Nine UCF students have received grants from the Fulbright Program to serve as English teaching assistants and U.S. cultural ambassadors around the world in 2015-16.

The Fulbright Program is an international educational-exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. Recipients of the grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

The students and where they’ll serve were announced by the UCF Office of Prestigious Awards:

  • Rachel Brock – Kenya. Before coming to UCF, Brock served in the Army as a medic for eight years. As a student at UCF, she studied English, history and Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). In Kenya she hopes to explore the representation of cultural issues in ethnic literature.
  • Amy Crawford – Crawford graduated this summer from UCF with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science – International Relations, and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. She also completed a minor in Spanish and earned a TEFL certificate. Crawford worked in the Office of Prestigious Awards, served as secretary for the Baptist Collegiate Ministries, wrote an Honors in the Major thesis on terrorism in Argentina, interned at the U.S. Embassy in Lima, Peru, and taught in a bilingual program in Berlanga de Duero, Spain.
  • Parisa Fathi – Bulgaria. While attending UCF, Fathi majored in English, minored in writing and rhetoric, and completed a TEFL certificate. She was a member of Sigma Tau Delta and the student ambassadors of the Writing and Rhetoric department, as well as a volunteer at the UCF Center for Multilingual Multicultural Studies for the international conversation hour program.
  • Aleksandra Krawczyk – Krawczyk earned bachelor’s degrees in communication sciences and disorders, and creative writing. While at UCF, she was involved with The Cypress Dome Society and the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association. She also worked at the University Writing Center and Global UCF. In Poland, Aleksandra will be teaching English, as well as engaging in the community by hosting a literary magazine group and researching effective communication strategies. 
  • Tara Langford – At UCF, Langford majored in international and global studies, minored in Russian studies, and completed a TEFL certificate. She has been a member of the Russian Club for several years. She hopes to write a collection of fictional short stories and another book that includes a compilation of interviews, stories, histories, photographs, and more from the Russians that she meets to spread cultural awareness and promote friendship between the United States and Russia. 
  • Diane Lieu – Vietnam. While at UCF, Lieu was a peer advisor for the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies, a writing consultant in the University Writing Center, and an orientation leader. She graduated with a degree in interdisciplinary studies with focuses in arts, commerce, and writing and rhetoric. In addition to teaching English at Phu Xuan University, Lieu hopes to share American culture by celebrating U.S. holidays with the students and community.
  • Irina Pidberejna – Pidberejna is an artist, lover of languages and global citizen. She is a heritage speaker of Ukrainian and a native speaker of English in addition to formally learning Russian and Spanish. She received a Bachelor of Arts in visual arts and emerging media management as well as a TEFL certificate, substitute teaching certificate, and Russian minor.
  • Andrea Rachel – Rachel graduated from UCF with a Bachelor of Arts in international and global studies, a minor in Russian studies, and a TEFL certificate. Rachel volunteered as an English writing tutor at the UCF Center for Multilingual Multicultural Studies and was an officer in UCF’s Russian Club. During her time in Kazakhstan, Rachel will host American cooking workshops in her community and create a blog detailing her experiences.
  • Adam Taha – a Turkey. Taha is a first-generation American and is fluent in Arabic. While at UCF, he studied chemistry, biomedical sciences and health sciences, and volunteered with the Adult Literacy League of Orlando.
  • The Fullbright Program operates in more than 160 countries. Since 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the program has given about 360,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

    For more information about the program, contact the UCF Office of Prestigious Awards at The Fulbright application deadline is mid-September, so interested students are encouraged to contact the office as soon as possible.