Next Stop Malaysia for Fulbright Finalist Audrey Reiley

Fulbright Finalist Audrey Reiley poses on Lebanon Valley College's campus

Curating an art gallery exhibit, studying abroad in Italy, and researching cultural learning styles all have left a lasting impact on LVC senior Audrey Reiley. 

Reiley, who was recently named a Fulbright Program Finalist, will take all the knowledge gleaned from those experiences to Malaysia where she will spend 10 months as an English teaching assistant. The art and art history major also plans to host an art club at the school to encourage the students to learn more about American culture. 

“As I become more acclimated to the culture and my available resources, I will develop projects that will provide my students with a creative outlet, while connecting their activities toward American culture outside of the classroom,” she said. 

In preparation for her Fulbright placement, Reiley acquired certificates to be a Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages. She has worked as an educator at Juntos de Lebanon in the LVC community. 

“I used auditory and visual cues, demonstrations, repetition, and analogies to reinforce material comprehension,” she said. “After becoming aware of my students’ Hispanic background, I adapted my teaching methods to complement their cultural learning style. I learned all of these by teaching with and observing Dr. Kathleen Tacelosky [professor of Spanish at LVC].”

Reiley refined her skills through a Language and Diversity ESOL course at LVC during which her group conducted research on Malaysian culture and its educational system for its final project.

Malaysia sparked Reiley’s interest because of its geographic proximity to the Philippines since she is half Filipino. She also wished to broaden her experience beyond North America and Europe where she has already studied.

During Reiley’s semester in Perugia her junior year, she took courses at the Umbra Institute, including a practicum that provided direct experience in local museums such as Perugia’s Palazzo Sorbello House Museum and the Museo Capitolare di San Lorenzo.

“After traveling overseas, I knew that going abroad again was a part of my future,” said Reiley, who served as a study abroad student ambassador at LVC.

Her museum experience in Italy proved helpful when Reiley returned to The Valley and resumed her work assisting with the curation for the Sacred: Image, Text, Ritual exhibit. Sacred was on display at the Suzanne H. Arnold Art Gallery earlier this year. 

“The exhibit explored Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam’s traditions and the ways in which they intersected,” she said. “I am excited to learn more about religion in Malaysia and wish to gain a deeper appreciation of cultural intersection and how Malaysia maintains cultural diversity.”

Upon completion of her Fulbright year, Reiley wants to communicate her Malaysian experience to assist others in their intercultural learning. She then plans to pursue a Ph.D. in museum studies–preferably abroad–with a career goal of becoming a director of an art institution that will promote global understanding.

 

Editor’s Note: Audrey Reiley is one of three LVC Class of 2018 graduates to be named Fulbright Finalists and is the sixth LVC student in the past three years to earn this prestigious award. She joins Kristy Sonberg ’18, Katie Hockenbury ’18, Megan Lough ’17, Jasmine Olvany ’17, and Hannah Pell ’16.