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Alumna Jennie Lee (B.M. Voice Performance and B.A. World Languages ’16) Wins Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Award

She will continue her study of opera while teaching English in Germany

Jennie LeeSMU bachelor of music and world languages graduate Jennie Lee has accepted a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Award to spend 10 months teaching English in Germany.

But she won’t be your typical English teacher.

Building on the interests and activities she discovered at SMU before graduating in 2016, she’ll teach English through extra-curricular activities like after-school yoga classes and singing lessons.

“I studied opera in college and got a degree in vocal performance and world languages,” says Lee, who came to SMU from a traditional conservatory prep school background and earned a place in Pi Kappa Lambda, the musical honor society at SMU.

“The thing that drew me to SMU is the ability to get conservatory style training – a super intense, really intense program where I would study arts and music – but also have the opportunity to double major, because I wanted to do that too and a lot of schools don’t offer that,” Lee adds. “That was a huge pull for me at SMU.”

Germany, which is home to one of the world’s leading-edge opera scenes, will offer a perfect place for Lee to continue her study of opera while also staying in touch with her new-found passion for world languages.

“German professor Gordon Birrell (in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences) really helped me with the Fulbright application and strongly encouraged me to pursue learning German while I was a student at SMU,” Lee says. “He would always support me and answered any questions I had with a lot of enthusiasm, so I think working with the entire world languages department really made me want to go abroad.”

Two other young alumni – Adam Garnick, M.Ed., and Kristen Biedermann, M.Ed. – also won Fulbright awards to teach abroad. Garnick will work in Hungary, and Biedermann will teach in Colombia.

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