Helen Griffin’21 heads to Taiwan through a Fulbright Student Award

Helen Griffin’21 completed her Beloit education on a high note with four majors and highest academic honors. She attracted a Fulbright Student Award which will take her to Taiwan to teach.

Helen Griffin’21 will be teaching English and American culture courses in Taiwan as one of two Beloiters to receive a Fulbright Student Award this year.

A native of St. Peters, Mo., she decided to apply for the Fulbright at the recommendation of her advisor, Jennifer Esperanza, a professor of anthropology. She also sent several rounds of application edits past Matthew Taylor, a professor of classics, writing, and interdisciplinary studies, and another Beloit advisor Helen calls her “hero.”

The quadruple major—count them: anthropology; sociology; Greek, Latin, and Ancient Mediterranean Studies; and Critical Identity Studies—is looking forward to teaching and traveling in southeast Asia.

While Helen is still not sure where she will be placed or the age of students she’ll be teaching, she credits Beloit and her professors for her ability to respond quickly to changing situations and think critically about her future position.

“Because I’m doing some work with American culture studies, I’m really grateful for the sociology and anthropology courses I’ve taken at Beloit that can hopefully help me approach these lessons in a way that isn’t promoting the old colonizer narratives,” she says. “It’s really important to be conscious of what you’re promoting and what impacts you could have. Beloit’s courses have really helped me gain some perspective on that and start thinking about ways to interact with new communities in a more ethical way.”

Before the big move, Helen plans to have what she calls “good old-fashioned summer fun.” She hopes to take a road trip around the United States and visit friends, camp, and relax before making the long trek to Taiwan.

While she’s not exactly sure where life will take her after that, Helen would love to work at a national park when she returns stateside.

May 25, 2021

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