JMU Alumni Brings Egyptian Culture to the Classroom
Kathleen Dion (’05, ’06) spent 33-days last summer immersed in Egyptian history and culture as she traveled to Egypt with 15 other teachers from across the United States. During her visit, Dion took in the sites and lectures by local experts and professors on the significance of each land mark; they experienced new foods and enjoyed interacting and collaborating with fellow teachers. Dion was selected to attend the Fulbright-sponsored program out of approximately 75 applicants and had to submit a curriculum plan demonstrating how the experience of visiting Egypt could be applicable in her high school literature classes.
Dion has incorporated The Journey of Ibn Fattouma by Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz, which has thematic ties to The Odyssey and The Alchemist. Dion works to introduce students to the Middle East through literature. "The summer Fulbright experience gave me an opportunity to see another part of the world and bring a piece of it into the classroom. It was an invaluable experience I hope to continue to share with my students throughout the years." said Dion. Upon returning from her trip, Dion shared her knowledge with her fellow teachers in Fairfax County through a presentation of her adventures. She hopes to continue traveling through the Fulbright and other similar programs. Dion studied English and Education at Madison and currently teaches at Annandale High School, she has taught in Fairfax County Public Schools for the last 5 years. About her time at Madison, Dion says, “"JMU really prepared me to work in education and I am grateful for my experience there."
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