Dr. Cecile Arquette, associate professor of Teacher Education, was awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to teach in Chile during the spring 2013 semester.
March 4, 2013
By Frank Radosevich II
Associate Professor of Teacher Education Dr. Cecile Arquette has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to teach next year in Chile, according to the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.
Dr. Arquette’s award will take her to the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaiso for the spring semester to teach English as a foreign language. She will be working primarily with undergraduates studying to become English teachers and also hopes to forge some academic ties with her new institution.
“I would love to have someone come to Bradley,” she said. “To make that international connection and build a relationship by having a visiting scholar here would be very beneficial to my own students.”
The Fulbright Program was created in 1946 to increase cultural exchange and research between the United States and other nations. Each year roughly 1,200 U.S. scholars study, teach or conduct research abroad with the flagship program. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.
"Fulbright Awards are very prestigious and the faculty member must go through a rigorous, multi-staged application process,” said Dr. Joan Sattler, dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences. “Dr. Arquette is very deserving and we are so proud of her. This is the seventh Fulbright Award among our college faculty in the last several years.”
Dr. Arquette’s term will begin in March 2014 and she said the support she received from Bradley was crucial for her pursuit of the fellowship.
“I couldn’t do this if I didn’t have the support of the University,” she said. “Bradley has had quite a few Fulbright Scholars, which is really unique for the size of the institution. To me, that speaks highly of the support the University has for the faculty.”
As an undergraduate, Dr. Arquette majored in drama but discovered her passion for teaching in the classroom soon afterwards. A stint in Cameroon as a volunteer, and later as a trainer in Senegal, the former Zaire and back in Cameroon, with the U.S. Peace Corps helped foster her love of teaching, traveling and languages.
“It was very formative in my life,” she said of her time spent teaching at a government high school in rural Cameroon. “I had worked before as a substitute teacher and teacher’s aide but the Peace Corps cemented teaching as my vocation because I loved the experience in Cameroon.”
She later taught at a grade school in Columbus, N.M., along the U.S.-Mexican border where she picked up Spanish while interacting with her students and their parents. Although she has never travelled to South America, Dr. Arquette led a group of Bradley students for the first time in Costa Rica during the January 2013 interim. She hopes to improve her Spanish skills while living and working in Valparaiso in time for the next scheduled Costa Rica study abroad group, planned for January 2015.
At Bradley, Dr. Arquette teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in language arts, including emergent literacy, methods of teaching English language learners and children’s literature, among others. She also has experience teaching at all levels, from kindergarten to graduate courses, throughout her career.