East Hawaii News

UHH Alumna Wins Fulbright Teaching Grant

September 27, 2012, 3:47 PM HST
* Updated September 27, 3:48 PM
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A University of Hawaii at Hilo alumna has been awarded a J. William Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship grant to teach English in Malaysia.

Shannon Costa graduated this year from UHH with a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies.

Over the next year she will undergo basic Malay training in Kuala Lumpur and then be assigned to a primary or secondary school in the states of Terrengganu, Pahang or Johor.

Costa will also visit various universities around the region to learn about current agricultural projects and research.

She eventually plans to attend graduate school to pursue a degree in Asian studies with an emphasis on sustainable agriculture.


The Fulbright Program provides merit-based grants to promote international educational exchange for students, teachers, teachers, scientists and artists. It was established in 1946 by the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the rest of the world.


More than 300,000 individuals have participated in the program since its inception. Fulbright alumni include heads of state, CEOs and journalists. Among Fulbright alumni, 43 from 11 countries have won the Nobel Prize and 81 have received Pulitzer Prizes.

“Programs like Fulbright provide an awesome opportunity to establish mutual understanding across borders,” Costa said in a statement. “I believe it is so important at this point in our world to eliminate the idea of the ‘other,’ and replace it with feelings of true compassion.”

Costa is the second UHH student to win a Fulbright ETA award. The first was Marlene Zeiser who taught in South Korea in 2008.


UHH students interested in the Fulbright Program can obtain information from the Center for Global Education and Exchange at 933-8810.


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