by Natalia Kirychuk, Public Relations Writer
Brandon Best, senior English major from Madison, Wisconsin, is a semifinalist for a prestigious Fulbright scholarship to teach English in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa. Best applied for an English Teaching Assistantship through Fulbright in October 2017, with a final decision expected by March. If awarded the coveted scholarship, Best will be the second student from Cedarville to win a Fulbright, following fellow English major Katie Goehring in 2015.
Best works at the Cedarville University Writing Center and previously taught English Studio in fall 2016 under the supervision of former English professor Julie Moore. English Studio supplements freshmen composition courses to help students write at the college level.
Last year, Best presented “Lamps & Lenses: How Writing Center Mentors Make Academic Discourse Visible to Beginning Writers” at the East Central Writing Center Association Conference at Southwestern Michigan College. He presented with Cedarville English professors Dr. Melissa Faulkner, Moore and Isaac Mayeux.
“I've enjoyed watching Brandon grow as a writer, a thinker and a tutor in the writing center,” said Mayeux, assistant professor of English. “He is committed to genuine discourse, so conversations in the writing center are always interesting when he's around. I think we're all excited to see what the Lord has in store for him, whether working as a Fulbright scholar or in some other capacity.”
“Because of my prior experience teaching ESL students, I am excited for the opportunity to teach English in Côte d’Ivoire,” said Best. “As a tutor at Cedarville’s writing center, I really enjoyed teaching ESL students at Cedarville how to read, write and share their thoughts in English. This role showed me how to relate to students and the skills I learned here will help me meet Ivorian students’ language learning needs.”
The Fulbright scholarship would allow Best to spend June 2018 in training before heading overseas from October 2018 until July 2019. Best is required to complete an academic project of his choosing along with 20 hours a week teaching English at a high school or college level. When applying for the Fulbright, he proposed going to Côte d’Ivoire to translate historic journalism pieces and essays for access by American audiences.
“Brandon exhibits exactly the kind of creative and critical thought our discipline encourages,” said Faulkner, chair of Cedarville's Department of English, Literature, and Modern Languages. “His ability to analyze language and literature through a biblical lens is exemplary. Our whole department is excited to see how God uses Brandon's talents.”
“The English department at Cedarville University taught me well,” said Best. “It’s really been a home away from home. The program has been rigorous and developed me personally and academically.”
Best will graduate from Cedarville University in May and plans to pursue a graduate degree in writing and then possibly law school.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,963 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.