University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) senior Sandhya Kumar, 21, of Huntsville has won a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Taiwan.

May 5, 2010

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) senior Sandhya Kumar, 21, of Huntsville has won a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Taiwan.

Kumar, a psychology major who is graduating from UAB May 8, is one of approximately 28 students nationwide to receive the assistantship for 2010-2011. The award will pay for transportation and a stipend for living expenses.

Kumar says she is looking forward to helping to teach English classes and introduce the students to American culture. She became interested in Taiwan and Asian culture after talking with friends.

"Discussions with friends and fellow students from Taiwan gave me an appreciation for Taiwan's ability to maintain old-world philosophies and long-standing traditions while simultaneously embracing the contemporary views that accompany globalization," she says.

To prepare for her travels to Taiwan, Kumar completed two courses in Mandarin Chinese offered through the UAB Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.

"Participating in the Fulbright program in Taiwan will enable me to explore directly the richness of the culture through personal exchange while utilizing the skills I have acquired in various teaching experiences and courses in Mandarin," she says.

Kumar says she wants to create a student literary magazine in Taiwan to help her students improve their English skills and provide them with a creative outlet.

"Outside of the classroom, I really want to explore traditional Taiwanese folk dancing, including Sundee dance," she says. "By joining a Taiwanese folk dance class it will give me an opportunity to participate in the cultural heritage of Taiwan where dance celebrates important life events."

Kumar is a student in the UAB Department of Psychology Honors Program. After completing the teaching assistantship in Taiwan, she plans to enroll in medical school. Kumar is the daughter of Pat and Jayasree Kumar of Huntsville.

About the UAB College of Arts and Sciences

The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures and Department of Psychology are housed in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences, home to academic disciplines that include the arts, humanities, sciences ands the School of Education. The college's unique structure advances research and learning in both K-12 and higher education, and its courses are taught by a world-class faculty. Committed to the UAB spirit of independence and innovation, the college enables students to design their own majors, participate in undergraduate research or complete graduate degrees on a five-year fast track. Through productive partnerships, flexible curricula and a bold, interdisciplinary approach to learning and teaching, the college is preparing students for success in the ever-changing global marketplace of commerce and ideas.