2022-23 Fulbright: Spencer Tessman

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2022-23 Fulbright: Spencer Tessman

Portrait of Spencer Tessman, 2022-23 Fulbright recipient
Spencer Tessman

Spencer Tessman, a senior German and Spanish major at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, has earned a Fulbright award to teach English in Germany.

Tessman, who will graduate May 14, discovered his passion for language learning and instruction while studying German, Spanish and French at Hastings Senior High School. As a volunteer with Lincoln Literacy, he uses creative approaches to support immigrants in learning the English language and U.S. culture. As a Fulbright student, he will teach English in German classrooms.

Previous international experiences have prepared Tessman to build relationships abroad. In 2019, he backpacked alone in Chile for three months, which he said reinforced his love for travel and demonstrated that he belongs abroad. In 2021, Tessman also studied abroad in Bielefeld, Germany, deepening his knowledge of the German language, culture and history. Delighted to observe the country’s elections firsthand, he also enjoyed sharing Nebraskan culture, traditions and foods with German friends who had never visited the Midwest.

In returning to Germany, Tessman said he is excited for the opportunity to form networks with teacher colleagues. He hopes to bring back insights that will advance his teaching career and allow him to facilitate cultural exchange for underserved students in rural Nebraskan communities.

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 Courtney Santos, director of national and international fellowships, at courtney.santos@unl.edu.

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