After studying Russian language, history and culture for eight years, Annie Himes is looking forward to a year of first-hand experience in Russia.
Himes, a 2012 graduate of Papillion-La Vista High School and a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, has earned a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Russia for the 2016-17 academic year. At UNL, she studies Russian, history and global studies with minors in Spanish, English, human rights and humanitarian affairs, women’s and gender studies, and political science.
“I ultimately hope to work for the U.S. government, crafting domestic and foreign policy based on my belief that national security in the 21st century must include human rights,” she said.
As a multi-major, multilingual student, Himes has invested in the study and teaching of languages. In addition to studying language, Himes has also worked as a Russian tutor. She has studied in Russia previously through the CIEE Russian Language Program in St. Petersburg, an experience which she says left her “with more questions and greater resolve to spend more time deciphering the enigmatic ‘Russian Soul.’”
The Fulbright Program, established in 1946 and funded by the U.S. Department of State, is designed to foster understanding between the United States and other countries. The U.S. Student Fulbright program gives recent graduates, graduate students and young professionals the opportunity to conduct research, study or teach in one of 160 designated countries. Recipients are awarded the Fulbright on the basis of academic and professional achievement as well as their potential for leadership.
In addition to teaching English in Russia, Himes said she is looking forward to making new connections by taking overseas her love of the outdoors, hiking and camping. She also plans to volunteer with an organization that serves survivors of domestic violence and will coordinate seminars for Russian students to learn about American pop culture, politics and history.
Upon her return to the United States, Himes said she will continue working with the Russian language. She said she is considering pursuing a law degree with special emphasis on international law, women’s rights and human rights law to better inform a future career in public service.
Himes has earned several awards during her time at UNL, including the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, the Outstanding Student Leader Award, an invitation to join the prestigious honor society Phi Beta Kappa and the Vice Chancellor’s Student of Character. Himes has also participated several organizations to protect the rights of women and other marginalized groups.