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Lycoming College graduate awarded Fulbright

Lycoming College graduate awarded Fulbright

(l-r): Cagle, Philip

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Recent Lycoming College graduate Dominick Philip ’24 of Nazareth, Pa., was named to the prestigious class of 2024-25 Fulbright honorees. A recipient of the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Award, he will travel to Hamburg, Germany, to teach English to, and to share American culture with German students at the secondary education level. Philip, an economics-philosophy-comparative literature triple major with a minor in German, also graduated as a Lycoming Scholar.

"The Fulbright program is going to open a lot of doors for Dom, both academically and personally, and has the potential to change the course of his life. It’s a wonderful opportunity.”

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international cultural exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and designed to increase mutual understanding between people of the United States and of other countries. The highly selective program is considered one of the most prestigious of its type.

A love of German

Although Philip studied German for two years in high school, he did not develop a true love of and passion for the European language until he studied at Lycoming with Len Cagle Ph.D., associate professor of modern language studies. Philip quickly moved to upper level German classes and received an undergraduate scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst – DAAD), enabling him to immerse himself in German language and culture for one month in Munich.

“It was a really formative experience and made me certain that I wanted to continue studying the language,” said Philip.

When Philip returned to Lycoming, Cagle took him on as a peer mentor for his first year seminar, “Berlin on Film,” leading Philip to realize how much he enjoyed teaching. “I had the responsibility of helping with classroom discussion and enjoyed helping students acclimate to college life and discussing the responsibilities of college, such as exam preparation. I was also able to lead lectures when Dr. Cagle was out of town at conferences. It was a great experience during my junior and senior years.”

While continuing his studies at Lycoming, Philip said he began reading German literature with Cagle, which deeply affected him.

Getting back to Germany

“I want to really be immersed in the German experience. I was there for one month with the DAAD program, and had a great time, but it flew past me quickly and I want to be able to slow down and get a stronger understanding of the German people,” said Philip.

“When I shared with Dr. Cagle that I wanted to go back, he recommended I apply for a Fulbright.” Cagle helped Philip throughout the arduous application process. “We got to work on the first day the application was available, meeting weekly to refine and strengthen the application as much as possible. We did this right up until the October deadline,” he said.

Additionally, Lycoming’s Scholarship and Fellowship Committee, which includes a Fulbright Advisor, and on which Cagle serves, further strengthened Philip’s chances by providing feedback on his application and by interviewing him.

Philip will be teaching from September through May. While in Hamburg, where there is a large Turkish-German population, he plans to expand his knowledge of languages further by taking Turkish classes. Upon completion of his Fulbright experience, Philip will head to Dartmouth College, where he will pursue a master’s degree in comparative literature as part of a one-year intensive program.

“Dom has a lot of experience as a tutor and has led several classroom discussions and lessons. He goes out of his way to help students. He is personable, smart, a strong writer and easy to get along with. He will make a great Fulbright TA,” said Cagle. “The Fulbright program is going to open a lot of doors for Dom, both academically and personally, and has the potential to change the course of his life. It’s a wonderful opportunity.”