Q&A With Baylor Fulbright Recipient Megan Rizos

April 29, 2009

Baylor University senior Megan Rizos is one of five Baylor students, who have been selected to receive the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship. A senior University Scholar from Lucas and a member of Baylor's Honors Program, Rizos will spend the 2009-2010 academic year in Spain, who will serve as an English Teaching Assistant (ETA).

Baylor Media Communications recently conducted a Q&A with each of Baylor's Fulbright recipients.

Baylor Media Communications: How did you find out about your Fulbright selection?

Megan Rizos: They sent the letter to my Baylor address, which came as a surprise. Everyone else seemed to be getting letters sent to their home addresses. The funny part was that I was told an acceptance letter would come in the form of a fat, brown envelope and a rejection would come in a thin, white one. I opened my mailbox and saw a thin, brown envelope and pawed at the seal like a wild animal until I saw the words "pleased to congratulate" on the letter inside.

After I saw those words I gathered up the books I'd previously dropped on the floor and ran through the SUB until I found a friend of mine that I'd hung up on to read the results of the letter. One woman came up to me, put her hand on my shoulder and asked, "Are you alright?" All I could think to say was, "Oh. Oh, I'm great," with a ridiculously goofy grin on my face.

BMC: Why did you decide to apply for the Fulbright and why Spain?

Rizos: Ever since I was little I told myself that one day I'd live for a year in Europe. This seemed like a wonderful opportunity to fulfill a life-long dream. I chose Spain for many reasons. The most important one ties into another life-long dream of mine: becoming completely fluent in Spanish. I also happen to love Spanish culture.

BMC: What will you study/research there?

Rizos: I applied for the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, so I will be teaching in Spain.

BMC: Why did you decide to come to Baylor for your undergraduate study?

Rizos: Originally, I attended a different university. It didn't take long to find out that I didn't have a lot in common with the student body, so I transferred to Baylor my sophomore year.

BMC: What are your plans after Baylor AND after the Fulbright?

Rizos: After the Fulbright, I will be going to grad school working to get a master's degree in communication sciences and disorders and become a speech pathologist.

BMC: Who are some of the faculty members who helped you in your major, as well as your Fulbright application?

Rizos: Dean Elizabeth Vardaman's help on my Fulbright application was priceless. I absolutely believe I wouldn't have made it without her guidance. (Vardaman is Baylor's Fulbright representative and associate dean of special academic projects in the College of Arts and Sciences.) Dr. Sarah-Jane Murray (Great Texts, Honors College) bridges this two-part question, as she was both my cheerleader for the Fulbright and a mentor for my undergraduate career. All of my CSD professors have been wonderful, but one professor stands out more than the others: Dr. Kathy Whipple (professor of communications sciences and disorders). She agreed to be my Independent Readings professor, as well as my thesis advisor before she even met me. I figured out at the end of my junior year that I wanted to be a speech pathologist, and she's been instrumental to my education ever since.