Math education major earns Fulbright to teach in Czech Republic

Mallory Slama
Mallory Slama

Fulbright scholarship winner Mallory Slama will spend summer finishing school at UNL and, after graduation in August, will move to the Czech Republic to teach English for a year.

Slama is the fifth UNL student to earn a Fulbright award this spring. Her undergraduate degree will be in secondary math education and mathematics with a minor in Czech. Besides English, she also hopes to get involved with the math department where she is teaching.

From Tabor, S.D., Slama currently student-teaches at North Star High School. In the past, she has worked at the Math Resource Center at UNL.

“That was the most worthwhile experience I have had at UNL,” she said. “Working there is what got me interested in becoming a teacher.”

Her time in the Czech Republic will mark her second academic-related trip there. Her first was in July 2011 when she participated in a study abroad program with the university, and received her Teach English as Foreign Language certification.

“One can’t spend time with Mallory without seeing, almost immediately, that she’s fiercely intellectual and committed to culture as a site for learning, inquiry and possibility,” said Erica Rogers, a graduate teaching assistant for the English department at UNL.

Rogers first met Slama in her “Writing and Communities” course, where Slama established herself more as a colleague rather than just a student. She was enthusiastic throughout the course and brought different perspectives to the table with her study abroad experience. Making a lasting impression on her, Rogers said Slama was an inviting and charismatic student who brings an undeniable intellect to the classroom.

“In many ways, her work represents a civic commitment to education as a contribution an individual makes to the UNL — and now a Czech Republic — community,” said Rogers.

More than anything, though, Slama is excited to just spend time in the Czech Republic, since it is where her ancestors were from. Slama said Tabor is a strong Czech-American community that surrounded her life in Czech culture.

“It has been a dream of mine for years to live in the Czech Republic for at least a year,” Slama said.

The Fulbright Program, established in 1946 and funded by the U.S. Department of State, is designed to foster understanding between the United States and other countries. The U.S. Student Fulbright program gives recent graduates, graduate students and young professionals the opportunity to conduct research, study or teach in one of the 155 countries that the program operates. The Fulbright program is the flagship international education program sponsored by the U.S. government. About 8,000 grants are awarded annually, and about 1,600 of those grants are awarded to U.S. students.

— Haley Whisennand, Honors Program