Alumnus Receives Fulbright Award

April 22, 2015

Patchogue, N.Y. – April 22, 2015 – St. Joseph’s College (SJC) is pleased to announce that Blaise Bennardo ’10  has been selected as the recipient of the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) Grant, which places grantees in schools overseas to supplement local English language instruction and to provide a native speaker presence in classrooms.

In order to be awarded the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Grant, candidates must submit a statement of grant purpose explaining what activities they hope will take place during one academic year overseas at a participating Fulbright program country. The candidates fully immerse themselves within their host communities and participate in cultural exchanges by interacting with locals in a variety of environments that facilitate an atmosphere of openness, academic integrity and intellectual freedom.

“In reading an early draft of Blaise's Fulbright application, I was immediately impressed with his vision of what he would accomplish if afforded the opportunity,” said Dr. Christopher Frost, executive dean on SJC’s Long Island Campus. “At one point, he recounts a tutoring experience with a learner whose native language was not English. He had asked her to draw a conclusion. Noticing her puzzlement, it dawned on him that he was also a learner and listener. That wisdom bodes well for what Blaise will be able to accomplish during his time abroad.”

In January 2016, Bennardo will travel to Malaysia to teach American English at secondary schools throughout East and West Malaysia. He will also coordinate after-school journal reflection clubs and organize team sporting events to teach English slang through sport. Bennardo will remain in Malaysia for 11 months to complete the grant period.

“I know the unique opportunity to teach English in Malaysia and research Malay dialects will broaden my perspective on a different taxonomy of recreational customs, immerse me within a rich network of indigenous languages and enrich my knowledge of international community outreach,” said Bennardo. “As a Fulbright in Malaysia, I intend to utilize my pedagogical background in developmental English education to foster a classroom culture in which student-centered learning translates into empowerment.”

Bennardo also obtained a master’s degree in English and American literature from St. John’s University in 2012.

St. Joseph’s College has been dedicated to providing a diverse population of students in the New York metropolitan area with an affordable education rooted in the liberal arts tradition since 1916. Independent and coeducational, the College provides a strong academic and value-oriented education at the undergraduate and graduate levels, aiming to prepare each student for a life characterized by integrity, intellectual and spiritual values, social responsibility, and service. With campuses located in the Clinton Hill area of Brooklyn and in Patchogue, Long Island, the College offers degrees in more than 35 majors, special course offerings and certificates, affiliated and pre-professional programs.