5 students earn Fulbright awards; two named alternates

· 4 min read

5 students earn Fulbright awards; two named alternates

Five University of Nebraska-Lincoln students have earned Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship grants and two students have been named alternates for the 2015-2016 academic year.

The Fulbright ETA Program is a nationally competitive award that places recent graduates in classrooms abroad to provide assistance to local English language teachers. These students are also cultural ambassadors for the United States.

Students applied for the program in October. Laura Damuth, UNL's fellowship adviser, said the students' success speaks to the preparation they received at UNL.

"The students who were selected to go abroad on these ETA Fulbrights all took advantage of UNL study abroad programs and other opportunities that made them very competitive for the award," Damuth said.

Julia DeLaRosa — A secondary education and Spanish major with an emphasis in English for Language Learners, DeLaRosa will add to her experiences in Mexico, Costa Rica and Spain by traveling to Brazil for her ETA. DeLaRosa is a Reicher Catholic High School graduate from Waco, Texas, and is an international student mentor, UNL Cultural Ambassador, and English tutor for Catholic Social Services. While abroad, DeLaRosa will use her interest and knowledge in music to engage outside of the classroom. DeLaRosa plans to pursue a master's degree in foreign language education to teach Spanish, Portuguese or ELL at the secondary level.

Jennifer Gotrik — A 2014 UNL graduate with degrees in journalism and art and a Gretna High School alumna, Gotrik will travel to Turkey. She will add this experience to study abroad opportunities in India, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Dominican Republic, Norway, Sri Lanka and a previous visit to Turkey. Gotrik will complement her English teaching by reaching out to the community through her skills in art and mass communications. Gotrik plans to apply to a master's program in photojournalism and documentary filmmaking to continue her work with human rights and environmental issues. She has been involved with UNL Globetrotters, Habitat for Humanity and two UNL photojournalism documentary trips.

Bryan Howard — A graduate of Howell High School near Farmingdale, N.J., and an English and theatre arts and human behavior major, Howard will travel to Indonesia. This will build on his experiences as an English as a Second Language tutor in Lincoln Literacy and a Reading is Leading tutor at Clinton Elementary School. Howard said he hopes to create a space for communal cultural and theatrical sharing through exploring Western theater and Indonesia's traditional wayang puppet drama. Howard will continue his education through a graduate program in dramaturgy to pursue his plans to work as a freelance dramaturge and professor.

Kelsey Lee — An anthropology major with a minor in human rights and humanitarian affairs, Lee, a graduate of Lincoln East High School, will travel to Thailand. Lee has been a youth coordinator for Americorps, through which she serves Karen refugee youth from Thailand through the Asian Community and Cultural Center. Lee will continue her work with refugees in Thailand by working with the DEAR Burma and Shanti Volunteer Association to support literacy and language development. Lee plans to use her newly acquired skills for English teaching and community engagement by pursuing a master's degree in teaching, learning and teacher education.

Courtney Leikam — A German and global studies major with minors in women's and gender studies and human rights and humanitarian affairs, Leikam, a graduate of Lincoln Southwest High School, will return to Germany, where she studied abroad in 2014. While teaching English abroad, Leikam plans to get involved in women's groups because of her interest in supporting and promoting women's health. Furthermore, she wants to provide a setting for cultural engagement and exchange by using American films and television shows as a way to explore the similarities and differences between cultures. Leikam plans to work for an international organization like the United Nations.

Aaron Hostetler and Erin Fick were named alternates. Hostetler, a history and English major and graduate of Milford High School, applied for an ETA in Turkey, where he previously completed a short study abroad program. Fick, a Spanish and math major and graduate of Luverne High School in Luverne, Minn., applied to return to Spain, where she previously attended a language program.