Fulbright Scholar Gains Broadened Perspective
Tom Shattuck was initially drawn to attend La Salle University through his childhood experiences. “My father, Joseph, graduated from La Salle in 1981, and when I was young, he would often take me to La Salle football games,” Shattuck said. “I had many fond memories of
La Salle, and when choosing a school I wanted to stay in the Philadelphia area and go to a smaller university.
La Salle’s Honors Program sealed the deal for me.”
Although he came to La Salle initially to stay close to home, his education at La Salle ended up taking him to the other side of the world.
As a freshman English and history major, Shattuck began learning about different programs that could take him abroad. During summer 2012, he taught English in China through World Teach, traveling to three different cities in the Hunan province of southeastern China.
“I wanted to do something different from the typical internship,” Shattuck said. “When I was making the decision, I was taking Chinese with Dr. (June) Jiang (assistant professor of marketing), and we talked a bit about teaching in China. I decided that it would be the best fit for the summer, so I went for it.”
During the internship, his supervisor told him that a teacher’s influence could make the difference between a Chinese student deciding to go to college or staying on the family farm. “That really hit home with me because it showed that I was actually helping to make a real difference in someone’s life,” Shattuck said.
Shattuck, taken by the Asian culture and driven by the impact he believed he could make, applied for a Fulbright Scholarship to teach in Asia after graduation. Because the
Fulbright Program does not offer scholarships in mainland China, Shattuck applied to teach in Taiwan.
Last month, he learned that he is one of the Fulbright Scholarship recipients selected to teach in Taiwan. Shattuck will spend 10 months teaching English and other topics related to U.S. culture.
The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and it is considered the flagship international educational exchange program. The program, which awards approximately 7,500 new grants each year, is designed to increase mutual understanding between people in the U.S. and those in other countries. Recipients are selected for their academic merit and leadership potential. Since the program’s inception in 1946, La Salle has had more than 60 Fulbright recipients.
During his time at La Salle, Shattuck has been very involved on campus. He has participated in the La Salle Mock Trial Association, the Project Appalachia service trip, The Histories, the History Department’s academic journal, and the Honors Student Board, which he served as Chair of the Alumni Relations Committee and played a part in planning the recent 50th anniversary celebration of the Honors Program. Additionally, he worked as a tutor for the Academic Discovery Program and as a writing tutor in the Sheekey Writing Center.
Throughout his time at La Salle, Shattuck has been able to discover what he is truly passionate about. “La Salle has helped me understand that I am passionate about helping people in any way possible. I don’t exactly know what career path that I wish to take, but I do know that it will involve making a different in people’s lives in some way,” Shattuck said.
Named the top graduate in both the English and History departments, Shattuck said those honors, as well as receiving the Fulbright Scholarship, are the achievements he is most proud of.
“It is the culmination of many, many years of hard work, and I would not have been able to reach this goal without the help of my family, friends, teachers, and professors,” he said.
– Lianne McCluskey, ’14