Senior to teach in Germany on a Fulbright

Jaclyn M. Durr

Jaclyn M. Durr, a senior majoring in international studies and German, has been awarded a Fulbright grant to serve as an English teaching assistant in Germany beginning in September.

“In addition to helping teach the English language, part of my role is to share American culture with students, as well as promote mutual understanding between our cultures,” says Durr, a Student Senate Parliamentarian who was one of 10 students to receive the 2007 “M” Award for service to the University.

Durr is the second SMU student awarded a Fulbright this year. Denver Morrissey Nicks, an international studies and political science major, received the prestigious national grant to study at the University of the Philippines. Both students also were awarded Teach for America positions this fall, which they will defer until next year.

During her nine-month assistantship, Durr will teach in a secondary school in the central German state of Thuringia while also broadening her knowledge of German language and European politics. She previously studied abroad in Copenhagen with Denmark’s International Study Program and in Weimar with SMU-in-Germany.

“After my freshman summer in Weimar, my interest in international politics took on a new force,” says Durr, who has studied the German language since elementary school. “You have to know the history of each European Union member state to understand what’s going on there today, and to even try to predict how they will integrate and interact with the global community in the future.”

Professor Marie-Luise Gaettens, chair of the Foreign Languages and Literatures Department and director of the SMU-in-Germany program, says the Fulbright is an important step on the road to a graduate degree, which Durr plans to pursue in the field of political economy. “To be immersed in the culture for the school year, to read and to speak the language, will give her a whole new perspective,” Gaettens says.

About 1,200 Fulbright fellowships are awarded every year to American students to study, teach and research abroad. In the last 30 years, 30 SMU students have won grants through the national merit-based competition, which emphasizes leadership, academic excellence and commitment to mutual understanding. Learn more at

# # #