Sadie Ritter, who will graduate from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln on May 20 with a Bachelor of Arts in global studies and Russian, has earned a 2023-24 Fulbright U.S. Student Program award to teach English in Kazakhstan.
As a high school student in Alma, Nebraska, Ritter became interested in cross-cultural engagement when her family hosted an exchange student from Kazakhstan and, in 2019, traveled to Kazakhstan. Throughout her undergraduate career, she took advantage of coursework, community organization connections and study-abroad opportunities to develop language skills, intercultural competence and confidence in herself and others.
Last spring, with the immigrant-serving nonprofit Lincoln Literacy Project, Ritter taught the English language and U.S. culture in a multi-level adult class with mostly Ukrainian students. She developed teaching skills to support the classroom, engaging learners with television and film media, grammar games and Total Physical Response activities. She also served as director of the Russian Grammar Center, where she gained valuable leadership skills while tutoring and supporting students in their language learning.
As a 2021 Critical Language Scholar, Ritter participated in a virtual study-abroad experience focused on intensive Russian language study. She enjoyed opportunities to engage with a language partner, sharing about each other’s lives and exchanging cultural insights about the United States and Russia.
Ritter aims to bring preparation, dedication and a passion for engaging students to her Fulbright experience. She said she looks forward to serving as a cultural ambassador for Nebraska and the United States in the classroom. She is eager, too, to create an encouraging environment for Kazakh students who are learning about and engaging with global cultures.
Upon her return to the United States, Ritter plans to pursue a master’s degree in international studies. As an aspiring Foreign Service Officer, Ritter aims to use the cross-cultural skills learned through the Critical Language Scholarship and the Fulbright program in her diplomatic career.
At Nebraska, the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships advises and nominates candidates for 30 supported scholarships and fellowships. To learn more, students and campus community members should contact Director Courtney Santos at email@example.com.