Meet the Fellows: Americans at Anatolia
The Anatolia Fellows for 2019 – 2020 have been at Anatolia for five months now and are adjusting to their new lives in Thessaloniki! These seven women are from all over the United States, from New York to North Carolina and Texas. They recently graduated from a variety of institutions, from small liberal arts schools such as Berea College and Grinnell College to larger universities such as The University of Michigan and Brown University. This diversity of experience is reflected in their interests and perspectives they bring to Anatolia. The Fellows are contributing to departments all across campus and teach, advise clubs, plan events, and much more. They serve as cultural ambassadors and build meaningful relationships with students while becoming a part of the Anatolia community.
In addition to their work at Anatolia, the fellows have the opportunity to immerse themselves in life in Thessaloniki and travel throughout Greece. They gain valuable professional experience in international education and build connections to Anatolia College and Greece that will continue long into the future.
Our fellows introduce themselves here, sharing some of their past experiences and the messages they wish to convey to the young students at Anatolia College.
Emily Garcia, Lesley University, English Literature and Elementary Education, minor in Psychology
Fellowship position at Anatolia College: Elementary English Fellow
“I aspire to convey the importance of diversity. Students can learn so much through the differences in culture, experiences, backgrounds, etc. Our differences should not be used to divide us; rather they should be used to unite us. At the end of the day it shouldn’t matter where you come from, what should matter is what you’re able to learn from different people and about the world through diversity. Creating space for acceptance of diversity and taking time to share our differences will educate these young students beyond the classroom.
In 2018, I received an endorsement in Sheltered English Immersion and I went on to receive my TESOL certification in February of 2019. I was very interested in teaching overseas, but I felt as though teaching a language was very different for me. I had experience teaching math, science, social studies, reading, and writing, however when it comes to teaching English, not only is it about the area of content, but it is also about the medium of communication. My interest in teaching English brought me to Anatolia College, where I can now learn how to teach a language from experienced English language teachers, while also utilizing my own teaching skills and creativity to help produce different activities to engage students.”
Leemu “Kutu” Hall, Berea College, African and African American Studies with a Dance Minor
Fellowship position at Anatolia College: International Programs Office (IPO) Fellow at ACT.
“I would like for all the students to know that they can come to me no matter what. Life does not stop! That being said, I might seem busy, however, I will always be available. In addition, I aspire to convey a message of growth to the youngsters. They need to know that your potential for flourishing in any given environment does not depend on where you are but who you are. Build your character, develop self-love, and educate yourself on current issues as well as cultures outside of yourself. The benefit of the busting outside of a comfort zone is that it expands perspective; get comfortable with being uncomfortable. In the end, you cannot change the world without working on yourself.
In addition, my college had a similar way of thinking as Anatolia College: push boundaries, strive for educational excellence, and build your character. Since I have gotten here, these aspects are abundantly clear. Berea College has helped to make me a well-rounded person ready to embrace the future. As for my placement at ACT, I believe the things above mixed with my creativity and drive has prepared me for the IPO position. Hopefully, as time passes, I will spread more into Anatolia College and my Greek will leap from basic into “can kind of hold a conversation”.
Zi Huang, University of Michigan, Dual Degree in Drama and Information Science
Fellowship position at Anatolia College: Resident Assistant Fellow
“My name is Zi and I moved from Shanghai, China to Detroit, Michigan, the USA at age two. I studied Drama and Information Science at the University of Michigan. I decided to study Drama and Information science because I had interests in a variety of academic pursuits. This combination allowed me to use my creativity for different ends - programming and performance. Ultimately, this freedom in academic areas allowed me to emerge from University with a deeper understanding how two seemingly different academic concentrations shared similarities, and how to utilize the strengths from both areas to create things that reach beyond each discipline
While at University, by chance I attended a 1-month study abroad program in Athens. I really enjoyed my experience there and I returned the following summer to stay for three months doing an internship. I still couldn't get enough of Greece, which is why I chose to come back for this fellowship. What initially drew me to Greek culture is the human-centered interactions I have had here, which are unlike any that I have experienced in China and America. I enjoy the fact that people slow down and take the time to be present with each other.
Nora Madrigal, University: Grinnell College, Chemistry/Classics
Fellowship position at Anatolia College: STEM Fellow
“I firmly believe that science is for everyone. As this year’s STEM Fellow, I hope to share my passion for the sciences—not just chemistry!—with all students. Scientific discovery isn’t limited to famous scientists or well-known researchers, and I want to encourage students to ask questions and follow lines of investigation that interest them.
During my time at Grinnell, I worked as a mentor for organic and inorganic chemistry courses, which involved holding weekly review sessions for students to ask questions and work on homework. I’ve found that I love working with students and helping them to understand complex material, especially when the topic is one that I find interesting. I’ve also conducted research in chemistry, focusing on the analysis of trace chemical compounds. My projects have used mass spectrometry to detect pesticides, dyes, and organic residues. I know that research and experimentation are a big part of the science programs at the IB and ACT, and I’m excited to be able to help students both in the classroom and in the lab!"
Grace Monk, Brown University, Comparative Literature, and Classics
Fellowship position at Anatolia College: President’s Assistant Fellow
“It’s interesting to work at a place that’s so inherently cross-cultural. Most schools in the world take for granted that their students come from a certain area and speak a certain language, and their education reflects those limits. At a place like Anatolia, you have exposure to a much broader perspective of the world. I would tell students to appreciate that perspective and make use of it after graduation.
For my college thesis, I did research in Athens. I was writing about street art, and I got to know Athens by spending time with various artists and seeing them work. That time—which was for me a very special part of college—made me want to further experience Greek cities. Last year, I lived in Bogotá, Colombia and worked at a bilingual school there. I gained a different perspective of education than the one I had grown up in New York or developed at Brown in college, and I look forward to seeing how my experience there will inform my work here.”
Tatiana Pless, Davidson College, Theatre
Fellowship position at Anatolia College: Student Services Fellow
“What I have been telling myself for as long as I can remember is that you should try everything that interests you. I am always coming up with new ideas, dabbling in new art fields, and pushing myself to step outside of my comfort zone. You never truly know if something is for you if you don't try, and this can also relate to competitions, schooling, or jobs. If you do not try and apply yourself, you will never know what could have been.
As a military child, I have been fortunate enough to live abroad in Germany and Samoa. I am Samoan, Black, and German, and along with those ethnicities come many unique cultural traditions and delectable foods! I am able to appreciate other cultures based on my own that I cherish wholeheartedly. And for these reasons, I believed in my capabilities and decided to apply for the Student Services fellow position at Anatolia! Before graduating this past May, I told myself I wanted to go abroad and see the world. I don't think there could have been a better place to start my journey than in Greece.”
Sophie Rossiter, St. Olaf College, Political Science, and Ancient Greek.
Fellowship position at Anatolia College: US College Counseling Office Fellow
“I hope that Greek students can appreciate the excellent education they are receiving at Anatolia College and the many opportunities that they have here to explore their interests and passions. I spent my four years in college working as a student ambassador in the Admissions Office at St. Olaf, which has given me insight into the U.S. admissions process that I assist students with at the US College Counseling Office.
My advice would be to find a school that fits you - your values, your experiences, and your interests. Do not be afraid to venture out of your comfort zone to try something new, whether that be living in a new place, meeting new people, or trying out a new class. Take advantage of the wonderful resources in the US College Counseling Office, even if you aren't sure where you want to study.”