Fulbright award expands career opportunities

Washington State University’s latest recipient of a Fulbright U.S. Student award, Lauren Hudson (’22 biology, French), will be teaching in Southeast Asia this coming year.

“I’m thrilled to be able to teach English to college students in Vietnam, a land that is part of my heritage,” said Hudson. “I’m also happy to explore language and culture as ways to further equity and acceptance among people.”

Hudson’s Fulbright U.S. Student Program English Teaching Assistant assignment is at Ha Long University in the Quang Ninh province. It will be the tenth country she has studied, visited, or worked in beyond U.S. borders. Going to Vietnam, though, has been a particularly meaningful goal of hers, one that will help her engage in a heritage she has longed to explore more fully.

“I am Vietnamese American, with my father being American and my mother Vietnamese,” she said.

The biology and French graduate and WSU Regent Scholar from Mill Creek, Washington, is the daughter of Scott (’95 Elem. Ed.) and Thuy Hudson (‘95 Pharm.) who met at WSU.

Hudson’s mother, Thuy, came to America from Vietnam as a three-year-old. Years later, as a parent herself, Thuy stressed the importance of education to her children. Hudson took that to heart, and said she loves learning as much as teaching.

So far, she has worked with children with special needs, taught English during a study abroad experience in France, taught math and science to middle schoolers, and mentored high school and WSU students. She participated in a STEM Education Fellowship through the Memphis Teaching Residency program in summer 2021. Learning goals were embedded into games and interactive activities, and lessons addressed history, racial justice, diversity, equity, and education.

She plans to infuse interactive activities into her Fulbright classrooms to bring lessons to life as she helps her Vietnamese students learn about America and their own educational possibilities.

“Being an ETA will enable me to connect to students with different cultural backgrounds that will also be present in my future classrooms when I am full-time in my career as a teacher. This opportunity will allow me to help current and future students normalize diversity and set the standard for how we treat others.”

Hudson plans to pursue a master’s degree in education. Her career goal is to teach STEM topics to high schoolers in a low-income school district.

“With support from Fulbright, [Laura] will be an exceptional representative of WSU and the U.S.,” said April Seehafer, director of the WSU Distinguished Scholarships Program, which is part of the Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement and offers mentoring for the application process.

Top image: Lauren Hudson

By Bev Makhani, Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement