Katia Diaz '13, an alumna of the College of Communication and the Arts, has been selected as a Fulbright Scholarship recipient of an English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) to teach English in the Dominican Republic.
Diaz, who originally emigrated from the Dominican Republic with her family, will help college-level students improve their English-language and communication skills. A graduate of the Journalism and Public Relations programs, Diaz currently serves as a digital strategist fellow at the New York City Department of Health where she implements social media strategy and campaigns focused on outreach assistance for the Division of Child and Family Health.
As a Teaching Assistant, Diaz will serve as a cultural ambassador to students in her community of impact. Alongside her teaching responsibilities, Diaz has also proposed the implementation of an anti-bullying campaign through a partnership with an international nonprofit organization dedicated to educational access for disadvantaged youth in the Dominican Republic.
She credits her enthusiasm for gaining hands-on experience, her background in communication and her distinct cultural roots as key drivers leading her to apply for the highly competitive Fulbright ETA – only about 8% of applicants interested in traveling to the Dominican Republic are accepted.
"During my career, I've been fortunate enough to experience different fields and areas, allowing me to shape my goals and career path. I wanted to keep developing my strengths while building on my weaknesses," shared Diaz. "Teaching would help improve skills I need like public speaking and teaching methodology while gaining practical expertise from experts in foreign educational policy. At the same time, I wanted to be a cultural ambassador to the country where I was born."
While Diaz will travel in January 2019, she looks forward to immersing herself in the country's culture on a new level. "I have a unique opportunity to learn more about the nation's history and government system while integrating myself into the customs and traditions of the Caribbean… Through teaching, I'll be able to build confidence in the classroom which will help me more clearly express my ideas, opinions and knowledge in front of others," said Diaz.
Since her days as a Seton Hall student, Diaz has led an impressive and successful career path, specializing in public affairs. Following her graduation in 2013, she held a coveted internship at The White House, assisting speechwriters in drafting press materials for Vice President Joseph (Joe) Biden. This experience led to a Communication Specialist position for the New Jersey State Legislature where she similarly drafted speeches, opinion-editorial pieces and statements for state senators. Diaz is also the co-founder of Read Between the Minds, Inc., an online nonprofit college-access mentoring organization for low-income students in the District of Columbia area.
Looking ahead, Diaz will pursue a graduate degree from Columbia University's School of Arts and Sciences to study foreign educational policies and communication practices. Ultimately, she would like to be a public affairs specialist for an intergovernmental organization, such as the United Nations or The World Bank, that plans and implements large-scale international projects. Within education and teaching, she aspires to transition from student to university professor, focused on educating students on the importance of international relations and communication.