Thursday, June 4, 2009

Recent Greater Phoenix Economic
Council Intern Wins Fulbright Grant

Ali Anderson Headed to South Korea to Teach English, Launch Magazine

June 2, 2009 (Phoenix, Arizona) – Former Greater Phoenix Economic Council intern Ali Anderson has been awarded one of the most prestigious U.S. government grants – the Fulbright.

Thanks to the grant, Anderson will depart her native Arizona in early July for South Korea, where she will spend a year teaching English, launching an English-language literary magazine and facilitating an international newspaper exchange program.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright Program sends thousands of Americans abroad each year to study, research, teach or lecture. Anderson, 21, will serve as a teaching assistant for secondary school English classes, teaching conversational English, as well as U.S. culture.

A May 2009 ASU economics graduate, Anderson also plans to publish a local literary magazine, where her students can showcase their English skills. In addition, she wants her students to exchange school newspapers with Chaparral High School, her Alma Mater in Scottsdale.

She doesn’t know what town she’ll be placed in or what family she’ll live with, but Anderson says those mysteries don’t worry her.

“The most unnerving part, for me, is being unfamiliar with the language,” she said.

Anderson has never traveled to the country she’ll soon call home, nor has she studied the language. She plans to teach herself the basics this summer and will get six weeks of instruction upon arrival.

She says interning in the Netherlands for the U.S. Department of State last summer taught her to assimilate to foreign cultures. She also expects her two internships at GPEC, which totaled 14 months, will help in Asia.

“After being an intern for GPEC, it doesn’t really matter what situation you’re thrown into. You’ll know how to do it,” she said, commenting on the broad, fast-paced quality of GPEC’s research department internships.

Anderson credits GPEC’s Vice President of International Business Development Rodrick Miller with sparking her interest in the Fulbright Program. Miller studied international management and finance as a Fulbrighter in Monterrey, Mexico from 1999 to 2000.

“Being accepted into the Fulbright Program is extremely difficult. For some, succeeding in a foreign land can be even more testing,” Miller said. “Ali has completed the first part of the challenge, and I have no doubt her intelligence, drive and experience will allow her to excel in the second.”

GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome echoed this sentiment. “Ali’s receipt of a Fulbright Grant is an incredible accomplishment, and GPEC is extremely proud,” he said. “Ali’s work in South Korea will show the world what Arizonans have to offer.”

After her stay in Asia, Anderson aspires to attend law school. But first, she needed to get the travel bug out of her system.

She chose South Korea because she had done research on the country as part of her internship with the Department of State. Rumors that Korean is easy to learn helped sway her, as well.

With plans to join a biking club, learn to cook traditional dishes and travel to Thailand and Cambodia, Anderson said she feels prepared for her stay. There’s just one more thing on her mind.

“I’m not the biggest fan of fish,” she said hesitantly. “But I’m sure I will learn to like it!”

About the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC)
A true public/private partnership, GPEC is the regional economic development organization for Greater Phoenix. Working with its 18 member communities, Maricopa County and more than 140 private investors, GPEC attracts quality businesses to this dynamic region. By creating a high-performance economy through capital investments and jobs, Greater Phoenix companies enjoy a business climate where they can compete and thrive in today's global economy. Since 1989, GPEC has worked to achieve an economically sound and sustainable region. For more information, visit

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