Professor giving a lecture to students in old main

Trojan accepts Fulbright to Taiwan

Wofford College senior will share love of education, culture and languages

 

Fulbright-Trojan
2015-04-30

When Travis Trojan ’15 played The Game of Life as a child, he bypassed college and went straight to a career. He was planning to follow that same path in “real life” after graduating from high school, but his parents had other plans

Now he’s glad they did. Trojan, a first-generation college student from Spartanburg, S.C., was just awarded a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship to Taiwan. According to Trojan, it’s one step closer to his goal of becoming a college professor.

“It’s crazy. I knew very little about college growing up, now I’d love nothing better than to spend the rest of my life on a college campus teaching students and sharing my passion for languages,” says Trojan. “I’m really glad now that my parents insisted that I go. I’ve met people from all over the country and the globe. The students, faculty and staff at Wofford have made this the best four years of my life.”

Trojan begins his English teaching assignment in Taiwan in September following a month of orientation and training. He’s excited about living abroad for 11 months and giving his students opportunities to make language personal.

“I’ve learned from two semesters abroad in Beijing (China) and a semester in Freiburg (Germany) as well as from my experiences with international students at Wofford that people in other countries really focus on the technical aspects of language. I want to introduce my students to language as a way to tell their stories.”

Trojan loves languages now, but that wasn’t always the case. A German class at Spartanburg High School opened a whole new world for him. Later he took Chinese and ultimately chose Wofford because of the college’s strength in modern languages, literatures and cultures and the college’s emphasis on global learning.

Trojan will graduate in May with majors in both Chinese and German and a concentration in gender studies. He has been accepted into Carnegie Mellon University’s prestigious Second Language Acquisition M.A. program, but is deferring that offer while he completes his Fulbright assignment. He believes after the Fulbright, he’ll be a good candidate for Carnegie Mellon’s Ph.D. program.

Trojan says that Wofford provided lots of support and help with his Fulbright application. He specifically credits Dr. Kirsten Krick-Aigner, professor and chair of the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures who leads the Fulbright application program at Wofford; Dr. Beate Brunow, assistant professor of German; Dr. Li Qing Kinnson, associate professor of Chinese studies; and Dr. Yongfang Zhang, assistant professor in Chinese.

“I heard about the Fulbright my first year at Wofford and decided then that this is what I wanted to do,” says Trojan. “It still hasn’t completely sunk in.”

Trojan was the Palmetto Chinese Star Winner for South Carolina dominating both language proficiency and cultural proficiency in the advanced level winning first place in both. He represented the state at the regional Chinese Bridge competition in Washington, D.C. in April. Trojan’s painting received the highest score in cultural performance, and he won fourth place overall in the competition that included proficiency in speech, cultural performance and knowledge.

“Travis absolutely embodies the Fulbright mission of aspiring to world peace through intercultural engagement,” says Krick-Aigner. “I am so proud of what he has accomplished at Wofford and abroad and look forward to hearing about his future successes!”

The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant programs place outstanding college graduates in classrooms abroad to provide assistance to the local English teachers. ETA’s help teach English language while serving as cultural ambassadors for the U.S. 

Wofford’s recent Fulbright recipients (who applied while still at Wofford): 
Claudia Winkler (ETA Germany, 2007-2008) 
John Wood (ETA Germany, 2007-2008) 
Jessica Miller (ETA Germany, 2008-2009) 
Caitlin Walsh (ETA Germany, 2011-2012) 
Tramaine Brown (ETA Spain, 2011-2012) 
David Moore (ETA South Korea, 2014-2015) 
Anna Le (ETA Vietnam, 2014-2015) 

 

Wofford alumni recipients (who applied while in graduate school): 
Mary Beth Broadwater (ETA Austria, 2010-2011) 
Regina Fuller (applied while studying as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, ETA Brazil, 2013-2014) 
Onyx Henry (ETA Germany, 2014-2015)