The Fulbright Foundation, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, partners with the French Consulate to provide teaching opportunities for U.S. students in France.
Weaver, a double major in French and music, will teach English at the Académie de Rouon in Normandy, France. He found out about receiving the award on the bus ride home after the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship Game.
“Amidst everybody on the bus being kind of upset and still a little sad, I decided to keep it in [about the Fulbright scholarship],” Weaver said. “The first people I actually told were complete strangers that I bumped into at a restaurant in Houston.”
He said he was thrilled about receiving the opportunity to teach in France.
“I was really excited because it is this feeling of working so hard to get somewhere and you don’t know for so long,” he said. “When you find out that you get to do something that you really want to do, it’s that feeling of ‘I can’t believe I am actually able to do this.’”
As a junior, Weaver spent a semester abroad in France.
“I loved my time there,” he said. “I loved the people, I loved the program and I loved studying. I loved exploring and I wanted to go back.”
Weaver said one of his professors abroad inspired him to consider teaching in France post-graduation. She told Weaver about her experience teaching French to English speakers, and it struck a cord in him.
“She taught me how to think in a different way about learning a language,” Weaver said. “She really opened my eyes to how much you can learn from other people’s mistakes and how it can teach you and also help the people you teach. I thought about it and I decided that that was what I wanted to do.”
Associate professor of French Eloise Sureau has taught Weaver at Butler. She said this program is a perfect opportunity for him.
“This is really a foot in the door for him,” Sureau said. “This is what he has always dreamed about, and now this has happened for him.”
Sureau said the program couldn’t have chosen a more deserving person.
“It couldn’t go to anybody better,” she said. “He has always been a hardworking person while at the same time knowing how to enjoy himself. I think he is one of those students who have really found the perfect middle ground.”
Professor of music Doug Spaniol echoed Sureau’s opinion of Weaver. Spaniol has taught Weaver as a music student and has also known him outside of class as a member of the music sorority Tau Beta Sigma.
“He is very likable and personable,” Spaniol said. “He is very energetic and interesting.
“He just has a happy, upbeat personality. He is always smiling.”
Spaniol said those characteristics make Weaver deserving of the Fulbright scholarship.
“He is bright and ambitious and I think that he will make a good diplomat,” Spaniol said.
Weaver hopes to continue to teach in France after the Fulbright Scholarship ends.