South Brunswick High school teacher becomes two-time Fulbright scholarship winner

Samantha Saldanha-Kuncharam (center) earns second Fulbright Scholarship. Photo courtesy of South Brunswick School District

South Brunswick High School teacher Samantha Saldanha-Kuncharam is a two-time Fulbright scholarship winner.

In summer 2023, she will be traveling abroad to Taiwan with a select group of teachers after earning a Fulbright scholarship in “Group Projects Abroad” from The College of New Jersey, according to the Social Studies Department at South Brunswick High School (SBHS).

“When I return, I hope to first look at our curriculum to see where this information fits, then share my experiences and knowledge with my colleagues in a professional development setting,” Saldanha-Kuncharam said.

She is not a stranger to the Fulbright scholarship.

The 20-year veteran of the South Brunswick School District, who teaches Global Studies and Advanced Placement Comparative Government at the high school, previously earned a Fulbright scholarship in 2006.

That year, Saldanha-Kuncharam traveled to India to study the effects of Globalization on the country.

Earning her second spot in the Fulbright Scholar program, Saldanha-Kuncharam will be in Taiwan for the month of July during the summer of 2023.

All living and travel expenses, and excursions to numerous cultural sites are covered by the grant.

According to the Department of World Languages and Cultures at TCNJ, the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad program’s purpose is to provide opportunities for faculty, teachers, and undergraduate and graduate students to conduct individual and group projects overseas to carry out research and study in the fields of modern foreign languages and area studies.

“We have chosen Taiwan as the location for this Fulbright-Hays seminar abroad to better understand how Taiwanese education and core cultural values contributed to the effectiveness of their national public health policies,” said Celia Liu, project director and faculty member in the Department of World Languages and Cultures at TCNJ.

She added that Taiwan offers a case study of how leadership can draw upon core values in implementing their COVID policies and how Taiwanese culture practices contributed to the effectiveness of these policies.

The program consists of a series of preparatory seminar discussions, four-weeks abroad in Taiwan hosted by National Taiwan Normal University, and post-departure reflection and curricular reform workshops.

Those selected for the four weeks in Taiwan will be able to utilize content gathered into existing curriculums they developed or create a new curriculum.

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