When Nichole Brown was in high school, she noticed a Pitt State magnet on her counselor’s desk.
“I had never heard of Pittsburg State before, so I looked it up on the Internet,” Brown said.
That bit of serendipity led Brown to PSU and from there to Kazakhstan and will soon take her to Indonesia. Brown, who will graduate in May with a degree in psychology, recently learned she had been selected to receive a Fulbright Award to teach English in Indonesia.
“I don’t know yet exactly where I will be, but I will be teaching high school English for 10 months,” Brown said.
Brown said her international interest was sparked early in life.
“During high school (Kapaun Mt. Carmel in Wichita), I was fortunate enough to travel around Europe one summer through the People to People Ambassador Program. My family has also hosted three foreign exchange students. Three years ago, my younger sister and I spent three weeks in Belgium, staying and traveling with one of our previous exchange students and her family,” Brown said.
Last summer, Brown taught conversational English to young adults in Kazakhstan as part of a PSU study-abroad program.
“My experiences teaching and living with my students confirmed my belief that people across the world are more alike, than different,” Brown said. “We all deal with many of the same goals, concerns and fears. Even though the backgrounds of the students I taught were so different from mine, they reminded me of my own friends and siblings.”
Brown said she has wanted to go to Indonesia since she was 15.
“Indonesia is the most fascinating country I can possibly imagine,” she said. “It has more than 300 ethnic groups and the biodiversity of the country is amazing.”
When she returns to the U.S., Brown intends to pursue a master’s degree and she is currently applying to schools that offer master’s degree programs in environmental sustainability. Her goal is to eventually work in the public sector in areas related to environmental health, economic profitability and social and economic equality.