RLL Alumna Selected for Prestigious Fulbright Award

Lilian Macancela, Fulbright scholar 2021-2022.

Lilian Macancela

Lilian Macancela, a spring 2020 UB graduate, was selected as Fulbright Scholar in Italy for academic year 2021-2022. Lilian graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences Interdisciplinary, a concentration in Legal Studies, and a minor in Italian.  

The Fulbright program is the flagship international exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State that selects nearly 2,000 scholars annually in all fields of study and operates in more than 160 countries worldwide. It is considered to be one of mostwidely recognized and prestigious scholarships in the world. Fulbright alumni include several heads of state, members of Congress, Pulitzer Prize and Nobel prize winners. 

“The Fulbright... .provide[s] an opportunity for me to merge my two scholarly interests together, law and cultural exchange. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to travel to Italy again.”

Since high school, Lilian has always had an affinity for Italian culture, first learning Italian as a high school freshman. “I first participated in the People to People Student Ambassador program, which introduced me to cultural exchange and made me appreciate establishing diplomatic relationships in foreign countries. My host parents were Italian attorneys, and I realized I had just begun to scratch the surface of my career aspirations.” In 2019, Lilian returned to Italy as a volunteer camp counselor with VoluntarItaly, a program that places American students with parochial schools for the summer. “I absolutely loved everything about it. I had the best summer of my life and met incredible people who were multilingual and we bonded over cultural exchange. Once I came to UB and began my studies with the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, I knew it would be the perfect way to continue studying Italian language and working on my fluency". Lilian attributes her Spanish-speaking background to helping her catch on to the language quickly. At UB, I always felt supported by the professors in RLL. Prof. Pecchioli first helped me transition into professional working proficiency, and I continued to strengthen my fluency with Prof.Ugolini and Prof. Chiesa.The RLL department does more than just teach, they provide on the ground, experiential learning opportunities for students. The professors serve as wonderful mentors and I am lucky to have been able to grow here.” 

The English Teaching Assistantship awarded to Lilian will cover airfare to the host country, health insurance, and a stipend that covers housing expenses. She will be helping teach English in a local high school in southern Italy in addition to participating in community development activities. She is also looking forward to exploring international law firms in Italy.

Lilian is currently a Legal Assistant at the Law Offices of Cory A. DeLellis, a social security disability law firm in San Diego, and a hostess at North Italia, a modern Italian fare restaurant. “After Fulbright, I will be starting law school in Fall 2022. I am looking forward to having this international experience and exploring careers in diplomacy and law.”