Lehman College Senior Zarin Tasnim Wins Prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to Teach in Korea

Lehman College congratulates Zarin Tasnim, a graduating senior in the Macaulay Honors College at Lehman who has been accepted to the prestigious and highly competitive Fulbright Scholarship program for English Teaching Assistants for 2014-15. This summer Tasnim will embark on a one-year or 13-month exchange program in Korea, where she will teach conversational English to elementary school children or middle and high school students.

This will be Tasnim’s second time in Korea—during the fall 2012 semester she took advantage of Lehman College’s exchange program with the Sungshin Women’s University in Seoul to study Korean language and culture. Prior to that she spent a year studying Korean at Queens College.

A political science and history major, Tasnim has received a number of academic awards, including the Horace W. Goldsmith Scholarship, Jewish Foundation for Education of Women Scholarship, Freeman Asia Scholarship, and a St. George’s Society Scholarship.

This past winter, she traveled to Florence, Italy, to study Renaissance History through the College of Staten Island’s Study Abroad Program. She has interned at the New York State Attorney General’s Office and is currently interning at the New York Country District Attorney’s Office. Her goal is to apply to law school upon her return from her Fulbright experience in Korea.

Originally from Bangladesh, Tasnim has expressed a passion for social activism from an early age. “Because my cultural background has a very conservative view of women and their role in society, I had to work hard to convince my parents and others around me that I am capable of taking on such challenges and that it’s my right to do so,” says Tasnim.  She says she is particularly interested in working with survivors of domestic violence and others who have been disenfranchised.

“She is definitely one of our stars,” says Dr. Gary Schwartz, director of the Macaulay Honors College at Lehman and the Lehman Scholars Program. “Zarin is an exceptional combination of intellect, tact, sensitivity, insight, and leadership.”

“The reason I applied for the Fulbright, and all the other scholarships and programs for that matter, was because of Dr. Schwartz and my other professors—Dr. Richard Blot and Dr. Ira Bloom—who have been so encouraging and always pushing me,” says Tasnim. “It’s really inspiring to have people who believe in you so much.”