Lieberman plans to explore working in child development in addition to teaching duties
University of Maryland alumna Anna Lieberman (B.S. ’16, biochemistry) has been awarded a 2017-18 Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Taiwan.
In addition to teaching at her assigned school, Lieberman plans to facilitate activities and teach English at a local community center. Building on her UMD experience working with children with disabilities, she also hopes to volunteer with a local organization to help children with autism.
As an undergraduate, Lieberman participated in the QUEST honors program; conducted research on carbon nanotubes in the laboratory of YuHuang Wang, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UMD; and interned at Pfizer in pharmaceutical regulatory affairs. Lieberman also joined Alpha Chi Sigma, a professional chemistry fraternity, where she volunteered to tutor students and perform chemistry demonstrations for youth organizations.
“I realized that although I really enjoy chemistry, I wanted to work more with people,” said Lieberman. “So that made me look for something where I could use my science background in health and education.”
Lieberman found such an opportunity when she volunteered at the Department of Kinesiology’s Children’s Developmental Clinic. For two years, she showed up at the clinic every Saturday at 8:30 a.m. to participate in one-on-one therapy sessions with children who have developmental disabilities. Lieberman worked with the children on reading, writing and motor skills, such as kicking a soccer ball or painting a picture.
“Although I had to sacrifice some sleep, working at the clinic was an amazing experience that taught me a lot about working with children,” said Lieberman of those early mornings.
Lieberman’s experiences at the clinic led her to consider a career in child development, possibly combined with public policy. She hopes the Fulbright will provide additional direction for her future.
“Part of my Fulbright experience will be testing whether and how far I want to pursue more advanced studies in education, health education or public health,” said Lieberman. “After the Fulbright, I’m hoping to spend more time abroad—this time with a program focused on global health—and then apply to graduate schools.”
The Fulbright will also fulfill a longstanding dream for Lieberman, who was adopted from China.
“Going to Taiwan will be a new and exciting experience,” said Lieberman. “I look forward to immersing myself in a new culture where I can be challenged.”
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