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Professor Picked for Fulbright Committee
An Oklahoma City University professor was selected to serve on a Fulbright scholarship selection committee for a three-year term. Ally Zhou, a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) professor, is serving on the Institute of International Education’s committee for English language teaching assistantships in Southeast Asia. The national screening committee helps determine the winners of the Fulbright-Hays Program scholarships. The three-member committee meets each year in Houston to make recommendations on applicants for the program. The applications are judged on several factors, one of which is strong English language skills. The committee also seeks to select winners from a variety of U.S. regions. Zhou returned last week from her first annual meeting where the committee was tasked with selecting the top applications out of a pool of nearly 100. “With my experience on the committee, hopefully I’ll be able to help students here with similar scholarship application processes in the future,” Zhou said. “I’ll be able to walk them through it and offer advice on what to do for their best chance to win a scholarship.” For a few weeks before her first committee meeting, Zhou reviewed each application independently and compiled a list of favorites. She said she spent days going through a tall stack of applications. The applications included statements of grand purpose, personal statements, reference letters and essays. Zhou said she didn’t mind the extra workload, though. “Teaching is what we do here, and this will help me become a better teacher,” she said. “Anytime we can do something extra we’ll take the opportunity to expand our skills.”