A helping hand to his older brother on Move-in Day at the New Mexico State University campus led Gabriel Mario Ulibarri to study abroad opportunities in both Mexico and Italy. Now, the communication studies graduate student will travel to Spain next year where he will teach English as the recipient of a Fulbright grant.
Ulibarri has received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship scholarship to teach English and share American culture in Madrid for the 2012-2013 academic year. He will work with students in a secondary school system.
"It's a great honor to have been selected as a Fulbright Fellow," Ulibarri said. "I am most looking forward to the opportunity of learning another culture and furthering my studies of the Spanish language."
Ulibarri, originally from Las Vegas, N.M., is no stranger to traveling overseas. As an undergraduate, he completed two study abroad programs. In 2008 he traveled to Guadalajara, and in 2010 he studied in Rome.
"I was in high school when I first visited NMSU," he said. "I was helping my older brother, who is now a NMSU alumnus, move into his dorm room, and I developed a fascination with NMSU and the Las Cruces community."
Ulibarri received a bachelor's in foreign languages with a supplementary major in Latin American Studies from NMSU in 2010. Next month, he'll graduate with honors and receive a master's in communication studies.
"Throughout my graduate studies, I have learned to view the world with a more critical eye," Ulibarri said. "My focus areas of inter-cultural and political communication have led me to examine how cultures function and the role of strategic communication in public diplomacy."
Ulibarri received one-on-one mentoring assistance in the development of his scholarship application from the Office of National Scholarships and International Education within the Honors College.
"We administered the on-campus nomination process, in which we interviewed NMSU's seven Fulbright applicants and supervised the online application process," said Honors College Associate Dean Mark Andersen.
"We, in the Department of Communication Studies, are extraordinarily proud of Gabriel, and we are truly honored that he is one of our alumni," said Eric Morgan, acting department head and associate professor in the communication studies department. "Furthermore, this award demonstrates the high quality of many students in the College of Arts and Sciences and at NMSU."
For more information about the Fulbright Program visit http://us.fulbrightonline.org/about.html