Fulbright recipient will combine love for music, Czechia
Grace Coleman, a former UI student, will return to Czechia (formerly the Czech Republic) to teach English at a music conservatory.
By Emily Creery
Grace Coleman, a 2017 University of Iowa graduate, intends to pursue an enriching experience in Czechia as a Fulbright English teaching assistant.
Having earned bachelorâs degrees in both international studies and music, Colemanâs unwavering passion for arts on a global scale will come to fruition as she returns to the country that once stole her heart.
âI first got interested in the Czech Republic when I visited there briefly in high school with my orchestra and then again with the Study Abroad Program the summer after my junior year,â Coleman said. âIt just seemed like a really cool place, and I was incredibly interested in the culture and music. This particular country best blended my personality and my interests. There are a lot of classical musicians and authors from the Czech Republic who I really enjoy, and I just wanted to be in the same place as they had once lived.â
Her love for music landed Coleman the dream position of teaching at a music conservatory in the ÃstÃ nad Labem region of Czechia.
âMy family has always been very musical ââ¦ I am hoping that I can be a member of the orchestra with the conservatory [as a cellist] and help out with teaching some music classes in English as well.â
UI cello Associate Professor Anthony Arnone was a witness to Colemanâs growth in confidence as they worked together to advance her skills in the UI orchestra.
âWhen I first met her, she was really shy ââ¦ but over the years, she truly blossomed into a wonderful young woman,â he said.
Karmen Berger, a senior academic adviser for the International Studies Program, aided Coleman thro ughout her UI academic career.
âGrace was a wonderful International Studies student to advise because she worked very hard to connect her life passions to her academics,â Berger said in an email to The Daily Iowan. âShe looked for meaningful ways to be engaged both inside and outside the classroom.â
Coleman applied for a Fulbright during her final semesters at the UI, then spent a year after graduation building proficiency in what she thought would best prepare her for the endeavor.
âI have worked in two positions through AmeriCorps that are related to the English teaching assistantship,â she said. âEarlier this year, I was working in an elementary school, and now Iâm in Chicago with more of an adult population â¦ both of which involve me leading literacy and [English as a Second Language] programs.â
Coleman remains open about a career, but she has enjoyed her time as a teacher. If there is one thing she knows for sure, her dre am job lies in the realm of anything ânot for profit,â she said.
âI would really love to work at a nonprofit thatâs internationally focused, such as the United Nations,â she said. âA government institution, like a Smithsonian, would also be ideal to tie in my interests of history, music, and the world as a community.â
As the days count down, Coleman is eager to get back to the country that she has fallen in love with.
âI am most excited to be able to fully immerse myself in another culture,â she said. âTo be able to better know the community, my students, the teachers I will work with and to simply find another family away from home.â