Stanford awarded prestigious Fulbright grant

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8605 or

2014-06-12 09:30:37 - General

Coe College alumnus Max Stanford has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship grant. The Fulbright award will allow Stanford to teach in Malaysia during the 2014-15 academic year.

Stanford graduated cum laude from Coe in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education. While at Coe, he held office as the student body vice president and was selected to serve on the Presidential Search Committee. He was a student-athlete participating in men’s basketball and student taught in Chicago.

Stanford became interested in the Fulbright program early in his career at Coe. Approached by various faculty and staff, Stanford was encouraged to look into the program.

"After researching the program and Coe's success rate with the application process, I reached out to Dr. Ann Struthers for guidance on my application," said Stanford. "I began meeting with Dr. Struthers consistently during my junior year."

In Malaysia, Stanford will be working with his colleagues to teach English to non-native English speakers. Serving as a cultural ambassador, he will help bolster cultural and social understandings between the United States and Malaysia.

While Stanford's first priority is to gain insight into the Malaysian way of teaching, he is enthused to learn more about the country's culture.

"I look forward to broadening my perspective when it comes to teaching and learning in an influential Southeast Asian nation," said Stanford. "I hope to gain powerful social and cultural knowledge that will prepare me for an increasingly interconnected global society."

In his search for potential countries to apply for an English Teaching Assistantship, he was drawn to Malaysia because of the country's dedication to education, the requirement to work with elementary and middle school students, and the geographic location.

Stanford was also excited by the country's reexamination of its early childhood programs, teacher and principal pay, and the infusion of English language instruction to boost the country’s social and economic capital.

"Southeast Asia has quickly, and arguably, quietly emerged onto the global scene as a strong and competitive social, technological and economic powerhouse," said Stanford. "Malaysia has emerged as one of the front runners in the region. I want to live and experience life in this increasingly important and influential region.”

After completing his Fulbright, he plans to pursue a career in elementary education. Furthermore, Stanford hopes to continue his education at the graduate and doctorate levels.

Stanford says he has benefited from fantastic teaching during his time at Coe. He credits the entire faculty from the education department for always challenging him to analyze and reflect on his teaching experiences.

"They continuously pushed me to make interdisciplinary connections," said Stanford. "All of my experiences in the department prepared me for a successful student teaching experience in Chicago and made me a desirable candidate for the Malaysian-American Commission on Educational Exchange (MACEE)."

A native of Superior, Colorado, Max is the son of Paul and Christie Stanford.

Established in 1946 and sponsored by the United States Department of State, the Fulbright Program aims to increase mutual understanding between Americans and the peoples of other countries, through the exchange of persons, knowledge and skills. The Fulbright Program is the largest international exchange program, providing funding for students, scholars and professionals to undertake graduate study, advanced research and teaching. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program sends approximately 1,500 students per year to more than 140 countries.