LSU Political Communication, Spanish Alumna Sydney McGovern Named Fulbright Grantee

October 27, 2022

Sydney McGovernBATON ROUGE—Sydney McGovern, a May 2022 political communication and Spanish alumna, has been promoted to a Fulbright Grantee. She will teach English and promote cultural exchange though student journalism for nine months in Galicia, Spain.

McGovern is an LSU Honors College graduate who earned a dual degree in mass communication and Spanish. As part of the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) grant, she will serve as an assistant teacher at a high school, where she will teach both the English language and subjects such as social studies, science, art and technology in English. Additionally, as an ETA, McGovern will conduct a host country engagement project—she plans to create an environmental journalism club, where students can report on a variety of subjects, including climate change policy, fashion and agriculture.

“After I help them select their beats, I will guide students to craft effective and captivating stories. ... In addition to serving as a model for their stories, reviewing articles from Louisiana will allow students to compare life in Louisiana to their home, as it relates to celebrations, food and culture, as well as how each place mitigates coastal erosion and addresses frequent flooding and intense storms,” McGovern said.

McGovern was promoted from Fulbright alternate to grantee in September. When she learned the news, she was, coincidentally, packing for a move to Spain through a different program and was shocked and excited to switch gears to participate in the Fulbright Spain program, which she’s had her eye on since her freshman year at LSU.

"Sydney represents what Manship is all about,” said Assistant Professor in Media Law Will Mari, who recommended McGovern for the program. “By that, I mean she's focused on others, on being a good citizen, and using her abilities and opportunities to better our world. I'm very proud of her and know she's off to do awesome things." 

McGovern is excited for the opportunity to teach in the coastal community of Galicia, allowing her to compare how Galicia experiences and addresses climate change to the Louisiana Gulf Coast community. While her interest in climate and environmental issues started as a child growing up in southern Louisiana (Prairieville, to be precise), where, she said, “natural disasters are interwoven with our lives and coastal land loss is taught in middle school,” her passion grew through her LSU Manship School experiences.

As part of the Manship Statehouse Bureau, McGovern covered the Louisiana Legislature, focusing on environmental issues like coastal land loss. In the summer of 2021, McGovern participated in a climate change journalism project, Climate260, where she delved into topics like carbon capture, sustainable agriculture, national climate public policy and the transition to renewable energy in Louisiana.

“Every new academic experience was an opportunity for me to explore new passions, build up my skills, and most of all, prove to myself that I am capable of much more than just passing tests and turning in assignments,” McGovern said. “It is through these extra experiences that the Manship School provides that I have learned that I shouldn't limit myself to just the academic pursuits that I am familiar with, but that I should apply for those competitive internships and prestigious fellowships, that I should put myself out there because I am just as qualified as anyone else.”

As an LSU student, McGovern participated in several organizations. She was a distinguished communicator, vice president of Geaux Vote, social media manager for the LSU Tiger Band, a Manship Ambassador, a reporter for Manship’s Statehouse Bureau and Cold Case Project, a Climate360 student journalist, an Andrew Goodman Foundation ambassador and a member of LSU Student Government. McGovern graduated as a University Medalist (4.0 or higher GPA). She plans to use her time in Spain to explore her career options, which include strategic communication, law and education.

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