Soon-to-be Centre College graduate Ryan Collins ’19 (Lexington, Kentucky) will exchange his diploma for a passport, as he was recently awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Spain. Collins will be working as an English teaching assistant (ETA) and U.S. cultural ambassador to faculty and students in Galicia.
Collins said Spanish has always been a defining characteristic in his life.
“I was enrolled in a Spanish immersion program from K-7th grade and fell in love with the language and its many cultures early on,” he added. “The scholarship’s aim of cultivating mutual cultural understanding really struck a chord with me, and after studying abroad in Spain and the Universidad de Granada last fall, I knew I wanted to return there.”
As a Spanish and history double major, Collins said the professors he’s had in these programs are fantastic role models of what a true academic should be.
“These individuals have really inspired me to fall in love with the act of learning, something I hope to pass on to my prospective Galician students,” he continued.
Collins said he is looking forward to learning Gallego, traveling and teaching.
“I also aim to start a frisbee club at the school I am assigned to and work with local representatives of the Association for the Recuperation of Historical Memory (ARMH) in creating a book of stories, photos and information about those who suffered under the Franco dictatorship,” he explained.
During his time in Spain, Collins hopes to continue to improve his Spanish, as well as his cultural understanding. He said he’s curious to assess the reception of the U.S. abroad in order to have a better perspective of his home country when he returns.
“It truly feels like the pinnacle of my educational trajectory, as Spanish has always been a part of my schooling,” he concluded. “It is a great honor, and I am humbled to be called a Fulbright Scholar.”
by Kerry Steinhofer
May 15, 2019