W&L’s Andrea Rojas ’23 Earns Fulbright to Mexico Rojas has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to teach English in Mexico.
Washington and Lee University senior Andrea Rojas ’23 has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) to teach English in Mexico. At W&L, Rojas is a global politics major, minoring in Middle East and South Asia studies with a language emphasis in Arabic. Rojas is a native of Cathedral City, California.
The ETA program in Mexico is designed to support English language teaching and learning in Mexico. English Teaching Assistants are expected to serve as cultural ambassadors for the U.S. and engage in their host community, generally by undertaking a supplementary community project in addition to their teaching responsibilities.
As a Mexican American, receiving this Fulbright is particularly meaningful to Rojas, and she looks forward to immersing herself in a local community.
“I am so excited to be selected for this Fulbright award. This program gives me the chance to help a community that very much could have been my own if my parents had decided to start their family in Mexico,” Rojas said. “I’m looking forward to learning more about my family’s roots and to immersing myself in Mexican culture.”
Since she arrived at W&L, Rojas has been highly engaged with the campus community. She has consistently sought out extracurricular opportunities that allow her to engage more fully with her academic ambitions. She has served as a research assistant for Zoila Ponce de León, assistant professor of politics, since her sophomore year, assisting in both English- and Spanish-based research.
“Andrea is a highly determined student who successfully approaches any academic challenge that comes her way, and I know she will excel as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Mexico,” Ponce de León said. “Those who will interact with her will get to know and learn from a person who is committed to teaching and learning and has a wide knowledge of the cultural and political contexts of many countries around the globe. Andrea is impressive. She is the kind of student who makes my work as a professor nourishing and rewarding.”
Rojas’s ability to combine her academic pursuits with her passion for social justice has made her stand out on W&L’s campus. She is grateful for the mentorship and support she has received from W&L’s faculty members, who in turn admire Rojas’s determination and values.
“Andrea is passionate, dedicated and unwaveringly reliable,” said Jayne Reino, visiting assistant professor of Spanish. “What I find most remarkable about Andrea is how she has fully integrated her intellectual growth at W&L with her personal ethics and understanding of social justice. Her work is inseparable from her sense of self and worldview; she will undoubtedly make an impact on her community and has a great deal to contribute to the Fulbright program in Mexico.”
Rojas is a proud member of W&L’s QuestBridge Chapter and Comunidad Latina Estudiantil, the Latino student organization on campus. She is also active in English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), currently serving as co-president of the organization, overseeing interpretations, translations and international projects. Through ESOL, Rojas has been an interpreter for the Immigrant Rights Clinic and Refugee Protection Practicum at W&L’s law school, and instrumental in the development and success of the collaborative program.
“This opportunity will support my plans to attend law school and pursue a career in immigration law,” Rojas said. “I envision this experience will help strengthen my Spanish language skills, which should help me communicate with future clients from Latin America, as well as improve my cultural awareness and understanding of the region.”
“Andrea is an intrepid explorer and so deserving of this award,” said Matthew Boaz, professor of practice and visiting director of the immigrant rights clinic at the law school. “She is thoughtful, dedicated and a strong relationship builder. Most importantly, she is able to get people on board with her visions of possibility. I have no doubt that these skills will serve her well in Mexico, and we are so thrilled for her to have this opportunity.”
With the Fulbright award, Rojas will depart in August 2023 for her nine-month program. Upon completion of the program, Rojas plans to attend law school.
The Fulbright Program was established more than 75 years ago to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Fulbright is the world’s largest and most diverse international educational exchange program. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Washington and Lee University is proud to be included on the list of U.S. colleges and universities that produced the most 2022-2023 Fulbright U.S. Students for the fifth consecutive year.
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