Levi Latoz graduated from Carthage in 2020 with degrees in international political economy (IPE) and Asian studies, graduating with departmental honors in the IPE Department. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship Grant during his time at Carthage and is currently working in Taiwan as an assistant English teacher.
“The Fulbright Experience is developing my ability to plan and implement curriculum, strengthening my competency with the Chinese language, and is preparing me to work interculturally.”
During his time as an undergraduate, Mr. Latoz went on a J-Term study tour to mainland China called, “English Language Education in China”, sponsored by Professors Jun Wang and Edward Montanaro. Mr. Latoz credits this experience with his decision to apply for a Fulbright Grant. In April 2019, he representing Carthage abroad when the College’s Model United Nations club traveling to Amsterdam to attend an international conference.
Mr. Latoz would like to thank Professors Edward Montanaro, Art Cyr, and Jeffery Roberg for their encouragement to apply for a Fulbright Grant in Taiwan, their help in developing his intercultural skills, and their constant support throughout his many endeavors.
What have you enjoyed most about your career?
“Every day in the Fulbright Program comes with an opportunity to learn. Many Fulbright English teaching assistant (ETA) finalists, including myself, do not hold degrees in education. I’ve enjoyed learning new skillsets from the exceptional local English teachers and my fellow ETA colleagues here in Taiwan. The Fulbright Experience is developing my ability to plan and implement curriculum, strengthening my competency with the Chinese language, and is preparing me to work interculturally.”
How did Carthage prepare you?
“The Carthage experience was instrumental in preparing me for a Fulbright grant. The flexibility of its liberal arts approach allowed me to explore subjects outside of my required courses, and it was through this exploration that I discovered my eventual fields of study.
“A key influence in my decision to apply for a Fulbright Grant was my experience abroad on a J-Term study tour to Mainland China called, ‘English Language Education in China’, sponsored by Prof. Wang and Prof. Montanaro. Those thirty days helped me realize that I enjoyed and could learn a great deal from international education experiences.”
Why did you choose Carthage?
“I am originally from a small town in central Illinois, so I was immediately attracted to the tight-knit community present at Carthage. At Carthage, you aren’t just another student in the classroom. Your professors will know your name, and you will recognize most fellow Carthaginians as you are walking down campus drive, making it the perfect place to build genuine relationships with faculty and peers.”
What opportunities were made possible because of your Carthage experience?
“Carthage enabled me to see the world from an international perspective. Thanks to my Carthage experience, I was able to travel to abroad for the very first time. In April 2019, I had the privilege of representing Carthage abroad in Amsterdam with the school’s Model United Nations club. In addition to this, I also traveled to mainland China for the ‘English Language Education in China’ J-Term study tour.”
How has your liberal arts education benefitted you?
“As a Fulbright Grantee in Taiwan, every day I get to utilize the liberal arts skills I acquired at Carthage. A core tenet of a liberal arts education is the idea that we should all aspire to be life-long learners. The Fulbright program does not require its grantees to have a background in education, yet that is not an excuse for me to avoid gaining competency. I critically examine my lesson plans each day and openly communicate with my colleagues here in Taiwan so that I can raise the standard of the education I provide to my students.”
What Carthage professors played a part in your success and how?
“Prof. Montanaro has played a pivotal role in my success. I first met him as we prepared to depart on his J-Term study tour to mainland China. It was on this trip that I decided to apply for a Fulbright Grant in Taiwan, and Prof. Montanaro became a great mentor to me throughout the whole application process.
“Prof. Cyr also was crucial in my development as an IPE student. His vast knowledge and experiences in the field have equipped him to effectively encourage, challenge, and inspire his students.
“Working alongside Prof. Roberg to organize the 20th Annual Carthage College Model United Nations High School Conference was one of the most rewarding experiences of my time at Carthage. I had twice before been a student in one of Prof. Roberg’s courses, so I was excited to apply the skills he taught me to a real-life project. Our conference ended up hosting over 450 students from around twenty local high schools!”
Tips for current Carthage students:
“Embrace what is new and don’t shy away from that which you don’t know. You may be just one step away from finding your passion.”
Favorite Carthage memories:
“My favorite Carthage memories stem from the many great organizations I was a part of. During my undergrad, I was a member of Delta Upsilon International Fraternity, Model United Nations, and I was also a senior resident assistant in the residence halls. Each role introduced me to great individuals, all of whom pushed me to grow as a student and as a person. Your Carthage experience can be made even better by surrounding yourself with great peers, so I encourage every student to consider getting involved with an organization that interests them.”
What role have the values in Carthage's mission, "Seeking Truth, Building Strength, Inspiring Service — Together" played in your life?
“Carthage’s mission reminds us that the world is a better place when those who inhabit it are working together. That knowledge has inspired me to take on my current position in Taiwan. Each day is another step closer towards making international conversations more accessible for Taiwanese students and the wider population. Yet, Carthage’s mission is not one-sided. It takes both sides working together to achieve a mutual understanding. An essential part of my stay here in Taiwan is also committing time to learn their language. By doing so, I hope I can help bridge the gap between two cultures both during and after my time with the Fulbright Program.”