PSU Graduate Students Awarded Japanses Fulbright

October, 2007

Two PSU graduate students, Emilie Knisley and Alison Charbeneau, have been selected to participate in the Japanese Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program (JFMF). Knisley and Charbeneau were 2 of 200 teachers selected from a nationwide pool of 1,700 applicants.

Sponsored by the government of Japan, the program provides American primary- and secondary-school teachers and administrators with fully funded short-term study tours of Japan. The program is designed to increase understanding between the people of Japan and the United States by inviting U.S. elementary and secondary educators to visit Japan and, upon their return, share their experiences with fellow Americans.

Knisley is a seventh- and eighth-grade language arts teacher in Wells River, VT, and Charbeneau is an eighth-grade language arts teacher in Belmont, NH.

“We are very pleased for Emilie and Alison,” said Julie Bernier, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Together, they will promote cultural and social understandings and respect between our two countries. We are proud of them and look forward to their return when they can share their experiences with us.”

Knisley credits the training she’s received at PSU with empowering her to seek this international enrichment program.

“The graduate program at PSU has helped me to realize the profound impact teachers can have on their students,” Knisley said. “It also has opened me up to the idea that one teacher can make positive changes in the educational community.”

According to Charbeneau, her trip to Japan is a culmination of a longtime goal that started in a junior high classroom.

“My seventh-grade teacher spent time in Japan, and I still remember many things that she shared with us about Japanese culture,” said Charbeneau. “My interest in Japan started there. I am very committed to delivering instruction in the best ways possible to my students. I expect to learn a lot about the culture.”

Knisley is currently pursuing a self-designed master of education degree in PSU’s College of Graduate Studies through a partnership with the Upper Valley Teacher Institute.

Charbeneau earned a master’s degree in English education with a concentration in teaching writing from PSU’s College of Graduate Studies in 2003 and is currently enrolled in PSU’s Educational Leadership program.

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