|Mr. Illi will graduate in 2012 from Utah State University with majors in political science and international studies and a minor in Spanish. His involvement on campus included serving as president of the Middle East club, participating in the Indian Student Association and contributing to the political science honor society. He lived in Peru for two years as a volunteer, studied Spanish language and literature in Spain, studied Arabic in Morocco as a Boren Scholar for the 2010-2011 school year, and he travelled to South Korea in 2012 as part of a student exchange program. He is proficient in English, Spanish, French, Arabic and American Sign Language.
For the past four years, Mr. Illi has worked for the Migrant Education Program assessing the needs of migrants and refugees through regular house visits: helping migrant families and refugees obtain employment and scholarships; translating for school events; and organizing regular community events, afterschool programs and an annual summer school for Burmese students. He also founded a Hispanic literacy center where he has worked for the past three years. As the center’s supervisor, Mr. Illi creates budgets from grants received for the center; plans and implements monthly parent nights and other activities; and develops lesson plans and teaches courses for adults on computer skills, English language, citizenship and drivers’ education. He also taught English while living in Morocco and supervised an elementary school summer program in the summer of 2009. Mr. Illi is very interested in international relations, languages and cultures of the world. He is proficient in five languages and has also studied Portuguese and Hindi. He enjoys music, drawing and outdoor recreational activities.
Last semester Mr. Illi created a directed readings course at Utah State University focused on India and the contemporary issues facing South Asia. He hopes to continue his research once in India, exploring the cultural balance between the traditional conservatism of India juxtaposed with its sudden rise as a global economic and political superpower. More specifically, his Fulbright research project, “The Rise of Modern India,” will examine how India’s rise has affected traditional societal norms and expectations among the youth of India who are coming of age in an increasingly globalized world.