W&J Director of International Student Initiatives winner of Department of State’s Go Back, Give back contest

WASHINGTON, PA (May 22, 2019) — The U.S. Department of State announced the selection of 13 English Language Fellow Program alumni to return to their countries-of-assignments at part of the Fellows@50 Encore: Go Back, Give Back contest including Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) Director of International Student Initiatives Dana Poole, Ph.D.

The contest commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the English Language Fellow Program, a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government, administered by Georgetown University.

For 50 years, the Fellow Program has promoted mutual understanding between the United States and other countries through English language programming and cultural exchange. To celebrate this milestone, the program held a contest to send Fellow alumni back to their countries-of-assignment to go back and give back through 2-week projects. Proposal selection was highly competitive with only 10% of submitted projects accepted for funding.

Dr. Poole returned to Al Qasemi Academic College of Education, Israel, where she previously taught as an English Language Fellow in 2007-2008. During her two-week project at Al Qasemi, Dr. Poole collaborated with Dr. Ibithal Assaly to complete a series of language teaching and cross-culturally focused workshops for students within the English language major. The project was filled with highlights as Dr. Poole met with past colleagues and students and learned of the lasting impact her English Language Fellowship had within the college community. The Go Back, Give Back contest not only reconnected Dr. Poole to the college, but helped to create a foundation for future collaboration.

The English Language Fellow Program is the premier international exchange program that allows experienced American English teachers to enact meaningful and sustainable changes in the way that English is taught abroad. Through projects developed by U.S. Embassies in more than 80 countries, Fellows work directly with local teachers, students, and educational professionals to improve the quality of English language instruction offered at prestigious universities and other academic institutions. English Language Fellows are counted among the more than 50,000 individuals participating in U.S. Department of State exchange programs each year. 

Since 1969, the English Language Fellow Program has sent thousands of TESOL scholars and educators abroad to promote English language learning, enhance English teaching capacity, and build relations between the United States and other countries. On assignment, Fellows conduct teacher training, teach English, develop resources, and organize events and conferences. These projects are challenging and the teachers selected represent the best of the U.S. TESOL community. In return, the program provides professional development opportunities to help participants experience different cultures and build skills that can greatly enhance their TESOL careers back home.

For further information, please visit the websites of the English Language Fellow Program and the U.S. Department of State. For press inquiries, contact the Department of State by telephone at 202-632-6452, or e-mail ECA-Press@state.gov.