Each academic year, Salve Regina hosts several foreign language teaching assistants from across the world through the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program. For 2023-24, Salve welcomes Cecilia Campana (pictured above, left) and Sophie Grzeskowiak to campus (pictured above, right).
The two will be teaching languages, living at Carnlough Cottage and taking courses each semester. They are also facilitating conversation tables for the University community, planning cultural events and movie nights on campus, and will be teaching introductory language instruction together at the Pell Elementary School in Newport, Rhode Island.
Learn more about Salve’s new Fulbright foreign language teaching assistants below.
Campana began studying English while attending primary school in her native Rosario, central Argentina’s largest city. She earned degrees in technical scientific and literary translation, and in both English teaching and translation, having studied at the Higher Education Institute No. 28 “Olga Cossettini” and the National University of Rosario.
Having taught and coordinated ESL instruction for students of different ages and skill levels in Argentina since 2017, Campana also taught young children for a year while living in Stuttgart, Germany. She said her appreciation for traveling and learning about different cultures is what inspired her to apply to the Fulbright program.
“I thought this was going to be a great opportunity for personal and professional growth,” she said. “I had been teaching for many years before coming here, and I felt like this gave me the opportunity not only to take classes, but also to see how the educational system works in another country.”
Salve ranked at the top of her Fulbright choices because of its location. “The city looked very nice, and we are both amazed at how beautiful the campus and the city is,” she said. “It’s a big plus.”
In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Campana is taking two classes this semester: ENG-310 Fairytales and Fantastic Literature with Dr. Margaret Svogun, professor in the Department of English, Communications and Media; and ITL-111 Elementary Italian with Dr. Norman Rusin, lecturer in the Department of Modern Languages. She also hopes to continue practicing her love for pottery during her time at Salve and plans to take all that she learns through her Fulbright experience back to her future students in Argentina.
“I have been teaching for many years before coming here, and I think this will give me lots of tools to take back to my classes in Argentina as an English teacher with a different perspective,” she said. “Maybe to take some of the American culture back to my country and see how I can apply what I’ve learned here in my lessons.”
Born in the suburbs of Paris and raised in Aix-en-Provence in southern France, Grzeskowiak completed her upper-level language studies at Aix-Marseille University, earning her bachelor’s degree in foreign literature and civilization with a major in Japanese. She also has two master’s degrees – one in literary translation and cultural exchanges, and another in teaching French as a foreign language.
Grzeskowiak studied in Tokyo at Meiji University as part of an international exchange, completed an intensive language course at The Kyoto Center for Japanese Linguistic Studies, and taught French at St. Munchin’s College in Ireland through France Education International.
Grzeskowiak learned about the Fulbright program from a professor at Aix-Marseiile and placed Salve among her top choices because of the beauty of the campus and because the city of Newport has a lot to offer. In addition to teaching FRN-111 Elementary French this semester, Grzeskowiak is taking two courses: RTS-300 Religious Diversity of Newport with John Rok, adjunct faculty in the Department of Religious and Theological Studies; and ENG-240 Witches in American Literature with Dr. Matthew Ramsey, professor in the Department of English, Communications and Media.
“I also like theater a lot and would like to be part of a production of the student-run theater club, StageFright,” Grzeskowiak said. “And I really, really like cinema, so I want to organize the movie nights. They have a lot of DVDs in the library – and a lot of French classics – so it will be nice to make this happen.”
After completing the Fulbright program at Salve, Grzeskowiak hopes to continue pursuing her passion for traveling and for teaching.
“I really enjoy teaching young adults, and I really enjoy teaching teenagers, so I think I’m going to go on teaching French as a foreign language or French for French students in high school or maybe in universities,” she said. “I would maybe like to go to Wales or England or Scotland to teach a little bit over there, too.”