Jared Patton '13 has earned a Fulbright grant to teach in Spain.

Senior Earns Fulbright to Teach in Spain

April 29, 2013

Jared Patton ’13 is Earlham College’s latest recipient of a Fulbright grant. Patton, a Dayton, Ohio native with a double major in Spanish and Environmental Studies, will be teaching English for a year in a secondary school in Spain. He is the eighteenth Earlham student or recent graduate to earn a Fulbright in the last 10 years.

In addition to serving in the classroom, Patton plans to create an after-school program in which students share their regional culture, such as local food, music and sports, with Patton while he brings similar activities from his Midwestern background, with the goal of bridging the local and international communities.  He hopes that his experiences in Spain will lay groundwork for entering graduate school where he will study community design and urban planning, with an environmentally sustainable focus.

Early in his Earlham career, Patton began to study Spanish language and culture.  As a sophomore, a campus opportunity to travel to Spain for a four-month stay solidified his interest in the nation, and this passion later became the focus of his Fulbright application.  He is excited to return to the country not only to teach, but also to become immersed in the community as an “informal diplomat” of the United States. 

Building International Understanding 

Patton has joined the ranks of such notable individuals as John Lithgow, Sylvia Plath, Dale Chihuly, Aaron Copland, and Joseph Heller as a Fulbright recipient.  Sponsored by the U. S. Department of State, the Fulbright Program provides funding for graduating students and other scholars and professionals to undertake graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools.  

Designed to increase mutual understanding between people of the United States and the people of other countries, it is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the United States government.  Patton joins a highly selective group chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential. Earlham was recently named to The Chronicle of Higher Education’s list of top-producing Fulbright institutions .  The strong presence of Earlhamites in the Fulbright Program reflects the campus’s mission of global engagement.

Support for Post-Baccalaureate Opportunities

Though Patton earned the Fulbright on his own merit and service, including his work on campus as a Bonner Senior Intern and as an English tutor for the Amigos program in the Richmond community, he is quick to appreciate Earlham faculty. Elana Passman, assistant professor of history and a Fulbright recipient herself, is completing her first year as Fulbright Program Liaison and has guided Patton through the multi-step application process. Passman stated that the interview committee was impressed by his extensive leadership experience, dedication to service, knowledge of Spain’s culture and politics, and thoughtfulness about the challenges of teaching. 

“Jared will make a stellar representative of Earlham and of the United States abroad,” says Passman. She is eager to walk through the application process with eligible Earlham students, even those in their first year, who desire, like Jared Patton, to be the change they seek in the world…locally, nationally and globally.

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