Florida Southern College continues to earn acclaim from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), with five current students and alumni earning Fulbright Scholarships for the 2022-23 academic year. The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 to increase mutual understanding between nations, advancing knowledge across communities, and improving lives around the world. Fulbright is the world’s largest and most diverse international educational exchange program.
Austin Crotteau ’18 understands the value of perseverance; it’s what earned him a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship. Austin, who earned his degree from Florida Southern in English, originally applied for a Fulbright Scholarship in 2019, but was not selected. To flesh out his resume, he became a Teaching Assistant at Mulberry (Fla.) High School before being promoted to a full-time teaching position. He works with students who need to improve scores on standardized tests, primarily teaching Reading.
As a student, Austin worked in the Student Solutions Center, where Executive Director Taylor Shook saw that he had a knack for teaching.
“I didn’t know that I wanted to teach until I started teaching,” Austin said, noting how Shook mentored him. “I am just fascinated by teaching English writing.”
However, it was Dr. Erica Bernheim, his academic advisor, who put Austin’s entire career path in motion. “She had the wisdom and insight into creative writing that hooked me,” he said. “She had the vision. She went the extra mile for me.”
With the support of Dr. Rebecca Saulsbury Bravard, he reapplied for and earned a Fulbright Scholarship this year.
Austin will head to Trondheim, Norway in August to teach English writing at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and Byåsen Upper Secondary School.
Heading to Norway will be a true change of pace for the native Floridian. However, Austin is familiar with a colder climate, as his parents are originally from Wisconsin. Additionally, he spent last summer in Iceland, though there is a big difference between the summer and winter.
Trondheim is a major metropolitan city, with the reputation as a global educational center for writing and research. The Fulbright program allows for only four positions, with Austin taking one of them. He plans on working with university professors to implement research into the classrooms, while teaching writing and cultural presentations at the high school level.
After the Fulbright experience, which lasts through June of 2023, Austin plans on returning to the United States to pursue his master’s degree and teach for a living.
“This Fulbright Scholarship has energized me,” he said. “This is such an exciting opportunity.”