Willamette Senior Alex Dukalskis Wins Fulbright Grant
Senior politics major Alex Dukalskis of Roseburg, Ore. has been awarded a Fulbright Grant to teach English in Korea for a year. The Fulbright covers the cost of travel, room and board with a host family and a stipend of approximately $1,200 a month for 13 months. Created by Congress in 1946, the Fulbright Program aims to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchange.
"I'm really excited," says Dukalskis. "Because the Fulbright is so competitive, I didn't expect to receive the award. But now that I'm leaving for Korea soon, I'm in awe."
Students must be nominated by their colleges and universities to compete for this highly prestigious award. Selection for the Fulbright is based on personal essays and students' academic, employment and extracurricular activities.
Dukalskis, who is president of Willamette's Debate Team and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, has won numerous awards for forensics and has volunteered as a debate coach at Silverton High School. He recently won the title of grand champion with his debate partner, Matt Lehman, at an international debate tournament in Eastern Europe.
He is also a Carson Scholar. Last year, Dukalskis used his Carson Grant to investigate the mix of religion and politics at the Oregon Farmworker Ministry in Salem. As chair of the Senior Class Council, he has been responsible for arranging the Senior Social, Senior Service Day and the Senior Gift.
A former member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity, Dukalskis volunteers with the Easter Seal Children's Guild and at the HOME Youth and Resource Center, acting as a mentor for homeless and at-risk youth.
In July, Dukalskis will leave for Korea, where he and other teaching assistants will receive intensive Korean language training at Kangwon National University in the city of Chuncheon. After that, he'll be teaching English to Korean middle or high school children 30 hours per week.
"This grant will allow me to do so many things that I wouldn't otherwise get to do," he says. "I get to go to South Korea. I've never been anywhere in Asia. I'm nervously excited and optimistic at the prospect of spending a year there."
Eventually Dukalskis plans to earn graduate degrees in Human Rights and Political Science, working in international politics and human rights theory. "While the Fulbright means I have to postpone my graduate studies for a year, I'll be doing something that will teach me and help me grow."