Jennifer Eliezer (Wheelock’18) Wins Fulbright Award, Will Teach in Costa Rica

Jennifer Eliezer (COM‘14 , Wheelock‘18) is a recipient of a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award. She will be putting her Master of Education in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages to use as an English Teaching Assistant. Jennifer hopes to teach students using Culturally Relevant Pedagogy, welcoming their real-life experiences into the classroom and encouraging learning in real-life experiences. She will be teaching post-secondary students in rural Costa Rica.

Jennifer reflected on her time as a BU Wheelock student, and the role the school played in her path as an educator. “Even through its continued efforts to make strides in equity, diversity, and inclusion, BU Wheelock is not an easy place to be as a person of color let alone a Black woman,” she says. “However, I had a few incredible people through my time in the TESOL EdM program really see me and see my gifts and talents. Through genuine mentorship and support from the faculty I gained the same confidence I have spent my career so far instilling in my own students. I was able to harness my strengths and recognize the value I can bring to a program like Fulbright.”

Jennifer expressed special appreciation for her faculty and staff mentors throughout her time at BU Wheelock. That list includes: Dr. Chris Leider, Dr. Kate Frankel, Dr. Yasko Kanno, Dr. Travis Bristol, Jessica Griffin, and Nick David.

Many faculty members reached out to offer their congratulations to Jennifer including her graduate advisor, Dr. Kate Frankel. “One of the first things I learned about Jennifer is that she brings a deep thoughtfulness to all of her interactions,” says Dr. Frankel. “I believe this is one of the many reasons why she has such a profound impact on those of us who have the good fortune to know her, from university professors to high school students. The Fulbright award is a wonderful opportunity for others to have the opportunity to know and learn alongside Jennifer, just as many of us at BU have done over the past several years. I look forward to following her adventures—both in Costa Rica as a Fulbright recipient and beyond.”

“We are incredibly proud of Jennifer precisely because we know the challenges she faced” says Dr. Yasuko Kanno, Department Chair of Language & Literacy Education at BU Wheelock. “This is not a privileged person who could take opportunities for granted; she had to fight for them. And fight she did. I am very glad that Fulbright recognized her for the special person that she is, and the amazing educator she will be. Jennifer Eliezer has so much to offer to this world.”

Dr. Christine Leider worked with Jennifer often at BU Wheelock, serving as her professor and TESOL practicum supervisor, and employing her has a research assistant on a recent project. “It has been a privilege to work and engage with Jennifer,” she says. “She is a passionate educator, a fierce advocate, and a loving friend. The Fulbright Program is incredibly lucky to work with such a wonderful, strong woman of color.”

We are proud to call Jennifer Eliezer, Fulbright Scholar and BU Wheelock alumna, a part of our community.

Grace Hagerty