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Knox College graduate Nicole McCabe '11 has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright fellowship for international study in India.
A native of Chicago, Illinois, McCabe will teach English.
"I've always wanted to teach in another country," she said. "I chose India because I grew up near an Indian neighborhood in Chicago and I've always been a little bit in love with the culture."
She also plans to volunteer with an organization that promotes women's literacy in India.
"While (teaching English) is going to afford me a huge opportunity to make an impact on the lives of Indian women, I think that can only be a piece of it," she said. "There has to be another kind of outreach targeted toward women who aren't attending school in order to effectively promote literacy in the community."
McCabe majored in psychology and minored in creative writing at Knox. She also participated in several extracurricular activities, including the Terpsichore Dance Collective, Improv Club, Poetry Club, and the Cordially Yours female a cappella group.
Now a post-baccalaureate fellow at Knox, she is taking English classes and serving as event coordinator for the Department of English. Her duties include overseeing Caxton Club and helping with arrangements to bring guest speakers to campus.
After completing her Fulbright fellowship, McCabe hopes to continue teaching abroad for a few years and then teach at a low-income school in Chicago.
She credits Knox faculty members for their role in her academic development and in helping her with the Fulbright application process.
"(Philip Sidney Post Professor of English) Robin Metz, in particular, was very helpful because he would push me. He would say, ‘You can do better than this,'" McCabe said. "He'll push you to do what he knows you can do, which is sometimes what you need."
She also credited her overall Knox experience, including getting to know other students and attending various campus events, with expanding her horizons.
"The confidence and social awareness that Knox has fostered in me has made it possible for me to articulate my concerns (such as women's literacy) and aspirations -- and to pursue them," McCabe said. "I was never specifically aware of gender issues until I came to Knox, and now it's a huge part of the work that I want to do in my life."
Knox College has a long history with the prestigious Fulbright awards program. In the past 10 years, more than two dozen Knox students, faculty members, and alumni have been selected as Fulbright recipients. In 2012, four Knox students received Fulbright fellowships.
The Fulbright program is the leading international educational exchange sponsored by the U.S. government. Recipients are chosen on the basis of academic merit and leadership potential.
Published on April 26, 2012