CASTLETON — Taking his Castleton degree overseas shortly after walking across the stage at graduation, graduate student Kevin Kareckas will head to Poland to teach English at a local university for a full academic year after earning a spot in the prestigious Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Program.
“I have always had a passion for teaching,” said Kareckas, who will be graduating in May with a Master of Arts in Education with a focus in Curriculum and Instruction.
The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Program places recent college graduates and young professionals as English teaching assistants in primary and secondary schools and universities overseas. The program aims to strengthen foreign students’ English language abilities and knowledge of the United States, while allowing program participants to gain from intensive crosscultural interaction and international educational opportunities.
Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright program has provided more than 300,000 participants, chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential, with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
“This is a highly prestigious award,” said Assistant Professor of Education Monica McEnerny, one of several department faculty who helped Kareckas prepare his submission and assisted him through the application process. “We are very proud of Kevin.”
Having served as an area coordinator in the Department of Residence Life at Castleton, working with college age students on a daily basis, Kareckas feels well prepared and excited to begin this new journey.
“Education is ultimately my life’s work,” said Kareckas, explaining that this opportunity will help open doors for him moving forward with his career in the education field.
Departing in October, Kareckas will spend nine months in Poland. In addition to teaching the English language to college students, he will also have the chance to travel and conduct independent research projects.
Kareckas marks the second student in as many years from the Castleton education department to be awarded this distinguished honor.
“My Castleton education has helped to fully prepare me for this opportunity,” said Kareckas, “It’s a great moment of celebration for the college.”