Katherine, an International Studies Honors student who is also a Russian language minor, is one of six students from UW selected for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program for 2015-2016. She will be going to Russia to teach English.
When Katherine was fifteen, she received a grant to travel from her rural hometown in Central Washington to Gatchina, Russia for a language immersion program. This began her lifelong passion for Russian studies, helped her understand the value of foreign language education for cross-cultural understanding, and ultimately led to her desire to apply for a Fulbright English teaching position in Russia.
While at the Jackson School, Katherine undertook a senior thesis on online protest groups in Russia, and the intersection between discourse and historical narratives. This project involved ethnographic research in Kazan, Russia during the summer of 2014, as well as textual analysis in Russia. Not only does she hope to continue to explore the power of social media in Russia next year through the Fulbright ETA program, her desire to serve as a teacher has been motivated by her time as a writing tutor at the Political Science writing department, as well as her involvement with the Freshman Interest Group (FIG) program. These teaching experiences helped her explore the challenges and rewards of conveying knowledge to students. While in Russia, such experiences will help her work with students in a new cultural setting. She hopes her time with the Fulbright ETA program will allow her to make a positive difference for Russian students, and allow them to explore their own academic and political passions. After her time with Fulbright, Katherine plans to attend law school and eventually work in international law.