Senior Standouts: Tyler Strobl '15
Tyler Strobl '15 may be one of the most recognized names on Doane’s campus.
Someday, though, his name may be well-known in Panama, Brazil or another country in Latin America. After all, he is teaching in Panama this semester and recently learned he is one of Doane University's Fulbright recipients in 2015.
The senior education and English as a second language (ESL) major has international goals far beyond the city of Crete, but Doane was the perfect place for the Superior native to begin pursuing those goals.
His journey as an educator began with practicum classes at Crete Elementary School when he was immediately immersed in the classroom as a sophomore. He credits the Doane education program for starting its students in the classroom so early.
“They are really supportive and put you in the classroom right away so you get really comfortable being around kids daily,” Strobl said. “So when you get to junior and senior year, you are really prepared.”
With a passion for teaching ESL, Strobl developed a need to help others. While at Doane, he created a volunteer program at Crete High School in conjunction with their multicultural program. The program aimed to prepare ESL students to apply for college. Strobl helped with college applications, scholarships and financial aid for students.
“I had some volunteers from Doane and overall it has been very successful,” Strobl said. “Leaving, I just want it to continue on and be as strong as it has been.”
Not long after beginning his program at Crete High, Strobl was awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad in Brazil the summer of his sophomore year.
Studying in Brazil was the next piece of the puzzle he needed in his journey.
While in Brazil, Strobl took a Portuguese class and taught ESL courses in the country. He got to travel to several places in Brazil and said living there taught him the value of different cultural perspectives.
“It opened my mind because in America you are in a one-track mindset, but when I went there my clock slowed down,” Strobl said. “People didn’t get to places on time because they valued taking time for living in the moment.”
When he returned to the United States, the next step for Strobl was student teaching. For his senior year he was placed at Morley Elementary School in Lincoln where he taught third grade. He also continued to teach ESL courses, but it was a different challenge in Lincoln than it had been in Crete.
“In Lincoln, I was put in a classroom with seven different languages all at the same time and at Crete it was mostly Spanish speakers,” Strobl said. “Having those experiences geared me up for what I wanted to do in the future.”
Strobl knew that he wanted to go back to Brazil. He was a prime candidate for the Fulbright Scholarship program. So with the help of several Doane faculty members, he began compiling his application.
“They treated each applicant like they were going to be successful,” Strobl said of the Fulbright committee.
Just this week, he received the news that he will be a Fulbright scholar. He will be placed at a university in Brazil to teach and also conduct a volunteer project at community centers for individuals who don’t have the resources to go to school to learn English. He is one of more than 60 Doane students to receive the prestigious scholarship and the third so far this year.
But he didn’t stop with the Fulbright. In his last college semester, Strobl was given the opportunity to teach in Panama City, Panama, along with classmate Lizzie Sather ’15. They will teach in the city for the entire semester.
Reflecting on his Doane experience, Strobl said the most difficult part of the process was time management. As an active member of Doane Forensics, Doane Choir and Alpha Pi Epsilon fraternity in his time at Doane, it was sometimes hard to breathe.
“When you are in the Doane education program it is not easy—but it is all to prepare you,” he said. “The hardest thing is figuring out how to manage your time with student teaching, school (and) activities. If you can master that, they know you can master the classroom.”
He credits Doane’s education program for his success.
“I think Doane’s education program is the best in the area,” Strobl said. “They really prepare you for anything you could possibly come in contact with. You are taught the newest and best strategies out there for teaching. Employers look for Doane graduates because they know they have the best education coming out of college.”
As for long term goals, it is no surprise that Strobl has a plan.
“I’m planning on taking two years off of school and teach abroad. Then I want to come back and go to graduate school and get my degree in international development and Latin American studies. I would ultimately like to be in charge of an NGO that helps with educating youth in underdeveloped parts of Latin America.”