Nebraska Wesleyan University student Brian Dunic and alumna Rachel Gordon have each been awarded a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to live and teach abroad next year.
The Fulbright Scholarship is the flagship international education program sponsored by the United States government.
Dunic is a senior history and German major who plans to pursue a teaching career. During his NWU career, Dunic has been a member of the cross country and track & field teams, studied abroad for a semester in Germany, and helps teach German at Lincoln Public Schools.
Dunic’s interest in Germany began as a child. His father served in the United States Air Force and was stationed for a short time in Heidelberg, Germany. Dunic recalls his father’s stories and memorabilia that he shared from Germany. That interest continued when he arrived at Nebraska Wesleyan from his home in Papillion.
“When I arrived at Nebraska Wesleyan University, I was unsure of what I would do,” he recalled. “I had planned on taking German courses and it was not until one of my professors took me aside to tell me how well I did on a presentation and that she believed I had the makings of a good teacher.”
Dunic will spend the next year in Germany where he will teach English.
“I have a deeply rooted interest in the nation’s history, language and culture, and I have a strong desire to become an effective educator of language,” he said.
Following his year in Germany, Dunic plans to pursue a teaching job.
Gordon graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan in 2015 with a degree in communication studies. She has spent the past two years as a middle school special education teacher in New Orleans through the Teach For America Program. She will spend the next year in Malaysia where she will teach English.
Gordon was first intrigued by Malaysia through a world religion course at NWU. That interest continued through her current work in New Orleans where she had the opportunity to attend an Asian festival that focused on Malaysia.
Her plan to pursue a Fulbright Scholarship was also inspired by one of her students, an English language learner from Haiti.
“Through patience and collaboration, he passed my class, which prompted my decision to teach English to non-native speakers,” said Gordon. “I now hope to combine my longtime dream of living in Malaysia with my newfound passion of teaching English to non-native speakers.”
While at NWU, Gordon was a member of the women’s soccer team, serving as team captain for two years. She earned numerous athletic honors including being named an NAIA American Scholar-Athlete. She was also a GED tutor. Following her year in Malaysia, she plans to pursue a graduate degree in speech-language pathology with plans to work as a special education service provider for elementary or middle school students.
Dunic and Gordon’s awards bring Nebraska Wesleyan University’s Fulbright Scholarship total to 56.