Elementary education graduate Josephine Valentine is one of five West Virginia University alumni selected for a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to teach English or conduct research abroad over the next year while building cross-cultural relationships.
“I am looking forward to the opportunity to build community abroad while continuing my work in education,” Valentine, of Shepherdstown, W.Va., said. “Creating a safe space for students to learn is so important to me. I am excited to connect with my students in Spain and their cultures while providing authentic opportunities for them to practice English.”
Valentine will work in Oviedo, Spain, teaching English to elementary and high school students. She graduated from WVU in 2020 with a master’s and bachelor’s in elementary education, a bachelor’s in Spanish and a minor in music performance. She currently works in a school system where Spanish is the most widely spoken home language for students and where many other students are English learners as well.
“I am also passionate about equity reform in education. I am hopeful that my experience as a Fulbright grantee will enhance my language and teaching skills to allow me to better serve students and their families upon my return to the US, particularly those who may be marginalized within our school communities,” she said.
Valentine hopes to connect with families through communication in a shared language. “Additionally, I am interested in teaching students who are English learners. I'm excited to use and learn new strategies to engage students in learning English,” she added.
Valentine joins the ranks of more than 80 other WVU students who have been named Fulbright Scholars during the program’s history.