By Kerry Steinhofer
Centre College has a history of producing Fulbright scholars, and that tradition continues this year with Paxton Duff ’18 (Louisville, Kentucky), who received a Fulbright Scholarship to be an English Teaching Assistant in Mexico beginning in late August.
“I originally applied for the Fulbright to Mexico, because I love working with kids, and I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone in my first year after Centre,” he said.
As a Spanish and politics double major, Duff spent the fall of his junior year in Mérida, where he fell in love with the culture. Last summer, he interned for the Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA), a D.C. think tank that focuses on Latin-American policy.
Duff will be serving as an English Teaching Assistant in Mexico for nine months, while also running a community-based after-school program each week.
“I am looking forward to working with the students and creating cross-cultural relationships at a time when Mexican-American political relations are tense,” he added. “Becoming a genuine citizen of the world has always been my dream, and I love both the Spanish language and Mexican culture.”
Duff said he is grateful to receive this award, and he wouldn’t be in this position without help from the Fulbright directors at Centre, Assistant Professor of Spanish Iulia Sprinceana and Charles T. Hazelrigg Associate Professor of Anthropology Robyn Cutright, as well as the professors who wrote letters of recommendations. He is also grateful for the help and support from Parker Lawson ’15, a former Fulbright grantee to Spain.
“I hope to gain a better understanding of Mexico’s culture and education system, improve my Spanish and teaching abilities, and most of all, I want to leave a positive impact on the lives of the students and teachers with whom I interact,” he concluded.