Kirstin Waldkoenig '14
Susquehanna University's Kirstin Waldkoenig, a member of the class of 2014 from Gettysburg, Pa., has completed 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 four Fulbright awards given to Susquehanna during the 2013-14 academic year and is one of eight in the last several years.
Susquehanna, a selective, residential liberal arts university, boasts one of the best placement rates for Fulbright awards 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 lived in the Lower Saxony region after previously living in Berlin as part of Susquehanna's Global Opportunities (GO) program.
"I meshed two different perspectives in Germany," Waldkoenig said. "Being there really deepened what I knew about myself and being able to collaborate in two departments with lots of different faculty I felt close to-I would posit that as my number one thank you to Susquehanna."
Despite being accepted to the University of Montana's Master of Fine Arts in creative writing program, Waldkoenig deferred admission with hopes of furthering the collaboration of her work in creative writing, philosophy and environmentalism.
"The environment is important to me and my philosophical work has been in environment," Waldkoenig said. "My senior thesis was on existentialism and environmental ethics. And my creative writing has an environmental slant to it."
Since returning from Germany, Waldkoenig has been working in outdoor and environmental education. In fall 2015, she worked at Canyonlands Field Institute, a nonprofit outdoor education organization in Moab, Utah. There, Waldkoenig led interpretive tours on local rock art, geology, and cultural and natural history in and around Arches National Park.
Since January 2016, Waldkoenig has been working at Shaver's Creek Environmental Center, Pennsylvania State University's nature center, where she handles educational programming and cares for the center's onsite animal menagerie, which includes more than 20 hawks, owls, eagles and falcons.
Waldkoenig has previously had personal essays published in Catfish Creek literary journal and Essay, Susquehanna University's student-run creative nonfiction magazine.