Kendré Barnes – Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Panama
Name: Kendré Barnes
Class Year: 2013
Hometown: Omaha, NE
Major(s): English, Spanish
Opportunity and Year: Fulbright Program for U.S. Students, 2013-14
Project Summary: As a Fulbright ETA, I will teach English and conversation at the Autonomous University of Chiriquí (UNACHI) in the Chiriquí Province, and I will volunteer with an NGO that seeks to alleviate childhood poverty in the country. My desire is to integrate my interests in literature, teaching, cultural and poverty studies and service-learning into an experience that will hopefully serve as an integral part of the foundation for my projected career paths.
How did W&L prepare you for this opportunity? My time at W&L prepared me for this opportunity in ways I could not have anticipated my first year on campus. First and foremost, my professors invested so much time in me, and they were willing to not only encourage my development as a student, but as an individual and member of both a local and global community. I was also challenged to ask probing questions, pursue intriguing ideas, think of creative ways to respond to those questions and ideas, and weigh the various effects of my final conclusions or decisions.
Why did you apply for this opportunity? I wanted to take some time after graduation to figure out exactly how my interests, passions and perceived talents could potentially culminate into the type of professional and personal life I envision for myself at this time. The Fulbright ETA in Panama was the ideal opportunity for me to spend time teaching at the post-secondary level and engaging in international non-profit work. Above all, I will have the chance to use my studies of literature to understand Panama’s unique cultural and ethnic history, explore my questions about various cultural identities in Panama’s national story, and begin to shape an idea of what my experience could mean when looking at broader perspectives that include both Peninsular and Latin/Central American socio-cultural experiences.
Post-graduation Plans: The Fulbright experience will hopefully show me how I can use literature as a way to explore my questions about culture, ethnicity and race in the Spanish speaking world. Hopefully, the experience will help me to know whether or not teaching at the university level is for me, and it will show me how international NGO experience can complement as a career as a Spanish Literature professor.
Co-General Chair of Nabors Service League, Peer Counselors, W&L Chamber Singers, SAIL, Literacy Tutor with Rockbridge Regional Library/Waddell Elementary, WLUR Radio DJ.
Study Abroad in Seville, Spain during Winter/Spring 2012; Shepherd International Poverty Internship in Buenos Aires, Argentina during Summer 2012; Immigration and Refugee Services Intern with Lutheran Family Services Inc.
Spanish Honors Thesis: La Pobreza Peninsular: Institución, Individuo, Imaginación. Completed in 2013 with the guidance of Professor Mayock. English Senior Capstone: The Cry: Cante Jondo as Lyric Poetic Expression in Flamenco Music. Completed Fall Term of 2012.