SANTA FE – Gary Bass is going back to Cambodia, but this time he’s not bringing his basketball team.
Bass, a teacher at El Camino Real Academy in Santa Fe, is one of 13 U.S. citizens to win a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching Short Term Program (DAST) grant, Santa Fe Public Schools said in a news release on Friday. He’ll be spending the month of October in Kampot, Cambodia, working to implement an English language program.
The U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board announced the selections last week. The Fulbright Program is an international educational exchange program “designed to build relations between people of the United States and the people of other countries that are needed to solve global challenges,” according to a Fulbright news release.
Funding for the grant comes from an appropriation by Congress to the U.S. Department of State.
In a phone interview after school let out Friday, Bass said he was excited to win the award, which he said basically makes him a State Department representative promoting American culture.
“I hoped for it and I’ve been waiting for notification,” said Bass, who started the application process two years ago. “I’m really excited. I worked hard for it and I understand it’s a really big honor.”
Fulbright grant recipients are selected based on academic and professional achievement and leadership potential, according to the Fulbright release.