Celebrating Ten Years of Impact: OSD Alumni
2016 Fulbright U.S. Student grantee
Tyler Prochazka (left) enjoying the Tofu Festival with New Taipei Mayor and former Taiwanese presidential candidate Eric Chu (center) and a fellow Fulbright recipient (right).
Tyler Prochazka ('16)
Tyler Prochazka, of Newton, Kansas, never thought he would be discussing U.S. foreign policy with a taxi driver in China. Now, Tyler frequently finds himself discussing U.S. culture and politics with his peers and others at National Chengchi University in Taiwan. Tyler received a Fulbright U.S. student grant to pursue a master’s degree abroad and is studying income inequality and the feasibility of a universal basic income.
“What has been particularly fascinating to me is seeing the similarities and differences between Taiwan and mainland China, and how young Taiwanese have been able to shape their own unique identity.”
Tyler graduated from WKU in 2016 with degrees in international affairs, Asian religions and cultures, and economics. His experiences at WKU prepared him to pursue a master’s degree abroad.
Tyler was member of the nationally-recognized WKU Forensics Team and a Kentucky champion in Lincoln-Douglas policy debate, extemporaneous, and impromptu competitions. He received a Lifetime Experience Grant from the Office of Scholar Development to conduct research on Chinese and American college students’ perceptions of China’s future role in the international community. He also wrote articles for the College Heights Herald.
While at WKU, Tyler studied abroad in China and Taiwan through support from the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship, David L. Boren Scholarship, and the Critical Language Scholarship. Tyler, an Honors College and Chinese Flagship Program alumnus, completed his capstone year by studying at Tianjin Normal University in Tianjin, China with funding from the Boren Scholarship. He served as a research assistant and wrote research briefs for TNU economics faculty that compared and analyzed American and Chinese economies.
“Even in spite of the cultural and political differences, I have many great friends who are Chinese. This experience helped me to look past even profound differences to try to understand the fundamental humanity that we all share,” Tyler said.
After completing his Fulbright, Tyler plans to pursue a career in public service using his Chinese language skills.