Kristen Biedermann ’16

May 12, 2017

Kristen Biedermann has received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Award and will spend 10 months teaching English at the University of Cauca in Popayan, Colombia, starting at the end of this summer. In some ways, it’s the continuation of a path she discovered at SMU.

“I had an opportunity to travel to Guatemala to help one of my professors with research and professional development for Guatemalan teachers on behalf of SMU,” Biedermann says. “I learned that when people acquire more than one language, it gives them an ability to connect across cultures, which is important to me, so I’ve become passionate about helping people cross barriers through learning a second language.”

That international classroom experience – and the time she spent teaching in bilingual Dallas-area classrooms before earning her master’s degree in education at SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development – lit a spark in Biedermann that’s lighting the way to a bright future.

“When I come back from Colombia, I would love to go into the Ph.D. program, become a professor and do research on retention and promotion of language-minority students at the university level,” Biedermann says. “I hope to be able to work on a campus and help adult English-language-learner students succeed in higher education and conduct research that eliminates the inequities that exist at that level.”

Biedermann says she never would have discovered that passion if not for her time at SMU.

“I’m just really thankful for everyone at SMU who helped me along my way,” Biedermann says. “They supported me. I love those guys.”