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W&L’s Gillian Holloway ’24 Earns Fulbright to Spain Holloway was selected for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to teach English in Spain.

Gilliam-Holloway-scaled-600x400 W&L’s Gillian Holloway ’24 Earns Fulbright to Spain

Washington and Lee University senior Gillian Holloway ’24 has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) to teach English in Spain. At W&L, Holloway is double majoring in English and Spanish with a minor in religion. Holloway is a native of Houston, Texas, and graduated from Memorial High School.

The ETA program in Spain allows participants to assist teaching staff at the early childhood, elementary, middle school, high school, vocational or university levels. Responsibilities include teaching various subjects in the English language, directing conversation groups and leading school programs. Assistants are also encouraged to engage with their host community.

“I am honored to be given this opportunity to live, work and learn in Spain for a year as an English Teaching Assistant,” Holloway said. “I value learning and new experiences as ways to gain a greater understanding of the world, as well as myself in it.”

Holloway is also grateful for the opportunity to practice her Spanish and learn useful communication skills that she can apply to a career in immigration law, which requires not only knowing how to skillfully present a client’s position to a court but also how to effectively advise the client in their language.

At W&L, Holloway is involved in the Outing Club, which fosters her environmental awareness and appreciation, and assists in teaching an English class at Maury River Middle School. Holloway is also the family and community tutoring coordinator for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). Participating in the launch of ESOL’s summer program, Programa SOL, in 2022 has been her most impactful experience at W&L, and she welcomed the opportunity to help organize and create a safe place where kids can learn while still having fun.

“The community we built during Programa SOL is one that I will never forget and is one of the reasons I decided I wanted to continue to teach English after graduation,” said Holloway, who also taught English in Costa Rica during the summer of 2023 through a grant from W&L’s Center for International Education.

Holloway appreciates the guidance and encouragement she has received at W&L from faculty mentors and students, and she credits Holly Pickett, professor of English, with providing a model of what kind of teacher she wants to be. In turn, Pickett admires Holloway’s thoughtfulness and curiosity and believes she will make a “superb” educator.

“Gillian always asks the big questions, and her interdisciplinary study of Spanish, English and religion allows her to think deeply about meaning — not just in literature, but also in life,” Pickett said. “She always makes the time to have a real conversation and is a wonderful listener. These are the same qualities that will make her both a first-rate teacher and an outstanding ambassador of our university — and country — while she is in Spain. I am so excited for her to share her optimism and authenticity with her students and peers as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant.”

With the Fulbright award, Holloway will depart in August for her nine-month program. Upon completion of the program, Holloway plans to attend law school and practice immigration law.

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 2023-2024 Fulbright U.S. Students for the sixth consecutive year.

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