The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Portrait of Nicholas Fernald

Nicholas Fernald '15

Nick confesses that when he originally decided to major in History, he had some concerns. “I was worried that the decision would limit my career options.”

To his relief, he has not found that to be true. “Majoring in History has improved my research, writing, and teaching skills, while also providing me with a broad, diverse, content knowledge,” Nick explains. “These are attributes I can apply to any number of fields.”

During his time at UMass, Nick pursued opportunities to enrich himself intellectually and culturally. Inside the classroom, Nick thrived in courses ranging from Latin American to LGBTQ History. Outside the classroom, Nick participated in the Shaha Diversity Theater group by writing scripts and performing plays that centered on issues of social justice. During the summer after his first year, he travelled to Peru to teach English to elementary and middle school students. These experiences enhanced Nick’s understanding of the world and confirmed his passion for education.

Today, Nick is following that passion as a Fulbright Fellow in Colombia teaching English. The Fulbright Program is a prestigious, highly selective international exchange program administered by the U.S. State Department.

“Mr. Fernald took several of my classes over the past few years. He is an incredibly engaged thinker and scholar. He has a passion for teaching and an unmatched energy that will resonate with his future students. Mr. Fernald's Fulbright in Colombia, where he is strengthening English language instruction, is a testament to that. Our classrooms–both in the United States and abroad–will no doubt benefit from his presence.”

After he completes his fellowship, Nick plans to continue teaching in the United States. Although Nick enjoys working in the classroom, his ultimate ambition is to become involved with educational policy, in order to help design policies that will shape the future.