Curtis Longtime Sleeping, a Browning native and member of the Blackfeet Nation, recently was recognized in a ceremony at the University of North Dakota to honor UND students who’d won national scholarships or awards.
Curtis, who graduated from UND in 2017, taught English in Korea during the 2018-19 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. The Fulbright program is the largest U.S. exchange program, offering opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide.
The program awards about 2,000 grants a year in all fields of study and operates in more than 140 countries worldwide. Fulbright U.S. Student alumni populate a range of professions and include ambassadors, members of Congress, judges, heads of corporations, university presidents, journalists, artists, professors and teachers.
The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Programs place Fulbrighters in classrooms abroad to provide assistance to the local English teachers. ETAs help teach English language while serving as cultural ambassadors for the U.S.
During his career at UND, Curtis also spent the spring of 2017 in Japan, where he learned Japanese on a competitive Gilman Scholarship. Upon his return from Japan, he competed for and won a U.S. State Department Critical Language Scholarship to study in Korea, one of America’s most prestigious language programs.
Even more competitive than the Gilman, the Critical Language Scholarship is awarded to fewer than 10 percent of applicants. It supports students who spend eight weeks overseas studying one of 14 critical languages.
During the summer of 2017, Curtis was one of just 27 students from the United States who used the scholarship to travel to and live in Korea in order to learn Korean. He also studied Chinese and French during his time at UND.
In October, Curtis and seven other students who’d won national recognition were honored at UND’s National Scholarship Ceremony.
“UND just celebrated the accomplishments of the University’s national scholarship awardees,” said Dr. Yee Han Chu, academic support and fellowship opportunities coordinator for the University.
“These scholarships offer students life-changing experiences, whether through enriched learning experiences abroad, access to a network of disciplinary experts or substantial financial resources to sustain a student’s academic momentum. Competition for these scholarships is fierce, with a percentage of successful applicants equivalent to the acceptance rate at our most prestigious universities.
“Awardees have intellectual, creative and leadership strengths that a field of experts recognize as significant, substantial and promising.”