Chyteira Dues, Saint Martin's first student Fulbright recipient
July 1, 2016

LACEY, Wash. – Saint Martin’s University student Chyteira Dues is the recipient of a Fulbright U.S. Student Program English Teaching Assistant Grant in Colombia. 

Dues’ award, from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, will enable her to teach, conduct research and provide expertise abroad for a year. The program’s goal is to develop relationships between people of the United States and those of other countries. It operates in about 160 countries and receives added support from participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations in those countries.

Dues will teach at Juan de Castellanos University in Tunja, Boyocá, Colombia, and will complete a social or community project there during the 2016-2017 academic year.

“At Saint Martin's University, we recognize the value of international experiences and education at all levels, and working with our students as they apply for a Fulbright is both an honor and responsibility we have as faculty,” said English Prof. Jeff Birkenstein, Ph.D., a former Fulbright Teaching and Research Award recipient. “While several Saint Martin’s faculty members have received Fulbright awards, Dues is Saint Martin’s first Fulbright student recipient.”

Recipients are selected based on academic and professional achievement, as well as their record of service and demonstrated leadership in their perspective fields.

Dues, who lives in Tacoma, plans to teach when she returns from Colombia. In December, she completed her Master in Teaching degree from Saint Martin’s, earning certificates in elementary education, Spanish, English language learner education, bilingual education and early childhood education. She will finish her post-graduate school counselor certification from the University when she comes home. She spent a portion of her summer teaching English at Saint Martin’s sister school in China, Shanghai Maritime University, and will begin her Fulbright year in late July.

Associate Dean of Education Candice Carter, Ph.D., Dues’ advisor and a former Fulbright specialist herself, said, “Chyteira’s multiple skills and interests have been evident during our interaction with her. Her multi-lingual and cross-cultural abilities have enabled her successful work with people in different nations, as well as with the diverse populations in this nation. Students in schools where she interned perceived her desire to help them. Chyteira’s recent admission to our School Counseling Program reflects her broad desire to not only teach, but also to guide learners. My work as a Fulbright Specialist in Colombia gave me insights on how well-suited Chyteira is for meaningful work there.”

Dues’ life has taken her to many states and countries. She grew up in Athens, Ga., and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Howard University in Washington, D.C. She received her commission as a second lieutenant in the Air Force upon graduation, and while in the service, worked as a contracting officer and completed a master’s degree in human relations from the University of Oklahoma. She also taught Spanish at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point for two years. After leaving active service, she joined the Washington Air National Guard and currently is a public affairs officer for the Guard.

“I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all the support that the students, faculty and staff at Saint Martin's have given me while pursuing my dream to become an educator. Living by the SMU core values of faith, community, reason and service has helped me to achieve this opportunity as a Fulbright scholar and will continue to help me to be successful over the course of my grant period.

I'm super excited to begin my new adventure in Colombia! This opportunity will allow me to pursue my passion for teaching as well as to serve as cultural ambassador for the US while also learning more about the Colombian culture and educational system.”

Dues joins the ranks of more than 360,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and scientists who have received Fulbright awards, enabling them to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. The 70-year-old Fulbright Program was established through legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. Fifty-four Fulbright alumni have later gone on to receive Nobel Prizes, and 82 later received Pulitzer Prizes.

For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State, please visit or contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Press Office by telephone 202-632-6452 or e-mail

Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washing­ton. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedic­tine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 25 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,100 undergraduate students and 340 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 350 more students to its extended campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Centralia College and Tacoma Community College. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at

For more information:
Candice Clark
Associate Dean of Education and Counseling Psychology

Genevieve Canceko Chan
Vice President, Marketing and Communications