W&L’s Graham Kingwill ’22 Awarded Fulbright to Uzbekistan Kingwill has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to teach English in Uzbekistan. He will depart in September 2022 for his 10-month program.
Washington and Lee University graduate Graham Kingwill ’22 has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) to teach English at Fergana Polytechnic Institute in Fergana, Uzbekistan. The Milwaukee, Wisconsin, native majored in economics and mathematics at W&L and attended the University School of Milwaukee.
The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) grants provide participants with the opportunity to improve English language abilities and knowledge of the United States. The Uzbek government’s new “English Speaking Nation” initiative aims for all graduates to be proficient in English, which has created high demand for English language instruction. Uzbek students and teachers participate in formal English classes and a variety of extracurricular activities. Kingwill will depart in September 2022 for his 10-month program. His responsibilities will include classroom teaching and lesson planning in the university setting, providing support to English classes in local underserved high schools. His role also involves participation in various extracurricular clubs and activities that may benefit from his experience.
Kingwill’s interest in applying to the Fulbright program stems from courses he took in both Russian language and international relations that sparked his interest in the former Soviet Union. He said that Uzbekistan’s unique culture intrigued him.
“As I learned more, I saw a lot of parallels between Central Asia, particularly Uzbekistan, and my home state of Wisconsin in terms of the role they play in their respective regional economies,” Kingwill said. “Environmental issues caused by mass agriculture continue to be a challenge for both Uzbekistan and Wisconsin, and that is a subject I’m really passionate about. In Uzbekistan, I hope to learn more about the environmental issues they face and work with local representatives to promote a culture of sustainability in the region.”
At W&L, Kingwill participated in the peer tutoring program, where he tutored calculus students. He also worked as a summer research scholar last summer with Mathematics Professor Carrie Finch-Smith studying Fibonacci-Sierpinski numbers. He is a member of Phi Kappa Psi.
Finch-Smith described Kingwill as a natural leader and collaborative team player, particularly during his time in her summer research group.
“In his work with students in the group with less mathematical experience, I was especially impressed by his calm patience when answering questions,” Finch-Smith said. “He didn’t need to be the first one with the right answer. He understood the value of the team working carefully together to find solutions.”
Cory Colbert, assistant professor of mathematics, said Kingwill is prepared for excellence in the classroom and as a representative of the United States in Uzbekistan. “Graham was a great student and fantastic community member here at W&L,” he said, “and I can’t imagine how that would change abroad.”
Kingwill described this opportunity as “the final piece missing from my education at W&L” and recommended that students interested in the program consider applying to their dream destinations.
“Fulbright is really looking for students with a passion for a particular area of the world,” Kingwill said. “If there is somewhere that you are absolutely dying to go see, then the Fulbright ETA program may be perfect for you. It’s a long process, but if you have the passion, then you should definitely throw your hat in the ring.”
Kingwill plans to apply to law school during his time in Uzbekistan and attend law school upon returning to the United States.
Washington and Lee University is proud to be included on the list of U.S. colleges and universities that produced the most 2021-2022 Fulbright U.S. Students for the fourth consecutive year.
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