Christopher Troy ’15 has been selected for the prestigious 2015-16 Fulbright U.S. Student Award to support an English Teaching Assistantship to Argentina, giving him an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to follow his passion for teaching while at the same time, providing him with an opportunity to pursue a career in global medicine.
Known for drawing a highly competitive field of applicants, the Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. This year, Troy is one of seven members of the Classes of 2015 – a record number for a single year at HWS – who have received Fulbright awards, including Cydney Chibnall ’15, Katherine Cornell ’15, Jeanine Cryan ’15, Georgia Decker ’15, Kathryn DePietro ’15 and Jordyn Dezago ’15. HWS recently was among the colleges and universities that was recognized as a top producer of 2013-2014 Fulbright U.S. Students.
“It is a considerable distinction to be selected for a Fulbright grant, one that I am extremely grateful for,” says the chemistry and Spanish double major. “HWS has a strong history of securing a few Fulbright grants a year, and I am happy and honored to be in that group.”
Troy’s interest in Spanish language and Hispanic cultural studies developed at a young age and continued during an HWS semester in Seville, Spain. Troy says he chose Argentina due to the connections he’s made with Argentines living in the United States, as well as its location in South America. “It is a region of the Hispanic world I have not visited and as a student interested in global medicine, exposure to this part of the world is a valuable experience,” he says.
Troy’s role as a Teaching Fellow in the chemistry department for the past three years has allowed him to develop his own teaching philosophy, one he hopes to apply during his Fulbright experience. “My role is to gently steer each student to find the solution rather than just providing the answer,” he says. “Both the teacher and student must participate actively, seemingly all for the benefit of the student, but one cannot teach without learning. The job is difficult but there is joy for me in the success of each student.”
As a supplemental project to his teaching assistantship, Troy hopes to pursue volunteer opportunities at a medical clinic or other healthcare facility. “Participating in a healthcare system like Argentina’s that is more than partially government funded, would give invaluable insights into what my own future might hold as a practicing physician in the United States,” he explains. “Whether or not my pre-med training and job experience can be of use, I am at least another willing pair of hands, something all healthcare facilities need.”
In addition to his role as a Teaching Fellow, Troy is student worker for the Office of Admissions, president of Theta Delta Chi Fraternity, chair of the Stewardson Society, a student guide for the Pre-Orientation Adventure Program, and a member of the Club Ice Hockey Team. He’s the 2011-2015 recipient of Cornelius A. Wood Scholarship for most academically outstanding Hobart student, winner of the 2014 Eaton-Cross Prize for Excellence in Biology and Chemistry and has been a member of the Orange Key and Chimera Honor Societies.
After his Fulbright, Troy intends to apply to medical school, and will consider programs through the U.S. military.
“My professional goal is to become a physician working with children, which is to say that I want to become a teacher: helping children, especially those gravely ill, means teaching them in a way they understand, and teaching parents in a way they understand,” he says. “The opportunity of teaching in Argentina will, I hope, be a benefit to my students. Both of us will gain a better understanding of the world and its people: a privilege many do not have. I know it will benefit the children I work with later in my life.”