Senior wins Fulbright Scholarship

Erica Dolson

Jacy Farwell, senior, plans to devote her first year out of college to her love of learning. As a recently named Fulbright scholar, Farwell will spend the next year in South Korea, helping elementary school students learn English as well as learning about her own ethnic background.

“I’ve always loved teaching,” Farwell said.

This exemplary student began her teaching career in sixth grade as a CCD teacher. Since then, she has participated in Project Sunshine, served as a P.O.W.E.R peer educator and worked as a tutor in Villanova’s School of Nursing.

She said her passion for teaching surfaced when she enrolled in the course “From Charity to Solidarity” with Dr. Suzanne Toton. The class put into practice ideas to help humanity. Farwell was paired with a Chinese man who wanted to learn English. By the end of their semester together, he had.

“It was one of the biggest highlights of my life: to help him accomplish one of [his] biggest goals,” Farwell said.

The Fulbright Scholarship is part of a government program designed to send Americans overseas to act as ambassadors. After a rigorous application process including recommendations and essays, Farwell was accepted as one of 15 elementary school teachers chosen worldwide to teach in South Korea.

“It didn’t hit me until everyone started making a big deal,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to the experience more than cherishing it as an award.”

Farwell will arrive in her new home this July. She will live with a South Korean host family and take a six-week orientation course to learn how to teach English and speak Korean, as well as be introduced to the culture of South Korea. Afterward, she will be assigned to teach at a school near Seoul.

She will also be responsible for completing a midterm and final paper about her experiences. And, of course, Farwell has her own goals for the next year.

“I really want to embrace the experience of what [South] Korea is like, the culture and just travel as much as I can,” she said.

She may even get the chance to meet family members who live in South Korea for the first time.

Since she received the scholarship in late February, Farwell has experienced an outpouring of support from her family, friends and the faculty of Villanova, especially in the School of Nursing. Her parents have shared their concerns and also their excitement with her. Farwell says her mother, who grew up in South Korea, has begun to share stories about her childhood. She also says that the Villanova School of Nursing has asked her to keep in touch through an online journal.

“They provided much guidance and reminded me to follow my heart and to always be true to myself,” she said.