Cynthia Kellett '19

Current Position:
School Sales Representative, Newsela 
Current Location:
Charlotte, N.C.
International Relations

When I first arrived at HWS, I intended to major in American history and education so that I could become a history teacher. I instead went on to major in international relations. I decided to switch because of a class that I took with Professor of Religious Studies Michael Dobkowski in my first year. The class inspired me to think about the relationship between identity and politics in our everyday lives that can have (positive or negative) consequences. This led to my concentration in politics, culture and identity and to change my academic focus.

After graduating in May 2019, I went to Germany to take a position as an English Teaching Assistant in Kamenz with the Fulbright program. I worked primarily with 8th through 10th graders to increase their knowledge about the United States, as well as advance their English skills in reading, writing and speaking. I also hosted themed days for students, including sharing a Thanksgiving meal with an 8th grade class. Unfortunately, my time as an ETA was cut short in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis and I returned home to Radnor, Pa. I kept busy making masks for local organizations in need of PPE – more than 600 masks down and my sewing skills even blow my mind!

Earning the Fulbright Award can mostly be attributed to spending my junior year abroad in Bremen, Germany. That was an extremely immersive experience that opened my eyes to the world and allowed me to form cross-cultural relationships that I still have to this day. Having the one-on-one attention that I did from my German professors was also an immense help. The connections that they helped me make with the language and its culture essentially prepared me to take on life in another country!

Out of all of the resources that I used on campus throughout my time at HWS, my professors, the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning, and Global Education contributed greatly to my post-grad success. Whether it was encouraging me to take risks in applying myself or giving me the connections to create opportunities for myself, I cannot thank them enough for all they did those four years.

In the summer of 2020, I relocated to Charlotte, N.C., to join Teach for America as a middle school science teacher at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School. Given the political and social changes going on in the United States at the moment, I feel incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to take part in the work that TFA does to create equitable outcomes for students all around the country.