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Santa Clara University Triple Major Wins Fulbright Teaching Award

Monday, May. 18, 2009
Ben Snyder Headshot

SANTA CLARA, Calif.,– May 18, 2009. Santa Clara University senior and triple-major Benjamin Snyder has won a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to teach English in Saxony in the former East Germany after graduation.

The award will pay transportation and a living-expense stipend for Snyder, a 22-year-old avowed Germanophile, to teach English to German secondary school students for a year starting this fall.

Snyder, who is president of the German club, learned about the Fulbright teaching award while studying for a semester in Berlin in 2007, when he was one of several dozen winners nationwide of the German Academic Exchange Service scholarship.

 “This award is a fantastic privilege that I could never have achieved without the guidance and encouragement of my family, friends, and professors.,” Snyder said. “As I make the transition from student to teacher, I find myself increasingly aware of those who have helped me to where I am today, and will try my hardest to be a similar positive force within the German community in which I am placed.”

He became fascinated with being an educator while teaching English as a Second Language in San Jose. According to Snyder, combining teaching with his German language skills was a natural fit. “This is a continuation of my love of all things German,” he said.

In addition to German studies, Snyder is also majoring in political science and history—and is an honors student in each, as well as being a member of the University Honors Program.

“He has always been outstanding,” said his German professor Gudrun Tabbert-Jones. In addition to his beautifully spoken and written German skills, his grasp of German political history is keen, she said.

Snyder has written an honors thesis for the history department on the legacy of the Socialist Party in East Germany.  Tabbert-Jones has suggested that he publish it, calling it “outstanding.”

Snyder is also the winner of the Geoff and Josie Fox German Studies Award for students who have shown a consistent interest in German culture, and who have an understanding of the experience, values, and traditions of Germanic speaking countries. He will receive the award May 27.  A member of the cross country and track and field team until this year, he’s also won numerous other awards at SCU, including the 2008 Bernard L. Kronick Political Science Undergraduate Research Award.

After the teaching assistantship, he plans to go to graduate school, perhaps in public policy or public health, hopefully combining that with a stint in the Peace Corp.

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its 8,758 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see

 Media Relations contact: Deborah Lohse, SCU Media Relations Assistant Director, 408-554-5121 or


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