May 3, 2007
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—Adeline Oka, a senior at Amherst College, has been awarded a J. William Fulbright Fellowship to teach English at the secondary school level in Spain. Oka is the daughter of David and Lingga Oka of Granada Hills, Calif. Oka wrote in her Fulbright proposal that at age 10 her “first teaching job was to teach English as a Second Language to a college student. My student’s name was David Oka, although I generally called him Dad.”

When she returns from Spain, Oka plans to obtain teaching credentials and a social work degree and to “eventually become a school psychologist to help students achieve optimal academic performance.” Her Spanish language skills were perfected in travel in Ecuador, Chile and Argentina. She also has traveled to her parents’ homeland in Indonesia. She wrote in her proposal that “strong communication skills are empowering,” as she has seen in her own family.

After beginning her undergraduate studies at Los Angeles Mission College and Moorpark College in Southern California, where she received an A.A. degree in 2004, Oka transferred to Amherst College, where she will receive a B.A. in English and political science in May.

At Amherst College, Oka received the G. Armour Craig Award for prose composition in 2005, and had internships in urban education and advocacy for child prostitutes. While a student in California, Oka won many awards for public speaking and debate. She was the editor-in-chief of The Moorpark Review, the college literary magazine.

Congress created the Fulbright Program in 1946 to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges. Senator J. William Fulbright, sponsor of the legislation, viewed scholarship as an alternative to armed conflict. Today the Fulbright Program, the federal government’s premier scholarship program, funded by an annual Congressional appropriation and contributions from other participating countries, allows Americans to study or conduct research in more than 100 nations.