Jenna Faust ’20 has been selected for a Student Services Fellowship by Anatolia College in Thessaloniki, Greece, for the 2020-2021 academic year. The program serves as an educational bridge between the United States and Greece, seeking to promote American liberal arts educational values with traditional Greek pedagogy and learning. Today, Anatolia serves nearly 2,000 Greek and Balkan students in grades K-12.
Working alongside their supervisor, Anatolia teaching fellows plan creative projects that keep students engaged while fostering English speaking and English literacy development. Faust’s work will focus on writing school announcements and organizing clubs, activities, and events for students.
Applications are evaluated based on a number of criteria that are indicative of a candidate’s potential for success in the program, such as strong communication and multi-tasking skills, experience working with children and living abroad, and general enthusiasm for working with young learners.
Faust, an international studies major and Latin American studies minor from Cincinnati, OH, completed a Maymester to Greece and London in 2018, led by Dr. Nikos Zahariadis of the international studies department. There, she studied the migration crisis, the Greek economic crisis, and the impacts of these events on the Brexit vote.
Faust’s international experience sparked her interest in volunteering during her fall 2018 semester with the Refugee Empowerment Program (REP), a nonprofit focused on helping immigrant children adjust to life in America, and specifically to Memphis. As a result, she landed an internship there the next semester. Faust’s volunteer work with REP included serving as an assistant and teacher in its Pre-K education program, where she worked with the youngest students in the program, ages 3-5, helping them gain literacy skills necessary to enter primary education in the United States. She continues to volunteer in the English as a Second Language classrooms as an assistant teacher, working hands on with older students as they work to improve their English literacy and prepare for citizenship exams.
Faust’s volunteer and internship experience equipped her to pursue a Rhodes-funded fellowship in the summer of 2019, where she volunteered and taught in the Greek refugee camp Kara Tepe on the island of Lesvos for two months. Faust credits the diverse course offerings in the international studies department, particularly the Politics of Social Movements course, and the support of the IS faculty with helping her realize her powerful interest in this field of work.
“From the moment I began to learn about the politics of refugees and the refugee crisis, I knew that I would be able to offer support and empathy to people who needed that in their new environment,” says Faust.
“I am excited to work in an entirely different environment than the one I’ve grown up in, and to be immersed in a new culture. Although I’m familiar with Greece at this point, I am excited to take the knowledge I have gained about Greece one step further and fully embrace life in a country I have come to love. I am excited to continue working with students, and I know I will represent Rhodes and the liberal arts honorably and well.”
By Grace Merriman '21
Note: As of April 5, 2020, the Fellowship is scheduled to go forward.