When David Dávila came to Farmingdale State College, after graduating from Hauppauge High School in 2008, he wasn't sure what he wanted to do with his life.
Upon graduating in the summer of 2013, Dávila will leave Farmingdale not only with twin passions for traveling and teaching, and the ability to pursue them with a Bachelor's degree in Professional Communications, but with a Fulbright scholarship, as well. The Fulbright will enable Dávila to live and work in Argentina in the coming school year, teaching English at the university level to students at an English Teacher Training College there, for most of their upcoming academic year.
Dávila is Farmingdale's fourth recipient of the prestigious Fulbright award in as many years.
"Throughout my college experience," says Dávila, "I have been granted the opportunity to work with some remarkable people. Through these relationships I have been able to travel abroad and discover my passions, under the tutelage of some remarkable professionals."
After his first two years at Farmingdale, taking courses in various liberal arts, it was Dávila's Spanish professor, Dr. Ligia Rodriquez, who encouraged him to apply for a Cultural Ambassador Assistantship grant and scholarship to Spain; and it was there, working for a year as an assistant English teacher in a high school in the city of Salamanca, that Dávila discovered his passions. "Living abroad, I realized how much I liked to travel and discover the history of many different cultures."
Dávila further discovered a passion for teaching and for Communications. Upon his return to Farmingdale, he decided to pursue both the teaching of English and a career in journalism with a major in Professional Communications. "I'm looking forward to pursuing a career in journalism, traveling and sharing the stories of others to the world."
It was Dávila's advisor, Dr. Beverly Kahn, who encouraged him to apply for the Fulbright and advised him through the rigorous process.
For Dávila, traveling on a Fulbright scholarship will be one more experience in a lifetime of communicating across cultural boundaries. He was born in the U.S. to parents from a world away. His father fled the civil war in Nicaragua – "He was literally on the last flight out before they shut down the airport" – who now works as a die-cutter in a computer graphics factory. "My father always said, 'Study! You don't want to be stuck, like me.' But there was never any question that I was going to college," says Dávila. "My mom is one of those tough Caribbean ladies – she came here at the age of 2 from Puerto Rico, and even though her father died when she was 6, and her mom when she was 21, she got a Bachelor's degree in business. My mom said, 'If I could do it, you can too!'"
When Dávila was 14, his family moved from an Hispanic section of Brentwood, where he grew up, to an ethnically diverse upscale neighborhood in Hauppauge. "I decided to straddle two cultures, staying true to my Hispanic heritage, while learning to embrace and communicate with those of a much different background." These skills continue to serve Dávila well as he moves into the next stage of his career.
"Farmingdale has blessed me in many ways," says Dávila. "I believe that Farmingdale will do the same for you."