Jeanine Cryan ’15 was named the recipient of a prestigious 2015-16 Fulbright U.S. Student Award to Greece, providing her a remarkable opportunity to serve as an English Teaching Assistant, while uniting her affinity of Greek culture and passion for education.
Known for its highly competitive field of applicants, the Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. Cryan is one of seven members of the Classes of 2015 – a record number for a single year at the Colleges – who earned Fulbright awards, including Cydney Chibnall ’15, Katherine Cornell ’15, Georgia Decker ’15, Kathryn DePietro ’15, Jordyn Dezago ’15 and Christopher Troy ’15. HWS recently was among the colleges and universities that was recognized as a top producer of 2013-2014 Fulbright U.S. Students.
“My HWS experience infused me with a passion to make a positive difference as an educator and to explore new places as a global citizen,” says Cryan, a classics major with a minor in education who graduated in 2015. “The community at Hobart and William Smith Colleges is wholly responsible for getting me to my ‘dream job’ as a Fulbright teaching fellow in Greece!”
Cryan kicked off her education career in Greece working in primary and secondary schools. In addition to her role in the classroom, Cryan is serving as a mentor to a “Forensics Club,” an English language theater and debate club, in which she engages with students in a creative setting. At the end of her Fulbright assistantship, Cryan also will work at an English-language summer camp in June and July 2016.
“I am honored to act as a young ambassador, strengthening the ties between the Hellenic-American Educational Foundation and the United States, and providing a cross-cultural educational experience,” Cryan says.
An HWS Trustee Scholar, Cryan was in the Teacher Education Program at the Colleges and earned a certification in elementary education and teaching students with disabilities. In addition, Cryan was a member of the William Smith honor societies Hai Timiai and Laurel Society, as well as the Eta Sigma Phi classics honor society. As an academically high-achieving athlete on Herons varsity cross country, Cryan was named to the Liberty League All-Academic cross country team.
On campus, Cryan served on the William Smith Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and also participated in the HWS Leads Certificate Program at the Centennial Center for Leadership (CCL). Cryan also worked as a CCL intern, and in the Office of Admissions as a tour guide, student worker and prospective student outreach coordinator. In 2013, Cryan participated in HWS study abroad to Bath, England.
Reflecting on her time at HWS, Cryan says she was able to fully explore her academic interests at the Colleges through the interdisciplinary liberal arts curriculum.
“The freedom and encouragement from faculty, staff and the administration to pursue my interests in classics and education has changed my perspective on learning,” Cryan says.
She credits HWS Health Professions and Fellowships Adviser Scott MacPhail for providing feedback and encouragement during the application process, as well as guidance during her undergraduate career from William Smith Associate Dean Lisa Kaenzig HON’10, Director of Elementary Education/Coordinator of Student Supervision Jennifer Harris, and Assistant Professor of Classics James Capreedy.
Throughout her Fulbright assistantship in Greece, Cryan is also taking advantage of the chance to fully experience the Mediterranean country through travel opportunities. She plans to visit the Acropolis in Athens, as well as venturing to the islands of Rhodes and Santorini. Following her assistantship, Cryan hopes to pursue a master’s degree in classical studies or leadership studies.
“I expect my time in Greece will influence me professionally, but I know I will be more greatly influenced personally,” Cryan says. “I will have truly lived in Greece and value time I spent with the people in Greece with whom I have solidified language knowledge and cemented cultural bridges. I look forward to acting as a community liaison, seeking opportunities through cultural organizations that provide resources for Greek families and speakers here in the U.S., and most importantly, bring forth my experience as a globally-minded, forward-thinking citizen.”