Pitzer Spotlights

Kathleen Brooks '06, First Fulbright Representative to Bosnia-Herzegovina: Teaching English as a Foreign Language

Kathleen Brooks
Kathleen Brooks '06 is the first Fulbright representative to Bosnia-Herzegovina where she will be teaching English.

Kathleen Brooks appreciates the value of languages. Fluent in German and French, Brooks was influenced by a mother who speaks five languages and who designed one of the most successful English as a Second Language programs in the United States. Her interest in teaching in Bosnia-Herzegovina was engendered by her study of ethnic conflict in the former Yugoslavia as part of a study abroad program she participated in last year. Her travels to Serbia “proved to be the most dynamic, educational and eye-opening experience of my life.”

Brooks gained a unique insight into the Serbian life: “What it is like to be a kid sitting on the roof of your apartment, watching the bombs drop on your city like fireworks; what it it like to be a university student in a country with a 25% unemployment rate; and what it is like to feel betrayed by your government and the international community?”

During her first semester at Pitzer, Brooks taught English to incarcerated youth at Camp Afflerbaugh-Paige, a prison school. Feeling like an outsider in their community, Brooks said that she had to gain their trust by opening up and sharing before she could ask them to do the same. “The learning process was reciprocal, with everyone simultaneously teaching and learning from each other,” she said.

Brooks, an International Intercultural Studies major, participated in Pitzer’s exchange program to Landau. She also enjoyed the activities of the Pitzer Outdoor Adventure Club.

—Susan Andrews