A Fulbrighter in France

Ohio Wesleyan Alumna Meaghan Teitelman Earns Fellowship to Teach English Abroad

By Cole Hatcher

Meaghan Teitelman ’18

DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University graduate Meaghan Teitelman, Class of 2018, has earned a highly competitive Fulbright U.S. Student Program fellowship to spend eight months teaching English in Lyon, France.

As an OWU student, Teitelman was a French and Sociology and Anthropology double major and a Spanish minor. She currently teaches French at the Laurel School, a private, independent day school for girls in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Teitelman will begin her Fulbright assignment as a high school English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in September.

“My career goal, and my reason for seeking this grant, is because I want to be a great French teacher in the United States,” Teitelman said. “While in France, I hope to travel as much as I can, to connect with French people and immigrants/international residents of France, and to better my language skills so that I can return to the U.S. and be the teacher I hope to be.”

Teitelman said her four years at Ohio Wesleyan “set me on a path that made Fulbright a possibility. I had amazing, inspirational professors who motivated me at every step, whether it was to study abroad or to apply for a TPG (Theory-to-Practice Grant).”

University-funded TPGs are part of Ohio Wesleyan’s signature program, The OWU Connection, which teaches students to think big (understand issues from multiple academic disciplines), go global (gain international perspective), and get real (translate classroom knowledge into real-world experience).

Teitelman’s OWU Connection experiences included conducting research at the Chateau de Versailles in France in 2016 and 2017; researching open-air markets in Paris, Strasbourg, and Marseille, France, in 2017; and studying the relationship between Quechua and Spanish in Cusco, Peru, in 2018.

“I was so focused on the destinations back then and viewed the actual writing of the grants as tedious,” Teitelman said. “Little did I realize that the guidance I received and the skills I learned simply writing these grant proposals would be invaluable in writing this Fulbright proposal. Experience abroad was also a key component of my Fulbright application, and I got that in spades thanks to OWU’s programs.”

Teitelman said she became interested in applying to the Fulbright Program while still an Ohio Wesleyan student. She submitted a previous unsuccessful application to go to Luxembourg with assistance from Comparative Literature professor Anne Sokolsky, Ph.D., also an OWU fellowship adviser. When Teitelman decided to submit a second Fulbright application, she contacted Sokolsky again.

“When I emailed Dr. Sokolsky in the spring of 2020 to see if she’d be willing to sign on with me for another go, this time to France, she immediately replied enthusiastically, and we communicated all summer and fall,” Teitelman said. “She helped me clearly define my goals and supported me in authentically communicating this dream to teach in France. We both recognized how competitive it was, but she continued to reassure me that this is the grant I was meant to apply for. Her partnership has been incredible, particularly since I am not even a current OWU student.”

Teitelman also credits faculty members Mary Anne Lewis Cusato, Ph.D., a former Fulbrighter in France and current associate professor of World Languages and Cultures, and Susan Gunasti, Ph.D., associate professor of Religion, for their help with her OWU Connection travel experiences and Fulbright application.

After she completes her Fulbright experience and returns to the United States in late April, Teitelman plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in Applied Linguistics and to continue to pursue her goal to “inspire a generation of American students to pursue the study of French.”

Learn more about Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of World Languages & Cultures at owu.edu/languages and more about The OWU Connection signature program at owu.edu/connection.

About the Fulbright Scholar Program

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Fulbright Program is designed to increase mutual understanding between people of the United States and other countries. Founded in 1946, the program currently operates in more than 160 countries. Award recipients are selected based on their academic and professional merit. To date, Fulbright Program alumni have earned 60 Nobel Prizes, 88 Pulitzer Prizes, 75 MacArthur Foundation fellowships, 16 Presidential Medals of Freedom, and countless other awards and honors. For more information, visit http://eca.state.gov/fulbright.

About Ohio Wesleyan University

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more undergraduate majors than many universities its size and competes in 24 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through its signature program, The OWU Connection, Ohio Wesleyan teaches students to integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included on the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at owu.edu.