Gerry St. Martin Recipient of Rotary Teaching Grant in EcuadorSALISBURY, MD--Dr. Gerald R. St. Martin, an associate professor of French and Spanish at Salisbury State University, will spend the next six months in Ecuador on a Rotary teaching grant that will give him invaluable educational experience and create international opportunities for others.
Rotary International has awarded St. Martin a $10,000, six-month fellowship through its Rotary Grants for University Teachers to Serve in Developing Countries program. The Wicomico Rotary Club recommended St. Martin for the program, and raised money to underwrite his grant.
"I'm very fortunate to be able to teach in a developing country, in my area of expertise, and to learn from them as much as they will learn from me about the way languages are taught today," St. Martin said. "I am the seed from which future relationships can grow. The opportunities that it can bring to others on this campus, from internships and service learningactivities for students to teaching niches for professors from all departments, are tremendous."
Later this month, when others in the Salisbury State family are just settling down for a long winter break, St. Martin will be winging his way to Cuenca, high in the Andes. St. Martin has made this trip for the past four winter terms, taking SSU students to the University of Cuenca for intensive study and cultural insight.
This time, however, he won't accompany the students home. He'll stay in Cuenca for six months to teach French and English language classes and learn Ecuadorean teaching methods. He will explore ways to bring Ecuadoreans to Salisbury State for educational experiences and to send SSU students and faculty to the South American country for the personal and professional growth that accompany the challenge of living, working andstudying in another culture. St. Martin's whole family will go, and his bilingual son will attend an Ecuadorean school to learn in Spanish.
St. Martin has been a member of SSU's faculty since 1976. He was scheduled for sabbatical this spring and had already planned to spend time in Ecuador to observe the way languages are taught at an institution with limited funding and little technology. He'll come back to Salisbury State with more than slides and stories, he said."This Rotary grant is one way to take the University's message to other places, and to bring students and professors back here," St. Martin said.
"This is the type of experience everyone at the University should have."