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Auggie Career Spotlight: Zoe Barany

Photo of student Zoe Barany in front of greenhouse plants

Zoe Barany (pronouns: she/they) is a senior graduating this May with a major in Environmental Studies and a minor in Communications. Zoe was recently awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) position.

“I was encouraged to pursue a Fulbright award by the URGO office,” Zoe says. “I had applied for other scholarships, grants, and research apprenticeships throughout my time at Augsburg. I loved the idea of being able to take my passion for sustainability and skills as a student leader and applying them in a new setting.”

Applying for a Fulbright is no simple task. To prepare, Zoe wanted to put her best foot forward. They extensively researched what are of the world they wanted to teach in and how it would best fit their skills, abilities, and interests.

“This past summer I was working a job.” Zoe describes, “completing research at the University of Minnesota, and I still made time every day to write/ edit my application. Applying for a Fulbright takes serious dedication and will push you to become a stronger writer. In addition to this, I also volunteered at a recreation center in St. Paul to practice teaching and creating outdoor activities for children. This experience paired well with my position in the fall as an Augsem Teaching Assistant within the Environmental Sustainability Living Learning Community. I worked collaboratively with faculty to create lesson plans and encourage students to be thoughtful stewards. Academically preparing myself for a Fulbright was also a priority for me. I challenged myself to start taking graduate-level courses at Augsburg through the education department focusing on Eco-Justice.”

Fulbrights are highly competitive and much-sought after opportunities. Through a large amount of preparation and taking on new challenges, Zoe successfully landed a placement. But Fulbright ETA awards are not just for those who want to be a teacher, says Zoe. “I encourage anyone who is interested to challenge themselves and apply! YOU CAN DO IT!!!!! This program is designed for recent college grads who are looking to travel overseas and serve as a cultural ambassador.”

The Strommen Center and Sabo Center, where Zoe has work with staff/faculty member Monica McDaniel, are extremely proud of all her work and look forward to hearing about the new adventures that come their way. Congratulations, Zoe!