University of Nebraska-Lincoln student Amzie Dunekacke, of Elk Creek, has earned a Fulbright award, which will allow her to spend a year teaching abroad.
Taking inspiration from the writings of Willa Cather, as well as the strong Czech heritage of her home state, Dunekacke applied to the Fulbright program to live and work in the Czech Republic as an English teaching assistant. She will begin her assignment in the fall.
“It is a joy and a relief to know I will be doing something so meaningful following graduation,” she said. “I have had the Fulbright on my mind since freshman year, and I cannot wait to represent my university, the state and the United States during my time in the Czech Republic.”
While in the Czech Republic, Dunekacke plans to engage with the community by creating an English language book club for locals who wish to improve their English literacy. She will put her academic background to good use by leading readings and discussions of American novels and translations of popular Czech novels. She also hopes to volunteer at a local art museum, since she enjoyed working as a visitor services associate at Nebraska’s Sheldon Museum of Art.
Dunekacke, who is majoring in English and classics and religious studies, is well prepared for the Fulbright opportunity thanks in part to various activities she has embarked upon while a student at the university.
Dunekacke is an active member of the University Honors Program, serving as a representative on the Honors Program Student Advisory Board, peer mentor and student ambassador. She previously studied abroad at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
She gained teaching experience through volunteering as a literacy instructor at Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach Center, a nonprofit organization that provides meals, shelter and educational services to people affected by poverty and drug addiction.
After completing her Fulbright, Dunekacke plans to attend graduate school in English literature with the goal of becoming an English professor. Her time in the Czech Republic is an opportunity to refine her teaching skills and to gain broader cultural awareness, she said.