Hailey Hesseltine

Hailey Hesseltine, who will graduate with her Master of Education (MEd) in Educational Administration (EDEA) this May, received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award to teach English to university students in Turkey for the 2024–2025 academic year from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

“We are very proud of Hailey’s successful application to join the Fulbright program in Turkey,” said EDEA Department Chair Chris Lucas. “She has consistently demonstrated her genuine care for supporting international students and in developing her own leadership capacities. This is an excellent new opportunity for her, and for the various other stakeholders connected to this fellowship.”

Vice President of the College of Education Masters Student Association (COEMSA), Hesseltine is a Foundation Scholar at the East-West Center where she resides with graduate students from all over the U.S. and Asia-Pacific regions. She also works as a graduate assistant in Student-Athlete Academic Services, providing one-on-one academic support to athletes and assistant teaching a section of UNIV 131.

As a Fulbright scholar, Hesseltine will continue her work in international higher education, examining student motivators to learn English and how that impacts their readiness to study abroad. She also plans to deepen student usage and interaction with the English language through exchanges in music, food, media, and culture as part of a community project.

“The EDEA program has been a perfect fit for me as Hawaiʻi is both a globally and culturally diverse community,” Hesseltine said. “All my professors have been very supportive of the work that I have done, and they have pushed me to dive deeper and reflect more on what it means to be an impactful educator. Although I am sad to graduate, I am also eager to begin this next experience as I leave here equipped to be the best educator that I can be. This I am forever grateful for.”

Hesseltine’s Fulbright application process began a year before she was selected. Having had previous experience in Turkey, she was familiar with the culture and language, so she decided to apply for the English teaching program there. She spent last summer writing and revising her application essays and meeting with UH Mānoa’s Fulbright Committee to interview and get feedback.

“The COE has pushed me to be the best version of myself as an educator, practitioner, and researcher,” Hesseltine said. “I leave here with many things I have learned, but in particular, I leave with a passion for writing as a form of storytelling and advocacy work. Through countless hours in conversation with students from all over the world who study in the U.S., I have been inspired to build more inclusive programs for my students.”

Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided over 400,000 talented and accomplished students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals of all backgrounds with the opportunity to study, teach, and conduct research abroad. Notable Fulbright scholars include 62 Nobel Laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, 80 MacArthur Fellows, 41 heads of state or government, and thousands of leaders across the private, public, and non-profit sectors.

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