Foundation for Scholarly Exchange (Fulbright Taiwan) grieves the passing of two ETAs in the Hualien train derailment on April 2, 2021. Laura Luo and Senéad Short were 2020-2021 ETAs assigned to Xihu Middle School and Tan-mei Elementary School in Neihu, Taipei City. They will be dearly missed and forever remembered by their families, their Taiwan co-teachers and students, their many friends around the world, and the FSE staff.
After completing her BA from the University of Michigan with a dual major in Art and Psychology, and an MA from Stanford University in Education, Laura Luo served for two years as a full time teacher at Meyerholtz Elementary School in San Jose, CA. In her Fulbright application she wrote how meaningful it was to her, as an Asian-American, to work with children of Asian immigrants. “Although our experiences are not all the same,” she wrote, “we share a mutual understanding… All of my experiences as an elementary school teacher remind me that the world is a beautifully diverse place full of different people and languages, all of which should be celebrated. To me, seeing growth in students and connecting with them is what it means to be a teacher.”
With a major in International Studies and a minor in French at the University of Iowa, Senéad Short earned TEFL certification so that she could tutor second language learners in her community. She continued her life of service: to a humanitarian organization in Lebanon and to her students and co-teachers in Taiwan. Her Fulbright application referee described the spirit that Senéad shared with others: “She possesses a strong intuition about the importance of bringing people together, whether in communities or across cultural boundaries.”
Our time in this world is finite. Laura’s and Senéad’s were too short. But they showed us that whatever the duration, we should fill our lives with curiosity, generosity, and gratitude. Fulbright Taiwan will strive to live up to the ideals that they embodied. We mourn their passing and extend our deepest condolences to their families and friends.