Teachers 2010


Theo Reuter graduated from Oberlin College in 2010 with a major in geology. During his college and high-school years he tutored students in geology and math. A black belt in Tae-Kwon Do, he has taught martial arts classes for many years in his hometown of Arlington, Virginia. Theo is teaching at Da Lat University, in the Central Highlands of Vietnam.


A resident of Nyack, New York, Brianna Tyler earned a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Oneonta in 2010, with a concentration in English. During college she worked as a camp counselor and waited on tables. She also spent a semester abroad, in London, during her junior year. Bri is teaching oral communication to first-year students at Can Tho University, in the Mekong Delta.


Jillian Primiano first went to Vietnam as a teacher in an orphanage and night school, under the auspices of Global
Volunteers, the summer after her sophomore year at Boston University. This month-long experience deepened her interest in the people of Vietnam and her desire to return for an extended stay. In the second semester of her junior year,Jillian spent four months studying the Chinese language and culture in Shanghai. A resident of Valrico, Florida, she is teaching oral communication skills at An Giang University, in the Delta.


Erica Rome studied English at Wesleyan University, graduating in 2010. During college she had a variety of teaching experiences, including tutoring in an elementary school and running workshops at Yale’s summer program for high-school seniors. While in high school, she lived for a while with a family outside Paris and helped build a school cafeteria on the island of St. Lucia. Erica comes from Brewster, NY. She is co-teaching with Bri at Can Tho University.


A 2009 magna cum laude graduate of Boston University (in history), Alex Russell-Walker was tutoring students in English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) and working in a local health-food store in Rockland County, NY, prior to taking up his teaching duties in Vietnam. At An Giang University he is teaching first- and second-year students.


Theo Reuter talks about how he is making a difference in the lives of his students at Da Lat University


Erica Rome and Bri Tyler outside their residence building at Can Tho University.


What Bri has to say about her experiences in Vietnam so far:

Teaching presents things in a pure and true form. There’s hardly room for passivity or sugarcoating. When your daily task is to convey meaning and achieve understanding there’s no time for vagueness. I find myself thinking, “Well, when you put it that way, it all makes sense.” “Don’t be a hypocrite,” I say. So, I will do as I teach, or practice what I preach. I will take chances, I will fight fears, I will enter the cafeteria and I will write these thoughts.

I can’t know for certain how my students have been affected by me or by my teaching, but I can only hope that the imprint they have left on my heart and mind has had a fraction of the affect on their lives as well.


Jillian Primiano, a recent graduate of Boston University,  was awarded the 2010-11 Nancy O’Keefe Bolick Award for her essay on what she has accomplished during her stay at An Giang University.  Here is an excerpt:

“Whenever I can’t say the Vietnamese word for sandwich correctly for the one-thousandth time, I assuage my embarrassment by reminding myself that I am a walking encyclopedia, a tome stocked with the answers to every question that occurred to my new friends while they were watching the latest Adam Sandler movie or trying to sing karaoke to Taylor Swift. I eat these inquiries up, pleased with my ability to solve the enigmas in one or two sentences, thrilled that I don’t have to second guess myself or look something up on the internet, happy that my most basic intuitions can serve a purpose. I am the best at something!