CSLC Welcomes Six Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants

Author: Davis Richardson

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The Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures (CSLC) is thrilled to welcome six foreign language teachers from all over the world to the Notre Dame family for the 2020-21 academic year. Each teacher will work with Notre Dame students to increase both linguistic and cultural understanding of the following languages: Swahili, German, Irish, Arabic, Hindi, and Kichwa.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program (FLTA) is a competitive and prestigious opportunity for young educators from more than 50 countries to gain professional skills in the United States for one year. Besides teaching their native language at the university level, FLTAs at Notre Dame stand out by partnering with local schools to educate younger students about their culture, a community engagement initiative not present at other host universities. In addition to their roles as teachers, FLTAs also complete university coursework in order to better acquaint themselves with the United States, improve their English proficiency, and engage in further cultural exchange. After returning to their home countries, FLTAs are expected to utilize their newly acquired skills to make a positive difference in their local communities.

The CSLC is proud to introduce the following FLTAs who are joining us under the Dome this year, all of whom have demonstrated exceptional patience and flexibility during this unpredictable year of pandemic. Laura Cacuango and Shivangi Nathawat are engaging with Notre Dame students in person this fall, while the other four are engaging virtually. All six FLTAs plan to be on campus by the spring.

Josephine Mutisya (Kenya)

Jossy comes from Mombasa, Kenya and studied English literature in college. She enjoys cooking, reading, and working with children. During her time in the U.S. she most looks forward to sharing Swahili language and culture with Notre Dame students.

Lina Voge (Germany)

A native of northern Germany near the Baltic Sea, Lina has degrees in economics and politics. After having spent a year in the United Kingdom, Lina is excited to finally cross “the big pond” to get to know the United States. She is teaching German at Notre Dame.

Brian Ó Doibhlin (Ireland)

Brian is a third-year PhD student at Queen’s University Belfast and holds multiple degrees in Irish and Celtic Studies. His current research relates primarily to uncovering the origin of townland-names within a certain geographical area. Besides his love for language and translation, Brian is an active Gaelic football player and volunteers at an Irish-medium nursery school. He is teaching Irish language courses at Notre Dame.

Ines Mokdadi (Tunisia)

Hailing from Tunisia, Ines has a background in English language, literature, and civilization. She enjoys cooking, gardening, and biking, and cannot wait to join the Notre Dame community. She will be teaching Arabic language courses.

Shivangi Nathawat (India)

Shivangi joins Notre Dame from Rajasthan, India, also known as the “Land of Royals”. She holds a master’s degree in English Literature and has written a dissertation on Indian literature as well. In addition, Shivangi has experience teaching at the university level as an assistant professor and enjoys folk dancing in her free time. She looks forward to bridging the gap between Indian and U.S. culture by teaching Hindi at Notre Dame.

Laura Cacuango (Ecuador)

Laura is a member of the Kichwa-Otavalo indigenous group in Ecuador and is excited to teach the Kichwa (also spelled Quechua) language at Notre Dame. In Ecuador she worked as an English teacher. Laura was the first FLTA to arrive on the Notre Dame campus after the pandemic started and looks forward to her courses (including German) and meeting her fellow FLTAs soon.

 

A big Notre Dame welcome to all of our accomplished FLTAs!