Haileyville High School alumnus Wyatt Stanford was named a Fulbright scholar for the 2019-2020 academic year to teach English in France.
Stanford is the son of James and Kimber Stanford of Dow and the grandson of Hollis and Mary Stanford of Arpelar, Sam Brown of Dow, and the late Sharon Anderson. He graduated in 2014 and earned an associate degree in mass communication from Eastern Oklahoma State College in 2016 and a bachelor’s degree in public relations with a minor in French from the University of Oklahoma in 2018.
The Fulbright Scholarship Program was created in 1946 by legislation introduce by Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs with the goal of “increasing mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries,” according to its website.
Stanford was named one of nine OU students and alumni to receive the award and one of ten to receive Fulbright English Teaching Assistant positions in France. As an English teaching assistant, Stanford will teach in the classroom and help advise educators in the instruction of English and American culture at Lycée Jean Zay in Aulnay-sous-Bois, a suburb of Paris.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to represent not only the United States, but also the State of Oklahoma and our area on the international level,” Stanford said. “I’m hoping my Fulbright project will connect the community I will be serving with our community and encourage global thinking for both.”
The Fulbright scholarship will cover living expenses and travel costs with the term beginning in October and ending in April 2020. Each year, thousands of U.S. students apply, but around 2,000 are selected for grant positions in 160 countries.
Stanford began taking French courses at Haileyville in junior high and continued through his senior year under the teaching of Pam Sweetin. He hopes to merge his knowledge of French and American culture with his background in public relations to focus on storytelling and international exchange.
Upon completion of his Fulbright experience, Stanford hopes to attend graduate school to achieve a master of arts in French or strategic communication or a Juris Doctor.
The Fulbright Scholarship Program has provided more than 390,000 participants — chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential — with the opportunity to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.