Allia Keysor ’23 arrived on the Heights in the fall of 2020 eager to learn more about herself and the world around her. The COVID-19 pandemic had upended much of Keysor’s senior year at Liverpool High School in Liverpool, N.Y. In the wake of so much upheaval, it seemed to her that it was more important than ever to think about how she could best put her skills and talents to work to meet the world’s needs. Keysor brought that spirit of inquiry with her to Le Moyne, where she and her classmates were guided by professors who encouraged them to be “the best possible version” of themselves and to take advantage of every opportunity. Keysor did just that, tutoring at the College’s Writing Center, joining the English Club and Asian Students in Alliance, spending a semester studying abroad in Tokyo, Japan and, most recently, applying for, and receiving, an English Teaching Assistant grant from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

Keysor learned about the Fulbright U.S. Student Program in a class led by Deborah Cromley, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures who also serves as Le Moyne’s Fulbright Program adviser. The English major has long wanted to be a teacher, and saw the program as a wonderful opportunity to gain classroom experience and immerse herself in another way of life. In the spring of 2023, she applied for a grant to serve as a teaching assistant in South Korea, but was not awarded one. That ultimately provided her with time and space to focus on things beyond the Fulbright, including her classes, extracurricular activities and job at the Writing Center, and to grow in ways that ultimately led her to be successful when she applied to the program a second time.

Keysor, who is currently employed as a human resources generalist at BMK Logistics and a substitute teacher for Liverpool Central School District, will spend nearly a year living in Switzerland teaching at the Kantonsschule Solothurn. The location has special meaning to the Le Moyne alumna. Her maternal grandmother spent her childhood in Geneva, which is located in a French-speaking region of the country. Keysor began studying the language in middle school and grew up corresponding with her grandmother in French. She is eager to serve as an ambassador to the United States and to share her passion for language and culture, as well as her love of research, reading and writing, with her students. She hopes that the experience will make her a better teacher – and a more well-rounded human being who is better prepared for whatever the future may hold. Keysor’s time as a teaching assistant in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program will begin in September. Upon returning to the U.S., she plans to pursue a doctorate degree in English and work with multilingual learners at the university level. She is already, in Cromley’s words, “mature, self-possessed, and an attentive and generous listener.”

Keysor credits Le Moyne with helping her to grow and mature, and to become a “more fully realized human being.”

“I have had a plethora of experiences to prepare me for whatever comes next in a way that I didn’t before I came to Le Moyne,” she said.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.  The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments, host institutions, corporations, and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support.  Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The Program operates in over 160 countries worldwide.