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Warner School welcomes 17 Fulbright Teachers from around the world

Warner welcomes Fulbright Teachers

The University of Rochester Warner School of Education is one of three universities in the nation hosting recipients of the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program for International Teachers. In August, the program brought a cohort of 17 teachers from 12 countries to the U.S. for a semester of coursework, professional development, classroom teaching, and cultural exchange. 

The Warner School community welcomed the international primary and secondary teachers who are living in Rochester for the semester and participating in classroom placements in Dr. Walter Cooper Academy, East High School, Rush-Henrietta High School, Roth Middle School, Council Rock Primary, Twelve Corners Middle School, and the Employment and Career Advancement Equity for Immigrants and Refugee. As part of their Fulbright experience, the Fulbright Teachers will implement research projects in collaboration with local schools, creating opportunities for mutual learning both at Warner and with the partnering schools.

“We are thrilled to extend a warm welcome and host our inaugural group of international Fulbright Teachers here in Rochester,” expresses Nicole King, leading the Rochester Fulbright initiative as an assistant professor. “Each of them has earned their selection through merit, embodying beacons of teaching excellence within their home countries. It is a true pleasure to be in the company of such inspiring, thoughtful, and knowledgeable teachers, allowing us to mutually share cultures, ideas and expertise.” 

On August 15, the Warner School welcomed the following Fulbright Teachers from around the world to the University of Rochester’s River Campus: 

The first Fulbright Teacher to arrive in Rochester, Silvia Dos Santos Carvalho, comes to Warner from Brazil, where she is a secondary school teacher who focuses on teaching English to non-native speakers. Her research project will center around helping students be smart online. 

Arriving from Brazil, Gabriela Barbosa Kalifi, a secondary school teacher who has taught English to non-native speakers for eight years, will focus her research project on raising students’ interest and motivation in reading through a reading club. 

Fulbright Teacher Alpa Nigam

Fulbright Teacher, Alpa Nigam, is a primary school teacher visiting from India interested in developing various tools and content for inclusion in teaching and learning so that every child can learn. 

Fulbright Teacher Mohammad Imran Khan Mewati

Mohammad Imran Khan Mewati has taught mathematics to sixth, eighth and ninth-grade students for 22 years in India. In Rochester, his research interests will focus on the development of an Android App that ensures students have equal reach to educational content. 

Fulbright Teachers Patricia Agarukire and Alioune Samba

From Uganda, Patricia Agarukire has taught English literature, language and grammar to students in grades 7 – 12 for 20 years. In Rochester, her research project will explore different mechanisms and tools to help teachers and students overcome the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Alioune Samba is a secondary English teacher from Senegal. As a Fulbright Teacher, he plans to explore teaching and testing communicative competence in remote areas. 

Fulbright Teacher Elizabeth Mejía Vargas

Fulbright Teacher Elizabeth Mejía Vargas comes to Rochester from Mexico, where she teaches secondary English and social studies. Her research interests center on teaching and technology skills. 

Fulbright Teachers Rio Suhardi and Yogy Yogyantoro

Rio Suhardi is from Indonesia, where he teaches secondary mathematics. His research interests center on STEAM learning and patterns for improving students’ computational skills. Yogy Yogyantoro, also from Indonesia, brings his experience as an English and vocational teacher to Rochester, where he hopes to focus his research on inclusive education to provide wider access for all students, including those with a disability and those who come from historically-marginalized communities, to attend public schools. 

Fulbright Teacher Sangita Acharjee

Primary teacher Sangita Acharjee, who arrived in Rochester with her family, is from Bangladesh, where she has taught English to non-native speakers at the primary school level for 14 years. She’s interested in studying larger class management with care for supporting students of different ages and standards and with diverse abilities. 

Fulbrighto Teachers Fatima Bellihi and Khaoula Goumni

Primary school teacher Fatima Bellihi and secondary school teacher Khaoula Goumni traveled to Rochester from Morocco. Bellihi has taught foreign languages (French and Arabic) and English for non-native speakers for 20 years, and Khaoula has taught science for seven years. Bellihi is interested in studying the benefits drawn from the collective intelligence of a virtual educational community and its impacts on Learnence (self-education), a possible process to optimize the educator's continuing education and professional practices in the Moroccan context. Goumni hopes the knowledge and skills she gains will help her guide students in learning about available opportunities to pursue their career interests and encourage them to be more ambitious and persistent in achieving their goals. 

Fulbright Teachers Heidi Niskanen and Roey Perlstein Dvir

Heidi Niskanen comes from Finland, where she has taught at the primary and second levels for 17 years. Her research project will focus on motivating students with effective teaching methods. Roey Perlstein Dvir joins the Fulbright cohort from Israel, where he has taught secondary social studies for 14 years. He is interested in researching how schools can empower students to take ownership of their studies and become critical consumers of knowledge and active citizens in a democracy. 

Fulbright Teacher Zandile Ponego Motlhatso

Zandile Ponego Motlhatso has taught secondary science and special education for 13 years in Botswana. She will focus her research project on adaptations, accommodations and modifications for learners with special education needs in secondary mainstream classrooms. 

Fulbright Teachers Aphrodite Bechayd and Ruby Ann Camposanoa and

Secondary school teacher Aphrodite Bechayda and primary school teacher Ruby Ann Camposano, both from the Philippines, have taught English to non-native speakers. As part of her research project, Bechayda will study how American educators conduct reading remediation for high school students to develop reading habits and improve reading comprehension. Camposano is interested in exploring how to promote mental health to young learners and how to help children experiencing personal difficulties brought about by poverty and family problems.

Read about Fulbright Teachers at the University of Rochester to learn more about the first international cohort at the school. Fulbright Teacher Exchanges are designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Programs are sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by IREX.