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From Seattle to Eskişehir

Meagan Dooley ’14 | Fulbright Student Teaching English in Turkey

Meagan Dooley


After two quarters of studying abroad in the Middle East, Meagan Dooley — a political science major with an international affairs emphasis and a women’s studies minor — knew she had to find a way back. Professors encouraged her to apply for a Fulbright grant, so she applied to teach English in Turkey. “I was fascinated by the blend of Eastern and Western culture, and the rich history that comes from being conquered by every place under the sun,” Dooley says.

The Fulbright Program was created in 1946 to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Every year thousands of U.S. college students apply for the all-expenses-paid year abroad, and only a few students are chosen. But at Seattle Pacific, Center for Scholarship and Faculty Development Director Margaret Diddams says that in the past three years, 80 percent of SPU applicants made it to the finalist round. “Our students do well because as an institution we emphasize cultural engagement,” Diddams says. She also works back and forth with students and other faculty to ensure SPU students stand out. “There is no A-minus,” she says.

Dooley estimates she rewrote her essays 50 times. “It’s such a cumbersome process, and I never could have done it without Dr. Diddams.” Now back in the Middle East, Dooley teaches English at Eskişehir Osmangazi University. “Clearly Dr. Diddams knows what Fulbright is looking for,” Dooley says. “And the academic rigor at SPU made me a competitive candidate.”