Randall off to Uzbekistan as Fulbright Assistant

Senior Zoe Randall is the latest Cornellian to earn a highly competitive Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship. The biochemistry and molecular biology major will teach English at a public school or university and work with English for STEM providers in Uzbekistan.

Zoe Randall ’20
Zoe Randall ’20

Due to the pandemic she expects to travel to Uzbekistan in January and serve through June.

“I am excited for the chance to learn about a new culture and meet new people,” says Randall, who is from St. Paul, Minnesota. “I think Cornell College has definitely prepared me for this experience. I have had the opportunity to travel and learn from other cultures. I believe that this, and the fast speed of the block plan, will help me with learning a new language and adapting to a new cultural environment.”

Randall, who has a civic engagement minor at Cornell, will most likely be placed in an underserved community in Uzbekistan. Last year Randall was named a Newman Civic Fellow. She is especially interested in helping children in underprivileged communities, an interest that started when she held an internship at Four Oaks, an eastern Iowa organization serving children and families. She also was part of Cornell’s longtime Lunch Buddy program at Mount Vernon’s Washington Elementary School, and she volunteered at a local hospital. 

Randall plans to attend medical school and continue to work with youth when she finishes her time in Uzbekistan. Her advisor, Biology Professor Craig Tepper, inspired her to apply for the Fulbright. 

“Craig has been one of my biggest supporters throughout college and is always encouraging me to travel and pursue new opportunities,” she said. 

She also cited Laura Farmer, Cornell’s director of fellowships and scholarships, as well as professors James Martin, Lynne Ikach, and Jai Shanata as invaluable in assisting her through the application process. 

Receiving a competitive Fulbright gave Randall additional confidence and she encourages other Cornellians to apply. 

“You should never be scared to try something new, even if it seems like a long shot. Also, try to take advantage of the support, resources, and opportunities that you have at Cornell!” she says. “Receiving this assistantship also reminded me how thankful I am for all the support that I have from my family, friends, and the faculty and staff at Cornell.”

Randall and her classmate, Stefany Cruz, bring the total number of Fulbrights awarded to Cornell graduates in the past 15 years to 20.

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.