Alumna earns prestigious scholarship
Georgia College alumna Lisa Baer has become a member of a prestigious international group of scholars.
Baer, ’11, has been accepted as a U.S. Student Fulbright Scholar — a first for Georgia College.
The award provides the psychology major and honors graduate opportunities to teach, study and conduct research in various countries.
Baer’s English Teaching Assistantship position will send her to teach English to Mongolian students during the upcoming academic year.
“My initial reaction was to laugh and then cry with happiness,” said Baer of Acworth. “I couldn’t sleep for hours. Receiving a Fulbright award is one of the hardest things to accomplish.”
The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, awards approximately 8,000 grants annually.
Its U.S. Scholar Program sends approximately 1,100 American scholars and professionals per year to roughly 125 countries. Scholars gain experience in lecture and research skills from a variety of academic and professional fields.
Dr. Steven Elliott-Gower, who has served as a Fulbright adviser at both Georgia College and University of Georgia, encouraged Baer to apply for the international scholarship.
“Lisa was competitive for this award well before applying,” said Elliott-Gower, director of the Georgia College Honors Program. “The Honors Program has a special interest and focus on global learning. Lisa was prepared and had a good sense of Mongolia’s history, culture and national aspirations in the modern world.”
Baer studied psychology because she enjoys research and the scientific process that goes into learning about something as unique as humans. After earning her bachelor’s degree, Baer moved to China to teach English.
“I love the common threads that tie individuals together and exploring how the brain copes with various events,” Baer said. “Chinese students are under immense pressure to excel in school, but they are still developing teenagers in a traditional society. It is helpful to have my psychological science degree because it aids me while teaching and living in China.”
Baer had planned to volunteer with the Peace Corps in Ukraine after her China experience until she found out she earned the Fulbright award to Mongolia located in East and Central Asia.
“This assistantship in Mongolia includes an independent research interest,” Baer said. “My research interest is a study on ‘Family and Cross-Cultural Values,’ which includes Hungarians, Italians, Americans and soon Mongolians.”
Baer will work in a university setting to help students learn the English language while advancing her research.
“I hope to gain a better cultural understanding of Mongolians while providing them with a clearer view of American cultures and traditions,” she said. “I want to learn their language, customs and traditions while having an amazing time.”
Visit www.gcsu.edu/honors to learn more about Georgia College Honors Program.
Visit www.iie.org/en/Fulbright/ to learn more about the Fulbright Scholarship.