Susquehanna Student Chosen for Fulbright Award
Published on May 9, 2014
Susquehanna University’s Kirstin Waldkoenig, a member of the class of 2014 from Gettysburg, Pa., has received an appointment to Germany as an English Teaching Assistant as part of the Fulbright Program. Waldkoenig, who majored in creative writing and philosophy, received one of five Fulbright awards given to Susquehannans this academic year and is one of eight in the last two years.
Susquehanna, a selective, residential liberal arts university, boasts the third-best placement rate for Fulbright awards for 2013 among liberal arts institutions in Pennsylvania and has a dedicated program in place to identify and nurture potential applicants. For Waldkoenig, the Fulbright award was a dream come true. She’ll live in the Lower Saxony region after previously living in Berlin as part of Susquehanna’s Global Opportunities (GO) program.
“I’ll be meshing two different perspectives in Germany,” Waldkoenig said. “Being here has really deepened what I knew about myself and being able to collaborate in two departments with lots of different faculty I feel close to—I would posit that as my number one thank you to Susquehanna.”
The Fulbright was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program awards approximately 7,500 new grants annually and currently operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.
Waldkoenig was also accepted to the University of Montana’s Master of Fine Arts in creative writing program, but has decided to forego admission to the program this year in order to take advantage of the opportunities the Fulbright award gives students. Waldkoenig hopes to further explore the work she’s begun in exploring the collaboration of her work in creative writing, philosophy and environmentalism.
“After an experience like this, I might be able to open more options,” said Waldkoenig.
“The environment is important to me and my philosophical work has been in environment. My senior thesis was on existentialism and environmental ethics. And my creative writing has an environmental slant to it.”
Waldkoenig has previously had personal essays published in Catfish Creek literary journal and Essay, Susquehanna University’s student-run creative nonfiction magazine.