Kennesaw State senior named Fulbright Scholar, headed to teach in Spain

KENNESAW, Ga. | Apr 15, 2022

Kennesaw State University senior Sydney Tomlin has earned a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to teach English to students in a Model United Nations program in Spain starting in September. Tomlin said she took her first Spanish class in eighth grade and has had a passion for language since. 


Tomlin, who has been a President’s Emerging Global Scholar (PEGS) in KSU Journey Honors College during her time at the University, recently received an English Teaching Assistantship award through the Fulbright program and will spend the upcoming academic year with high school-aged students with Madrid’s Global Classrooms (Model UN) program. The Fulbright Scholarship is an award that recognizes the importance of building bridges between cultures. According to the Fulbright Committee, Tomlin is one of 30 grant recipients out of 2,000 English teaching assistants in Madrid.

Tomlin’s ability to achieve as much as she has during her college career and receive a Fulbright Scholarship before graduation illustrates the discipline and drive of KSU students, said Catherine Kaukinen, dean of the Norman J. Radow College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

“Being able to boast on the success of hardworking students like Sydney is one of the prides of the job of a higher education leader,” Kaukinen said. “We look forward to seeing Sydney continue to excel during this once-in-a-lifetime experience and as an alumnus.”

Michelle Miles, director of national and international scholarships and fellowships at KSU, called Tomlin a deeply valued member of KSU Journey Honors College who energized students and faculty alike.


“Sydney has, first and foremost, a genuine vocation for language instruction,” Miles said. “She's committed to the fundamental link between communication and culture, and she recognizes the importance of immersing herself in both. Sydney is a natural, intuitive ambassador. Her passion for learning from others and sharing her own experiences and insights in turn immediately puts others in her company at ease.”

In her time at Kennesaw State, Tomlin said her experiences in the Honors College, PEGS and developing relationships with her professors and college leaders have offered her opportunity, wisdom, support and encouragement to pursue her dreams.

“KSU is quite a large institution, but with the professors we have access to, we as students certainly have the chance to receive a personalized educational experience,” she said.

Tomlin is a Modern Language and Culture major with a concentration in Spanish and Foreign Language Education in the Department of World Languages and Cultures. She is finishing her student-teaching experience at Kell High School, before graduating from KSU on May 12.

Shortly after graduating, Tomlin will be the lead Spanish teacher for Horizons Atlanta’s summer program at KSU while she prepares to move to Spain in September.

In partnership with more than 140 countries, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers opportunities in all academic disciplines to graduating college seniors, graduate students and young professionals from all backgrounds. Program participants pursue graduate study, conduct research, or teach English abroad.

More than 2,200 U.S. students and 900 U.S. college and university faculty and administrators are awarded Fulbright awards annually, according to the organization. 

– By Thomas Hartwell
Photos submitted

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit