German Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant Presents Final Event to the SSU Community

Jonas Richter, of the University of Wuppertal in Germany, has been SSU's third Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) from Germany. Jonas was awarded an FLTA-Program grant to serve as a teaching assistant in the German Program and take courses at SSU from 2015-16. Jonas has been sharing his language and culture with SSU students to inspire them to travel and study overseas, and help them be better prepared to engage with universities, businesses and organizations abroad.

He is one of fourteen FLTAs from Germany in the United States, and the only one on the West Coast. SSU has been a host for this prestigious Fulbright Program striving to help internationalize U.S. colleges and universities, a key goal of many institutions as they prepare students for the 21st century workforce and globalized world.

During his stay at SSU, Jonas worked with Dr. Michaela Grobbel and other language teaching assistants from Germany who elected to study at SSU in order to gain teaching experience in German. Jonas has been a great resource for students both inside and outside the classroom. Highlights of his campus-wide outreach events include a workshop on sustainability, which was part of SSU's Sustainability Day last fall. His event, "A Call for Action Towards Sustainability: Tearing Down Another Wall," was very well received, as well as his follow-up workshop, "A Call for Action Towards Sustainability: How We Can Make a Difference," which took place during International Education Week. Jonas was instrumental in setting up the technology exhibit from Berlin/Germany: “Renewables - Made in Germany," which was sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for Economic and Energy & Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany. This exhibit was on display in International Hall for several weeks last semester. The German FLTA has also been offering a biweekly German Film Series as well as a weekly informal German Conversation Hour ("Kaffeestunde"), which have been open to all of the campus community. By living in the dorms and participating in many events at SSU, Jonas has inspired many students to think about life outside the US and make connections to other parts of the world.

Recipients of Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant grants are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential. FLTA scholarships are awarded by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and administered by the Institute of International Education. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. Participating universities also provide direct and indirect support. Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in government, science, the arts, business, philanthropy, education, and many other fields. Fifty-three Fulbright alumni from 13 countries have been awarded the Nobel Prize, and 82 alumni have received Pulitzer Prizes.

--Michaela Grobbel