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Student Receives Fulbright Assistantship
By Jenna Campbell
UW-RF University Communications
APRIL 14, 2006--University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate student
Beth Eifler has been named a teaching assistant through the Fulbright
Commission of Austrian American Educational Commission. Eifler is one
of 75 people to be chosen for this position.
Eifler will be traveling to Baden, Austria, where she will be working
at a college for future teachers, from Sept. 25 until May 31. In Austria,
Eifler hope to promote mutual understanding of German language and culture.
The Fulbright Program, established in 1946 by the U.S. Congress under
the sponsorship of former Sen. J. William Fulbright, annually awards grants
for study, teaching, lecture and research. Fulbright grants are awarded
to scholars who have academic or professional qualifications and the ability
and willingness to share ideas with people of diverse cultures.
Eifler is a native of Ashwaubenon, Wis. She attended the University of
Wisconsin-Eau Claire for four years and then transferred to UW-RF in 2005
where she finished her undergraduate degree with a double major in social
studies and the German language. Eifler is now pursuing her initial certification
for secondary education, which is part of a graduate program at UW-RF.
The offering of the Fulbright assistant position came as a surprise to
Eifler. "I was really excited when I found out," says Eifler.
"I truly have a love of German culture, love for teaching and I genuinely
Many experiences have aided in Eifler's success. In high school, Eifler
participated in the German American Partnership Program. GAAP was very
influential for Eifler and it encouraged her to continue her education
in the German language.
While attending the UW-Eau Claire, Eifler took advantage of study abroad
opportunities. Eifler studied in Germany for a semester. She was also
participated in the National Student Exchange program, where she spent
a semester at Michigan Tech.
Eifler explains that her teaching experiences have helped her in receiving
this award. "Since middle school I have been teaching indirectly,
through coaching, tutoring and teaching," says Eifler.
Not only have her experiences assisted Eifler's success, but also the
people she has named as her mentors, including her father Mel Buckmaster,
Johannes Strohshank and Geoffrey Sheurman. "He has always been there
to tell me what needs to be done, and tells me how it needs to be done,"
says Eifler about her father.
Johannes Strohschank, a professor of German at UW-EC, has had a large
impact on her life. "He was my advisor, he's very smart, very nice
and very encouraging," says Eifler. Stohschank said he has a lot
of confidence in Eifler's success in Austria. "With her sparking
personality and her abundance of good will, Ms. Eifler will thrive in
the Austrian classroom, engage and enrich the children and make them appreciate
the benefits of learning another language and culture," says Strohschank.
Eifler said Scheurman, who is part of the teacher education department
at UW-RF, really enjoys his job and it shows. "He also knows how
to be caring and professional at the same time," says Eifler. Says
Scheurman of Eifler, "Beth Eifler, like many of our exceptional graduate
students seeking initial certification, is hungry for every experience
she can get. This Fulbright opportunity is another example of Beth's willingness
to get her hands dirty. She is already teaching in a private school and
does high caliber work in our courses and field experiences. This is what
it takes to develop into an exemplary teacher."
Eifler has also received a summer scholarship through the American Association
of Teachers of German. Eifler will spend four weeks in Germany and four
weeks in Rome learning how to teach English as a foreign language.
Upon return, Eifler will take off for Austria in September. Accompanying
Eifler on her trip overseas is her husband Bob and their dog Pongo. "I'm
really excited to embrace European culture and travel with my husband,"
Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:07:19 Central Daylight Time