Fulbright Student Scholar Jessica Davidov will teach English in Tel Aviv

Jessica Davidov
Jessica Davidov

Waiting until the last minute to apply for a Fulbright scholarship is not the first piece of advice alumna Jessica Davidov, CLAS ’18, has for those seeking the prestigious award.

She recently was named a Fulbright Student Scholar to spend the 2018-19 academic year as an English teaching assistant in Tel Aviv, and knows all about the self-imposed stress of gathering the required documents on a tight deadline.

What she strongly suggests is that students listen to professors who urge them to apply and heed the advice of Study Abroad Director Kelli Dixon, the university’s Fulbright liaison for student programs.

Dixon recommends students start the process a year in advance of the October deadline, and Davidov says it was a challenge pulling together letters of recommendations, writing personal essays and gathering academic records.

To help applicants prepare, Dixon puts together an interview panel of faculty who are Fulbright alumni or have extensive experience with international research to review the applications and offer recommendations for strengthening them before they are submitted.

Davidov applied as an at-large candidate, missing out on the interview panel, and three hours before the application was due, she turned again to Dixon about whether she should go through with it.

“She told me I had come this far, I should send it in,” says Davidov. “She had great advice for me all along, and as I have found throughout my time at Wayne State, I end up where I am supposed to be.”

Davidov, a first-generation college grad whose parents emigrated from Azerbaijan, earned a bachelor’s in political science and Near Eastern studies with a concentration in Hebrew. She was visiting Israel when her college acceptance letter arrived and believes divine provenance brought her to Midtown Detroit, exposing her to student groups like Students for Israel and Hillel of Metro Detroit.

Through those experiences and being selected as an Emerson Fellow and Hasbara Fellow, Davidov is euphoric that the foreign dignitaries and diplomats she has met are interested in the advocacy of young adults.

Davidov is one of three WSU students awarded Fulbright scholarship grants for the 2018-19 academic year, the university’s largest cohort in two decades. When she isn’t in the classroom next year, she hopes to volunteer at local orphanages, using photography to chronicle the experience of Syrian refugees.

Fulbright, with more than 500 awards available, is accepting applications for the 2019-20 academic year. It is not too early to start the application says Dixon. Students can get preliminary information at http://us.fulbrightonline.org/ or email Dixon with questions at ab6179@wayne.edu.

Fulbright also awards short- and long-term scholarships to faculty and professionals. To learn more, contact Jaclyn Assarian, associate director, Office of International Programs (OIP), and Wayne State’s Fulbright liaison for faculty programs, at 313-577-9319 or jassarian@wayne.edu

The Office of International Programs leads Wayne State’s global engagement by creating opportunities that foster international education and research, facilitate the exchange of individuals and ideas that promote global competencies and citizenship, and provide resources that support the expansion of the university’s global agenda. Follow us on Twitter @WayneOIP.

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