Valentyna (Tina) Stadnik Speaks About Winning a Fulbright Scholar Award
Valentyna (Tina) Stadnik
This year, four EMU scholars were granted the Fulbright Award for the 2023-24 academic year. The award supports exemplary students in their efforts to study, teach English, and conduct research overseas. All four scholars have been granted English Teaching Assistantships and will be traveling to their country of focus, which includes Thailand, Spain, and Germany. Valentyna (Tina) Stadnik, a German Literature major who will be teaching English in Germany, spoke about her experiences applying for the program, her prospects for her trip, and gave some advice for other students applying.
Stadnik spoke about how the application process was straightforward but extensive. She said that she received a lot of support from EMU during the entire process of applying, including preparatory meetings with faculty who are also alumni of the Fulbright program and assistance in revising the required essays for the application.
During her upcoming teaching assistantship, Stadnik is eager to immerse herself in German culture. She mentioned she is especially excited to learn more about German literature, particularly fairytales and folktales. “Germany has such a strong fairytale, storytelling culture, and I’m really excited to learn more about that from a German perspective,” she said.
Stadnik has three pieces of advice for other students who may be interested in the Fulbright Award. First, she recommends reaching out to Dr. Carla Damiano, who is head of the German department at EMU as well as the official liaison for the Fulbright Program for students. Second, she advises deciding which grant to apply for as soon as possible. Finally, she says to “take advantage of the undergraduate opportunities at Eastern, because there are a lot.” She encourages students to say yes to opportunities such as presenting at the Undergraduate Symposium, to ask professors for recommendations on how to get more involved, and to jump on any talks, conferences, or other workshops provided by the university, even if they seem irrelevant, “because you never know what you’re going to use.”