Throughout her four years at Bryn Mawr College, Mary Biggs ’15 fostered her curiosity in the intersection of place, identity, language and culture. In September of 2016, Mary will have the opportunity to further pursue these interests with a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Madrid, Spain.
A Spanish major and Environmental Studies minor while at Bryn Mawr, Mary will work part-time in a private bilingual school, assisting in the classroom and tutoring students. The rest of her time will be spent undertaking a personal research project on urban gardens in Madrid.
“I’m excited to experience urban gardening in Spanish culture, and eager too to think deeply about cultural narratives and community initiatives that grow up around the intersections of the built and natural, wild and cultivated,” says Mary.
During her junior year at Bryn Mawr, Mary studied abroad in Barcelona, where she found herself falling in love with the landscapes and cities of Spain. She says that her study abroad experience was the main influence on her decision to apply to the Fulbright.
“My experience living in my second language, and in a culture unlike the culture in which I was raised, opened my eyes to the possibilities of personal and professional growth inherent in learning to move in multiple spaces, to speak different languages,” says Mary.
Since graduating, Mary has moved to Washington, D.C. where she has worked with City Blossoms, an urban gardening non-profit, and the U.S. Forest Service.
Looking forward, Mary cites “writing, working with young people, and exploring the ways in which people of all ages interact with their many spaces,” as endeavors she hopes to continue in future jobs.
“And of course, wherever I go and whatever I do, I hope to keep making gardens,” she adds.
Fulbright Grants are awarded for post-graduate research and study abroad or for positions such as English Teaching Assistants in schools or universities. An applicant must be the recipient of a bachelor’s degree before the beginning date of the grant.