Four GSE Students Receive Fulbright Awards

Rutgers Graduate School of Education (GSE) is proud to announce that four of its graduating students—Alyssa McKendry, Alyssa Mei, Lauren Rha, and Mackenzie Heckman—earned Fulbright Awards that will send them abroad to share their passion for education.

Alyssa McKendry, Alyssa Mei, Lauren Rha, and Mackenzie Heckman
(from left to right): Alyssa McKendry, Alyssa Mei, Lauren Rha, and Mackenzie Heckman
  • Alyssa McKendry received an English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Award in Mexico. She was a student teacher in English as a Second Language (ESL) and Spanish in Franklin, NJ. She has traveled twice with the GSE’s Community-Engaged Education in Yucatán Program.
  • Alyssa Mei received an English Teaching Flagship (ETF) Award in Taiwan and was a student teacher in Edison, NJ, in ESL and Chinese.
  • Lauren Rha received an ETA Award in Spain. She was a student teacher in Franklin, NJ, and worked for the The Conversation Tree program at the GSE.
  • Mackenzie Heckman received an ETA Award to teach in elementary classrooms in Spain. She is a 5-year Special Education/Elementary Ed student and one of the GSE’s three New Jersey Distinguished Clinical Intern Award 2024 Nominees.

“My time in the GSE has instilled in me the importance of continuing to learn as an educator,” Mackenzie said. “I have had the privilege of learning beside my cooperating teachers, professors and peers, all of whom have modeled teaching with empathy, passion, and equity. The teacher I am today is a unique combination of the educators all around me. And so, I am heading to Spain eager to hear new ideas, voices, and stories. I am excited to learn, and thus better teach!”

The ETA Programs place “Fulbrighters” in classrooms abroad to aid local English teachers. ETAs help teach English language while serving as cultural ambassadors for the U.S. The ETF Award is given to those who are willing and are qualified to be English teachers in Taiwan.

Learn more about the Fulbright award program.