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College of Notre Dame of Maryland Student Kelsey Ritzel Awarded Fulbright Teaching Assistantship in Indonesia

May 6, 2010

College of Notre Dame of Maryland graduate student Kelsey Ritzel has been awarded a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship. Ms.Ritzel will teach English in Indonesia during the 2010-2011 school year.

Notre Dame was recently ranked by the Institute for International Education, which administers the Fulbright program, to a list of U.S. colleges and universities that produced the most Fulbright students for the 2009-2010 academic year — the only Maryland college in its category (master’s institutions), and one of just three from the state, to be recognized with this honor.

Notre Dame’s Fulbright program is administered by Leonor Blum, M.A., associate professor of history. Under her leadership since 1991, nine students have received Fulbrights to countries as diverse as Guatemala, the Philippines, Italy, Malawi, Indonesia, Ecuador, Spain, Germany and Malaysia. 

“A Fulbright Scholarship opens a student’s door to the world. Teaching or researching in a totally different culture provides understanding of how others think and act, which can be a giant step towards a more peaceful world,” said Professor Blum. She noted, “Notre Dame has an excellent track record with Fulbrights. Our past winners are now successful lawyers, professors and medical students. Kelsey will be able to able to consult with one of last year’s Notre Dame Fulbright Scholars who is currently teaching in Indonesia.”

“I am very excited about going to Indonesia,” said Ms. Ritzel. “I am interested in how the experience is going to change my perspective and make a positive difference in my teaching when I return.”

Ms. Ritzel graduated summa cum laude in 2009 from the Women’s College with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and will receive her master’s in education in May from Notre Dame’s Graduate School of Education. As an undergraduate, she was a recipient of the College’s Learn for Life scholarship and Morrissy Scholar.

Ms. Ritzel is a native of Street, Md. and attended North Harford High School. Upon her return from Indonesia, she hopes to become a special education teacher with Harford County public schools.

The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Program is a component of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and places U.S. students, primarily new college graduates, as English teaching assistants in schools or universities overseas. In addition to their teaching responsibilities, ETAs pursue individual study/research plans. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards approximately 1,000 new grants to undergraduates each year.