Wheeling Native Earns Fulbright Scholarship
WHEELING – A Wheeling native has received a Fulbright Scholarship and is on his way to to teach English in Athens, Greece.
Dalton Greene is a 2018 alumnus of Wheeling Park High School who graduated last May with a degree in English from Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Greene already has four years of teaching experience he gained while a college student.
There are many in the Saint Paul area who are immigrants from Somalia, Greene explained.
He tutored community members wishing to learn English through classes at the St. Paul Public Library.
“At Macalester, I met a number of mentors who were passionate about community engagement,” Green said. “I got involved with tutoring at the Saint Paul Public Library, and got involved with the many immigrants from Somalia.
“I began teaching English, and I found that I enjoyed that. I started in fall of 2018. I kept up with it all four years.”
Greene looked for opportunities to do after graduating and he said that is when he took a chance at the Fulbright Scholarship opportunity.
He will begin teaching this fall at Athens College, an institute of higher education facililtated by the Hellenic American Education Foundation. He will be there until July 15, 2023.
The scholarship includes housing on the campus, as well as a stipend, Greene said.
“The students will know some of the basics of English, and I will be teaching nuances,” he explained. “For me, it was a natural choice.”
The Fulbright Program is an international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Government, and its goal is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and those living in other countries.
Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates
under policy guidelines established by the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB) in close coordination with commissions and foundations in 49 countries, U.S. embassies in more than 100 other countries, and cooperating agencies in the United States, according to information provided by the U.S. Fulbright Program.
Greene said he began the process of applying for the Fulbright Scholarship by applying to the Fulbright committee at Macalester College. The committee sets up an interview with the student, then determines whether they should endorse the application.
Greene’s application was endorsed and sent on to a national committee. He was chosen as a semifinalist, and then asked to what country he would like to go. Greene selected Greece.
A committee in Greece next choose him from among 100 applicants as one of 12 Fulbright Scholars coming to the country.
Greene has not visited Greece before, does not know the Greek language, and has no Greek heritage.
“I am a fan of the Greek Festival (in Wheeling), but there was no other direct connection,” he explained.
Greene is the son of Dave and Becky Greene of Wheeling.
“They have always been very encouraging of whatever I wanted to do, and provided moral support during the application process,” he said.
Greene said his interest in English began at WPHS, where he was mentored by teachers Heidi Zumbrunnen and Jamie Johnson.
“It goes back to my time at Park when I had a couple of English teachers who fostered my love of literature,” he said. “I just knew that is what fit with my interests, and I knew that is what I wanted to do.”
At Macalester College, he received an additional push that gave him direction.
“It was more than just professors and mentors who inspired me,” he said. “I learned a sense of what I can do to better the world in my own small way.
“I realized this is something I can do to make a difference,” Greene added.