It took three tries but Lusby resident Katherine Stout finally received a coveted Fulbright scholarship.
Stout recently flew to Novi Pazar in Serbia on a nine-month teaching assistantship where she will teach advanced English to adults.
“I’m just looking forward to doing my best and making sure it’s a good experience for the students as well,” Stout said.
Stout had previously applied for Fulbright scholarships in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.
The European city of Novi Pazar, which has about 650,000 residents, is about 80 miles southeast from Sarajevo and about 60 miles northeast of the Adriatic Sea.
The strategic analyst said she will introduce business practices into her lessons.
“One of my goals is to supplement the classroom activities with business English courses to kind of touch on and utilize some of my skills that I’ve developed in my career,” she said. “I’ve worked not only as a news analyst but also in business development for a local of businesses here, so I’m looking forward to being able to bring that to the classroom as well. To not only teach them English, but to kind of get them into the business world.”
Stout will be joined in Serbia by her husband, Anass Yahyaoui.
“It feels like we’re able to build not only our careers but this part of our marriage by having a common experience, exploring a new place but also being able to give to the community,” said Stout, who will also have other acquaintances in the area due to the Fulbright’s extensive network of grantees.
Stout said she hopes she gets plenty out of her experience.
“There’s an element of understanding more of my heritage, recognizing and being able to research parts of my family’s history and being able to connect that to my own life experiences,” she said.
A news release said Stout plans to use her Fulbright experience to research Serbia’s historical work to procure reparations for World War II-era Yugoslavian prisoners of war, inspired by her great-grandfather, a Yugoslavian attorney and author who pursued such reparations.
Stout said she would also like to instill some of her athletic background — she played lacrosse and field hockey at Patuxent High School before graduating in 2011 — into the area.
“I know that the Serbian national lacrosse team is conducting camps to introduce the sport to the country,” she said. “I’ve reached out to them and created a sort of relationship with them so I’d like to be able to use that as a way to connect with community members by incorporating exercise and studying a sport that’s inherently North American. I think it would be a great way to help bridge the gap between cultures.”
Stout has never previously visited Serbia, but knows she’d like to make a good impression.
“I want to be somebody who can represent the United States as not only a professional but also a very warm and welcoming, personable American,” she said. “[And] also be able to elevate certain perspectives that people tend to have with Americans.”
Stout, who is a member and alumni of Salisbury University’s Glenda Chatham and Robert G. Clarke Honors College, was one of 15 Salisbury University semifinalists and is one of four Seagulls to earn a Fulbright Scholarship for the 2020-2021 academic year.
“They are undergraduates, grad students and alumni, and all have been highly recommended by their faculty,” said Kristen Walton, the director of Salisbury University’s Nationally Competitive Fellowships Office in a news release.