After 30 essay drafts in three weeks, an interview conducted in Spanish with the Fulbright Commission and her studious upkeep of worthy grades in classes within all three of her majors, University of Nevada, Reno undergraduate student Allana Noyes has been awarded a Fulbright scholarship to go to Mexico and teach English for a year.
"I'm really excited to go back to Mexico," Noyes, triple-major in linguistics, Spanish and French, said. "I just love it there. It's so beautiful. I'm so happy that I get to work there."
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides awards that place grantees in schools in different countries to supplement local English language instruction. While spending a year in Mexico with the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program, Noyes hopes to gain linguistic and cultural knowledge to enhance her translation of literature from Spanish into English.
She plans to spend the year reading, writing and absorbing the culture and language of Mexico while also giving back to her host community through her proposed community project. Campaigns have been started in Mexico to increase literacy, and Noyes hopes to support that need by focusing her efforts on education in Spanish and English literacy. She is particularly fascinated by literature from Latin America and is also interested in human rights issues dealing with Mexican and United States relations.
Noyes appreciates the people who have helped her reach her goals, especially her mother, whom she considers her hero. She said her mom has inspired Noyes to work hard and follow her passions in life.
"She has taught me everything I know about tolerance, loyalty and sacrifice," Noyes said.
To arrive at her award-winning essay, her numerous essay drafts were repeatedly edited by University Assistant Director for the Honors Program Daniel Villanueva and John Pettey from the University's Office of Undergraduate Fellowships, as well as by her mentor, Jodie Barker, a lecturer of French in the College of Liberal Arts.
Noyes thanks Barker for being a reliable source of support and guidance. She considers Barker's unswerving belief expressed in her to be an incredibly empowering force in her life.
"She always believed in me," Noyes said. "In a professional sense, I've never had someone encourage me to be brace and to be my best like she has. She is wonderful and cares so much about her students."
Noyes already spent a semester in Mexico in 2010, through the University Studies Abroad Consortium's program in Puebla, Mexico.
Following what she considers to be an unforgettably positive experience in Mexico, she decided to take time to study and practice French as a live-in nanny, teaching English to two boys in France for a year. In retrospect, it surprised her how much she learned about the art of instruction during the time she spent caring for those boys.
Although she lived near Paris and said she really enjoyed embedding herself in the culture of France, she ultimately felt more comfortable and gratified in Mexico.
In 2011, Noyes came back to the University to pursue her studies in linguistics. During High School she never really expected to attend any sort of higher education, especially because neither of her parents did, but her love for language fueled her need to learn more. Due to this desire, Noyes took almost every Spanish and French class available here at the University.
"It's really fortunate to find something you're passionate about," she said. "Not everyone is so lucky."
Ultimately, she would like to pursue her passion for language and linguistics through writing creative and literary translation. She is excited to be going into a graduate program which not only focuses on translation, but understands of the need for skills in creative writing, rooted in the belief that good writers make good translators.