Three NWU Students Win Fulbright Scholarships

Two Nebraska Wesleyan University students and a 2013 NWU graduate have each been awarded Fulbright scholarships to teach internationally next year.

Tram Kieu, a global studies major from Lincoln, will teach English in Thailand. Leslie Satterfield, a German major from Fort Collins, Colo., will teach English in Germany. Jessica Preston, a 2013 graduate who earned a degree in communication studies, will teach English in the Republic of Georgia next year.

The Fulbright Scholarship is the flagship international education program sponsored by the United States government. Forty-eight NWU students have won the prestigious honor with 29 of the awards earned in the past decade.

Kieu’s previous international experiences have included a faculty-led study abroad program to Japan and a semester abroad in Thailand. Her Thailand experience influenced an interest in gender and education equity, which she continued to research for her senior thesis and will continue to study in graduate school. She also worked with diverse populations as part of Global Service Learning trips to Kansas City, Mo. and Tucson, Ariz.

“I have learned that international experiences don’t necessarily have to lead to traveling across the globe, they happen wherever you are,” said Kieu.

Satterfield’s interest in Germany was sparked in the ninth grade and she continued that interest in college. She studied abroad in Austria during her sophomore year and is now finishing her undergraduate academic career studying in Mexico. Following her year in Germany, Satterfield plans to pursue a graduate degree in gender studies.

“The international experiences I’ve had with Nebraska Wesleyan have made me consider work and study options worldwide, not just in the U.S.,” said Satterfield. “Although I think I’ll ultimately live in the U.S., I want to bring a global perspective to whatever I do.”

Preston has spent the past year working in Taiwan and Estonia, where she also studied for a semester in 2012. It was that experience where she learned about the Republic of Georgia and its culture and customs from Georgian friends who were also studying in Estonia. In addition to teaching, Preston hopes to study the language and participate in service. Preston’s international interest first began with an intercultural communication class, which was soon followed by a faculty-led study abroad program to India.

“Although out of the ordinary for a Nebraska farm girl, I was determined to go,” Preston said of her international travels. “This experience impacted my life more than I ever thought possible.”

The Institute of International Education has consistently recognized NWU as one of the top national producers of Fulbright scholars.

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Tram Kieu will teach English in Thailand.
Leslie Satterfield will teach English in Germany.
Jessie Preston will teach English in the Republic of Georgia.