W&L’s Shugart ’22 Awarded U.S. Teaching Assistantship to Austria After her USTA program orientation in September, Shugart will team teach in a secondary school in Austria through May 2023.
Washington and Lee senior Ashley Shugart ’22 has been awarded a U.S. Teaching Assistantship to Austria. The Springfield, Virginia, native is double-majoring in German and studio art and minoring in Poverty and Human Capability Studies.
Since 1962, Fulbright Austria has partnered with the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research to bring qualified, motivated university graduates from the United States to teach English in Austrian secondary schools and encourage cross-cultural dialogue. After her USTA program orientation in September, Shugart will team-teach in her assigned secondary school from October 2022 to May 2023.
Shugart said she is honored by the opportunity and looks forward to improving her German language skills during the upcoming school year in Austria. “I think working with students will be a rewarding experience,” she said, “and living and working overseas will be a great first step beyond my undergraduate experience.”
On campus, Shugart has been a company member in W&L’s Repertory Dance Company and is a frequent performer at Friday Underground, a weekly student talent showcase. She has also served on Campus Kitchen’s leadership team, most recently as chair of kitchen management. Shugart said that her opportunities for leadership during her undergraduate career have given her the tools to feel comfortable leading her classroom next year, particularly her teaching experience at a local dance studio.
“I’ve been able to balance teaching weekly classes for high school students with my other involvement on campus,” Shugart said, “and a lot of the work I’ve put into organizing and planning my dance classes will carry over to my work next year.”
Paul Youngman, associate provost and professor of German at W&L, said Shugart has created a unique path for herself. “She is not only a participant in both dance and studio art, she produces, directs and performs in dance recitals, and she directs art exhibitions,” Youngman said. “In this way, she is a leader, teacher and mentor to many younger students at Washington and Lee, and it is her mentoring and her creative work that have earned her the universal respect of her peers and the larger university community.”
Next spring, Shugart intends to apply to complete a second year in the USTA program. She recommends that students interested in applying for a USTA reach out to W&L alumni currently teaching in the program or those who have recently completed their assistantship to learn more about the experience and its many benefits.
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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