Mark Firmani, a 2013 Quinnipiac University graduate from Hollis, N.H., has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to teach English in Jordan, announced Mary Paddock, associate dean for humanities and the fine arts in the College of Arts and Sciences and Quinnipiac’s Fulbright program adviser.
Firmani is one of about 1,800 U.S. citizens — selected from more than 10,000 applicants — who will travel abroad for the 2014-15 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.
“My time in Jordan will be an immensely rewarding experience from which I will gain as much as I will impart,” Firmani said. “I anticipate growing emotionally, intellectually and culturally in myriad ways, and I hope I am able to enrich the lives of those with whom I work.”
Firmani graduated with a double major in English and history and a minor in Middle Eastern Studies. He participated in Quinnipiac’s Honors Program and studied Arabic at Quinnipiac and at Middlebury College in Vermont. After graduation, he received a Critical Language Scholarship to continue studying Arabic in Rabat, Morocco.
In addition to enhancing his Arabic, he selected Jordan because of the need for English teachers and cultural exchange.
“Representing the United States to Jordanians who may only have encountered the U.S. through media and popular culture is a task that I look forward to undertaking,” he said.
Firmani underwent a rigorous evaluation process that included being screened by Quinnipiac’s Fulbright committee and selected by both the U.S. Fulbright Commission as well as the Fulbright Commission in Jordan.
“Fulbright emphasizes the role of the grantee as a cultural ambassador. Even with all of Mark’s impressive academic strengths and his thorough preparation for this opportunity, this is the area in which he really shines,” said Paddock. “He possesses an irresistible combination of humor, intellect and the humility that is indispensable to anyone embarking on a yearlong cultural immersion such as the one Fulbright offers.”
Firmani is the second Quinnipiac student to receive this prestigious award. Jenna Wallace ’11 of New York City, taught in Indonesia through the Fulbright Scholarship during the 2011-12 academic year.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program, sponsored by the Department of State, Bureau of Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and administered by the Institute of International Education, offers awards for recent graduates and young professionals to travel to more than 140 countries around the globe.