Chicoine ’16 off to Thailand on Fulbright Program

Madison Chicoine ’16 will spend a year in Thailand teaching English on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant fellowship. She becomes the 12th Cornellian in the past 11 years awarded a Fulbright.

Madison Chicoine
Madison Chicoine

“I was initially interested in the Fulbright because my older sister is a traveler and inspired me to want to see more of the world. I was interested in going to an Asian country because of the culture, and I felt like it would be the biggest adventure due to distance and my past experiences,” Chicoine said. “I thought that the Fulbright would be a perfect fit for that because I am an elementary education major, and, during my time student teaching in the Iowa City School District I had many students whose first language was not English.”

Chicoine, an elementary education major with an art endorsement, has played in Cornell’s orchestra, wind ensemble, and Pandemonium steel drum band, and has worked for the music department and financial aid office.

“My advisor, Jill Heinrich, was always very supportive in helping me figure out whatever goal I had set out to achieve. However, all of the professors in the education department were such good role models and inspiration for the kind of teacher that I want to one day be. Also, Laura Farmer in the writing studio was instrumental in helping me with the actual application,” Chicoine said.

She will use her degree to teach at a primary or secondary school.

“I will start during their second school semester and then help with a summer camp before finishing my placement for another semester of teaching. This also was a good fit as I have a lot of experience working in summer camps,”  she said. “After my year is up I could pursue a master’s degree in ESL (English as a second language) or continue working in schools with a high percentage of English language learners. I’m really open to anything because I have a lot of different interests and it’s so hard to tell how this experience is going to shape me.”

The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and was established in 1946 to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries, through the exchange of persons, knowledge, and skills.