PSU Graduate Student Awarded Japanese Fulbright Scholarship

June 12th, 2007 by Adam

A PSU graduate student leaves for Japan this month after being chosen for the Japanese Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program (JFMF). Emilie Knisley, a 7th- and 8th- grade language arts teacher at Blue Mountain Union High School in Wells River, Vt., is one of 200 teachers selected nationwide from 1,700 applicants. The program’s goal is to promote greater cultural understanding between the U.S. and Japan. This is the second JFMF awarded to a PSU graduate student this year; Alison Charbeneau, a Belmont, N.H., 8th -grade language arts teacher is also traveling to Japan this month.

“We are very pleased for Emilie. This is an honor and a testament to her as a teacher and scholar,” said Dr. Julie Bernier, interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “She joins Alison Charbeneau, another Plymouth State graduate student who was chosen earlier this spring. 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 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. 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. “Also, it has opened me up to the idea that one teacher can make positive changes in the educational community.”

Knisley will travel to Tokyo for an orientation in Japanese life and culture, as well as meetings with government officials and educators. The group will then go to individual host cities where they will have direct contact with Japanese students and teachers and stay with Japanese families.

“I hope to share my love of traveling and other cultures with my students,” said Knisley. “I hope that they can be inspired to see the world some day.”

Knisley lives in Groton, Vt. and has taught at Blue Mountain Union High School for two years.

In addition to Knisley’s and Charbeneau’s JFMF awards, Catherine Amidon, director of the Karl Drerup Art Gallery, was also chosen for a U.S. State Department Fulbright scholarship this year. Amidon will conduct research and study in Jamaica next year as part of her Fulbright award.

For more information about this reklease, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or