Baylor Graduate Selected to Teach English in Austria

June 29, 2012
Celia HeidbrierCelia Heidbrier

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Media contact: Lori Fogleman, (254) 710-6275

WACO, Texas (June 28, 2012)- Celia Heidbrier, a recent college graduate, is taking the summer to prepare herself for the upcoming academic year.

Heidbrier, who graduated in May from Baylor University with a degree in German, was recently selected for a prestigious English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) in Austria. Though affiliated with the Fulbright Program, her ETA is funded through the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture.

Heidbrier believes that this will be a relevant career step for her. She will be teaching English in Deutschlandsberg--a small Austrian town of around 9,000 people. She will teach for a full academic year, which she views as the perfect time for her to decide what path to take for her future.

"I look at this as a great experience and a time to see if I really and truly enjoy teaching, because if I went on to grad school that would be what I would pursue. This gives me the opportunity to see if I have the natural ability to teach, and whether I enjoy language teaching," Heidbrier said. "This is essentially going to be a time where I try and plan my future."

Heidbrier was active in campus and symphony orchestras, the Wesley Foundation and was a part of the Global Community Living and Learning Center while at Baylor, as well as helping the Baylor United Methodist Church movement in getting a charter.

"We are thrilled that Celia has been selected for this wonderful opportunity. She has all the abilities that successful student-scholars within the Fulbright programs have--terrific academic background, significant skills in the host country's language, an engaging personality, teaching expertise and a desire to be an effective ambassador for her homeland," Elizabeth Vardaman, associate dean for special programs at Baylor's College of Arts and Sciences, said.

Dr. Ann McGlashan, director of German and Russian and an associate professor of German in Baylor's modern foreign language department, has known Heidbrier for more than two years and encouraged her to apply.

"Celia was a very motivated self-starter. I think Celia will really enjoy this program and I'm thrilled that it worked out for her," McGlashan said. "She will be helping to teach English classes in an Austrian high school that will entail all sorts of interesting things from conversation practice to introducing the students to American culture. Aside from the fact that she will get to use all the German she has learned over the last few years and improve her fluency, she will also be learning practical communication and teaching skills. But one of the best benefits of the program is that she will be able to really put down roots in her Austrian 'home town' and make friends for a lifetime. Indeed, I think the main goal of the program is to develop reciprocal cultural understanding in a way that normal summer travel cannot."

Heidbrier will leave in September and will have a settling-in period. She begins teaching in October, and will not return until the end of May 2013. While she is looking forward to getting to know her new home, she also is excited about the idea of visiting other places in Europe.

"I definitely plan on traveling," Heidbrier said. "I will have a good number of friends scattered throughout Europe, so that will be fun to try and connect with everyone I know there."

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, classified as such with "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions.

ABOUT BAYLOR COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES

The College of Arts & Sciences is Baylor University's oldest and largest academic division, consisting of 27 academic departments and 13 academic centers and institutes. The more than 5,000 courses taught in the College span topics from art and theatre to religion, philosophy, sociology and the natural sciences. Faculty conduct research around the world and research on the undergraduate and graduate level is prevalent throughout all disciplines. Visit www.baylor.edu/artsandsciences.

by Mallory Hisler, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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