better dramaturge and academic,” he said.

He is among five UNL students who earned Fulbrights in 2015.

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