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Member of SF State's class of 2006 wins Fulbright scholarship



Matt Itelson
SFSU Office of Public Affairs & Publications
(415) 338-1665


Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications


Playwright and mathematician Christopher Tong will teach English at high school in Germany

SAN FRANCISCO, August 21, 2006 -- Christopher Tong, a playwright and mathematician who recently earned a master's degree from San Francisco State University, has won a Fulbright U.S. Student Scholarship for the 2006-07 academic year. Beginning in September, Tong will teach English as a foreign language at a high school in Hamburg, Germany.

Tong, a Hercules resident who completed his master of fine arts degree in creative writing in May, will serve as a teaching assistant in a working-class neighborhood where many immigrant families from other European countries, Africa and Asia live. He plans to organize acting exercises and writing workshops to help create a dialogue among students and improve their English skills.

"In a way, I'm a cultural ambassador, and I love this work because all my life I've been trying to bridge the cultures I'm exposed to," said Tong, who attended Pinole Valley High School and earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics from Stanford University. "I'm very honored to be representing SFSU and the Bay Area because the Bay Area is a place of tolerance and many cultures."

Tong said he is considering a career as a mathematics teacher or college professor in literature, but doesn't feel ready to commit to a credential or doctoral program. In 2004-05, Tong enjoyed studying abroad in Germany at Universität Tübingen. "The Fulbright teaching assistantship is a great way to spend a year abroad and still gain work experience in the teaching field," he said.

An SF State staff member has also garnered a Fulbright scholarship. My Yarabinec, coordinator for study abroad and international exchange programs, will attend a seminar on international education from Oct. 8 to 25 in Germany and the Czech Republic.

The Fulbright Scholar Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, with additional funding from participating countries and host institutions in the United States and abroad. During its 60-year history, thousands of faculty and other professionals have studied, taught or conducted research abroad, and thousands of their counterparts have engaged in similar activities in the United States. More than 1,200 U.S. faculty and professionals will travel to more than 150 countries during this academic year through the Fulbright Scholar Program.

SF State is the only master's-level public university serving the counties of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin. The University enrolls about 29,000 students each year and graduates about 7,000 annually. With nationally acclaimed programs in a range of fields -- from creative writing, cinema and biology to history, broadcast and electronic communication arts, theatre arts and ethnic studies -- the University's more than 150,000 graduates have contributed to the economic, cultural and civic fabric of San Francisco and beyond.


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Last modified April 24, 2007, by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications