Leigh Jahnke, a senior biological sciences and Spanish major at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, has earned a Fulbright award to teach English in Spain.
A West Point native who will graduate May 14, Jahnke facilitates cultural exchange as vice president of the university’s Spanish Club; interacts with prospective students as an ambassador and vice president of public relations for the University Honors Program; leads peers as a senior resident assistant on East Campus; and mentors local youth for the Nebraska Human Resources Institute.
As an English Teaching Assistant in a Spanish classroom, Jahnke aims to further develop culturally aware teaching and mentoring strategies in Spanish, to prepare to support patients in her planned career as a medical doctor in underserved rural and low-income Hispanic communities.
To prepare for medical school, Jahnke has volunteered at Clinic with a Heart as a Spanish interpreter and vital sign technician and serves as a health literacy tutor for Lincoln Literacy. These experiences have helped her foster the inclusive mindset, maturity and resilience necessary for service as an English Teaching Assistant.
A Regents Scholars, Jahnke was one of 13 students chosen, on the basis of academic excellence and campus service, for the chancellor’s senior honorary, the Innocents Society. She was also elected by her peers to be 2021 homecoming royalty.
“We have no doubt that she will be a positive role model and fantastic ambassador for Nebraska, the United States and the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, as she has been for our community,” said Courtney Santos, director of national and international fellowships at Nebraska.
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to forge lasting connections between Americans and citizens of other countries; counter misunderstandings; and help people and nations work together toward common goals. Since its establishment in 1946, the program has provided more than 400,000 participants from more than 160 countries the opportunity to study; teach and conduct research; exchange ideas; and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
At Nebraska, the Office of National and International Fellowships advises and nominates undergraduate candidates for 30 supported scholarships and fellowships. To learn more, students and campus community members may contact Santos at firstname.lastname@example.org.