Nicholas Taggart was an English Language Fellow in Oman from 2012 to 2013. He is now the Director of the Intensive English Program at the University of Dayton in Ohio. Taggart used his fellowship to cultivate lasting personal and professional relationships with colleagues in the program and in Oman.
During his fellowship, Taggart worked in the Continuing Education Program at Dhofar University in Salalah, Oman. His primary project involved teaching English language courses, curriculum and assessment development, teacher training, and administering and proctoring placement exams. Taggart was also involved in secondary projects that included working in the university’s English language lab; working with students and teachers in the ACCESS Microscholarship program on teaching; teacher training; and facilitating field trips.
Taggart’s fellowship had a profound impact on him both personally and professionally. He used his fellowship and the opportunities it provided to make connections within the program and in his host community. Taggart stated, “As a result of being a Fellow, I have colleagues that I can, and do, call upon for professional advice, discussion, support, etc.” In Oman and in other countries across the region and the world, the Fellow program provided Taggart with a network of professional peers and resources.
Taggart also connected deeply with people on a personal level. He explained, “During my time in Oman, I was able to connect with people of different cultures and regions I’d not encountered before. As a result, my perspective and understanding of people, their culture and beliefs have broadened, and I continue to feel deeply enriched from the experience.” Many of Taggart’s current students in Ohio are from the Middle East. Having the experience of living and teaching in Oman has helped him to better relate to these students, as well as students from other areas of the world.
Following his fellowship, Taggart began working as an instructor at the Intensive English Program at the University of Dayton. In less than a year, he was promoted to be the Assistant Program Manager. A year later, he was promoted to be the Director of the program. Taggart stated, “Although, I had extensive administrative and teaching experience prior to becoming a Fellow, having participated in the program greatly benefited me in my success and achievements at the University of Dayton.”
In his position as Director, Taggart leads and manages the day-to-day operations of the Intensive English Program within the Center for International Programs, and works to foster a student-focused and positive environment. Additionally, he works with the Associate Provost for Global and Intercultural Affairs to develop and execute strategies to continually enhance the quality of the program, to increase the institutional capacity to foster success and persistence of international students, and to facilitate opportunities for intercultural exchange. Taggart is a true Alumni Ambassador of the English Language Programs as he continues to build upon connections made during his fellowship in his role at the University of Dayton today.