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Recent UW-Eau Claire Grad Receives
Teaching Assistantship in Austria

RELEASED: June 2, 2008

Trisha Monka
Trisha Monka

EAU CLAIRE — A recent University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire graduate has been awarded a U.S. English Teaching Assistantship in Austria. The assistantship, offered through a program of the Austrian Ministry of Education, is administered through the Fulbright Commission in Austria.

Trisha Monka, Manitowoc, who graduated in May with a major in German education and a minor in teaching English to speakers of other languages, is currently completing her student teaching at Lincoln High School in Manitowoc.

Monka will travel to Graz, Austria, in September to attend an orientation for English teaching assistants. In October, she will begin teaching in Waidhofen an der Ybbs, a town of about 12,000 people located in the Ybbs River Valley in the province of Lower Austria. She will teach English and American culture at Bundesrealgymnasium, a public high school.

"I also will be teaching in Weyer, which is a smaller town of about 5,000 people located in the province of Upper Austria," said Monka. "I will be teaching English and American culture, but at a school that specializes in preparing students for professions in the hotel industry. I will teach about six hours a week at each school."

Monka, who studied abroad in Wittenberg, Germany, in 2005, was an active German Club member at UW-Eau Claire. She also participated in the German honor society, Delta Phi Alpha.

She is anxious to see how the Austrian perspective about German language and American society and culture compares to the German perspective, Monka said.

"While in Austria, I hope to enhance my German speaking abilities and learn more about the Austrian education system," Monka said. "I feel extremely prepared to take on this opportunity because of my education at UW-Eau Claire. The College of Education and Human Sciences does an excellent job of training new teachers."

When she returns to the United States, Monka hopes to teach German and English as a second language.

"I have to thank my professors Dr. Jeff Vahlbusch and Dr. Kate Reynolds, as well as Cheryl Lochner-Wright of the Center for International Education, for helping me with the application process," Monka said. "I believe that without their help and encouragement, I would not have received this assistantship. These three people really want their students to achieve their goals, and I thank them for helping me to achieve mine."

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NW

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