FSU Graduate Student Nick Ironside Wins Prestigious Fulbright Award

FSU Graduate Student Nick Ironside Wins Prestigious Fulbright Award

May 7, 2019

Framingham State graduate student Nick Ironside was recently selected for a Prestigious Fulbright Award that will enable him to pursue his passion for teaching and traveling abroad.

The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Award is devoted to increasing mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The award will pay for Ironside to teach English at the secondary or university level in Bosnia and Herzegovina in Southeastern Europe.

“I visited Bosnia and loved my time in Sarajevo, so I was looking for opportunities to go back,” says Ironside, who is working toward his MEd in Secondary Education at Framingham State. “My mom sent me a link to an English teaching assistant opportunity through the Fulbright program that seemed interesting.”

It was too late to apply when Ironside first learned of the Fulbright opportunity in October 2017, but he spent the next 12-months learning as much as he could about the country in preparation to apply for the highly competitive program the following year. He received help from FSU faculty along the way.

“I tapped into all these resource to contextualize both the country I wanted to apply for, and also an understanding of how the Fulbright process works,” he says.

Ironside submitted his application in October 2018 and learned of his selection in April. As a grantee, he joins the ranks of distinguished participants in the program. Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, CEOs, and university presidents, as well as leading journalists, artists, scientists, and teachers, according to the program. They include 59 Nobel Laureates, 82 Pulitzer Prize winners, 72 MacArthur Fellows, 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, and thousands of leaders across the private, public and non-profit sectors.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Ironside says of receiving the award. “It was such a long process and I’ve been so busy with my student teaching.”

Ironside credits his parents with instilling in him a passion for travel and an interest in other cultures. His family traveled to Europe regularly when he was growing up. His particular interest in Bosnia relates to the complex history of the country, as well as the school system, which is segregated in some areas by different ethnicities.

“I am interested in getting a better understanding of the education system,” he says. “Particularly looking at the segregation that exists and what organizations and NGOs are doing over there to address it. In some ways it’s similar to the racial segregation that still exists within the school systems around major cities in the United States.”

Irsonside will learn more about his placement during an orientation in July. His grant runs from October 2019 to June 2020. After it ends, he is interested in teaching English or English as a Second Language (ESL) at the secondary level. He credits Framingham State’s Sheltered English Immersion class with inspiring his interest in ESL.

“I am definitely interested in possibly teaching abroad after this opportunity, but it’s hard to think that far into the future right now,” he says.

About Framingham State University

Framingham State University was founded in 1839 as the nation’s first public university for the education of teachers. Since that time, it has evolved into a vibrant, comprehensive liberal arts institution offering small, personalized classes on a beautiful New England campus. Today, the University enrolls more than 6,000 students with 58 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professional fields. As a State College and University (SCU), Framingham State prides itself on quality academic programs, affordability, and commitment to access for all qualified students.