GSE Student Awarded Fulbright to Taiwan

Leigh Mueller, a GSE alumna has been awarded a Fulbright to Taiwan. Ms. Mueller was born in China and was adopted at 18 months old. She started to become more interested in learning Mandarin, taking Mandarin classes—and learning about her culture in high school. Mueller graduated from Rutgers University in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Mandarin. She has always been passionate about education since she was 13, and that influenced her to apply to the GSE. Mueller was admitted into the 5-year program and received her master’s in education degree, along with a teaching license in English as a second language.

She believes that education is a very rewarding career. “I believe that a career in education is an underrated but very powerful career, and the fact that education is ultimately giving back to society is a great thing. This is not always seen but definitely felt,” stated Ms. Mueller. Since attending the GSE, she has become even more interested in education because the curriculum that has been taught has been intermingled with a social justice lens, and as an educator she sees herself as an advocate for students.

Ms. Mueller is elated about receiving the Fulbright. “I was surprised and very excited, and I didn’t think that I would get it because it is very competitive,” said Ms. Mueller. She will be traveling to Taitung, Taiwan in January 2021. She was awarded the English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) scholarship. While in Taiwan, she will be assisting an English-language teacher in a school and will be helping with English language lessons.  Ms. Mueller will be in Taiwan until June 2021, with the hopes of renewing the scholarship. “I feel that this opportunity is really aligned with my goals which is to teach English. It gives me additional familiarity with teaching, and allows me to continue being a student and to continue learning Mandarin,” stated Ms. Mueller.

As an alumna of the GSE, Ms. Mueller states, “I’ve had great professors and I’ve witnessed transitional periods within the GSE, which I believe will help the GSE come out even stronger. My professor and advisor Dr. Mary Curran was helpful during my journey. Dr. Christelle Palpacuer-Lee helped me write my senior thesis during my undergraduate years.” Ms. Mueller is also an active member of the academic fraternity Phi Beta Kappa.