Two Hamilton seniors and a recent alumna have been awarded Fulbright Teaching Assistantships to Spain for the 2021-22 academic year. Tim Derby ’21 and Gianni Hill ’21, along with Loren Rodriguez ’20, will teach English under the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government.
Derby, a mathematics major and education and Hispanic studies minor, studied in Madrid in 2019. He was a Colegio FEM English Department intern, where he helped teach English as a second language to five classes and assisted native Spanish primary and secondary students with English grammar and vocabulary. He is currently student-teaching math remotely at Orange Hill School in Hillsborough N.C. At Hamilton, he is a member of the varsity tennis team.
Hometown: Darien, Conn.
High school: Darien High School
“Participating in the HCAYS program during my junior year provided me with an opportunity to experience cultural immersion. While in Madrid, as an intern at a local school … I witnessed first-hand the delivery of a bilingual education, which has been expanding in Spain,” Derby said. “The students and I had many discussions on various aspects of American culture, and the value of language and cultural exchange in the classroom.”
Derby said when he returns to Spain, he is eager to create “a similar cross-culture understanding where students not only improve their English-speaking skills but also knowledge of English-speaking countries like the U.S. I will draw upon my knowledge of English, math, and tennis to get involved in an after-school program and build ties within the Spanish community,” he said.
Hill was selected as an ETA for a program at the Instituto de Empresa University (IEU) in Madrid. Besides assisting Writing Center and teaching staff at IEU, he will support the writing skills subjects that all first-year students must take within their degree programs and tutor students in writing and research skills. He’ll also lead the organization in the 3-Minute Thesis competition in the spring.
Majors: Hispanic studies, public policy
Hometown: Revere, Mass.
High school: Revere High School
“After my study abroad experience through Hamilton’s Madrid program was cut short last spring due to COVID-19, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to return to Spain,” Hill said. “While in Madrid, I will be working closely with students from around the world. I look forward to this incredible opportunity to engage in cultural exchange and to learn more about the bilingual Spanish education system. This will be a foundational experience for my plans to pursue education law in the future.”
A Boston Posse Foundation Scholar, Hill is a public policy and Hispanic studies double major. At Hamilton he is research assistant to Government Professor Frank Anechiarico and helped facilitate the College-Community Partnership for Racial Justice program. Hill has been active with Hamilton’s Student Assembly, serving as student body vice president and senior class president. He also serves as a lead peer consultant at Hamilton's Oral Communication Center
Loren Rodríguez ’20, who majored in neuroscience, is working at Fordham Radiology, a medical radiology office in the Bronx. She said she chose Spain because the country’s growing emphasis on bilingual education and global citizenship aligns with her personal and professional foundation and goals.
“As someone who’s been both an English language learner and teacher, I have acquired valuable pedagogical and personal skills that are particularly helpful to Spanish speakers learning English,” she said. “I am eager to apply my skills in the Spanish classroom and to connect with and learn from my students.”
Hometown: Bronx, N.Y.
High school: Gregorio Luperon High School for Science and Mathematics
While at Hamilton she tutored in the Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning Center, for the HEOP Summer program in biology, and was a certified TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) tutor. Rodriguez also volunteered with Project SHINE, a service-learning program in which students act as English coaches to area refugees. She was a UCLA Department of Neurology research assistant in summer 2019.
After her Fulbright year, she plans to attend graduate school to continue her neuroscience studies.