Students, alumni receive 2020 Fulbright awards

Photo Credit: Fulbrights 2020
Mon, 05/04/2020 - 13:57

Emily Johnson, Miranda Kuzela, Maddie Maschka, and Rose Wehrman.

Six College of Arts and Sciences students and alumni have been chosen as Fulbright recipients, and two students have been named as alternates, for the 2020-21 academic year.

Fulbright recipients

  • Emily Johnson, global studies, political science, Spanish
  • Miranda Kuzela, Russian, political science, Spanish, and global studies with minors in Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs and national security studies
  • Michaela Luckey, English ('18)
  • Maddie Maschka, biological sciences with minors in humanities and medicine, mathematics, sociology, and psychology
  • Dana Moze-Kadavy, global studies and minors in German and political science
  • Rose Wehrman, English with minors in criminology and criminal justice, psychology, and business


  • Conner Kozisek, political science and Spanish ('18)
  • Sarah Sweeney, biological sciences and psychology ('20)

The Fulbright Program, established in 1946 and funded by the U.S. Department of State, is designed to foster understanding between the United States and other countries. The U.S. Student Fulbright program gives recent graduates, graduate students, and young professionals the opportunity to conduct research, study, or teach in over 160 designated countries. Recipients also serve as cultural ambassadors, representing the United States abroad. Due to COVID-19, all Fulbright experiences will begin after January 1, 2021.

“The students who were selected to go abroad on these Fulbright awards all took advantage of study abroad programs and other opportunities that made them very competitive for the award,” Laura Damuth, the university's Fellowship Advisor, said. "I am thrilled with the results and how the students’ success speaks to the unversity's preparation."

Emily Johnson

Emily Johnson

Johnson, a graduate of Lincoln Southeast High School, has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Spain. Johnson applied to the Fulbright program to better understand the Spanish language, learn about the similarities in immigration policies between countries, and increase her intercultural perspective. She studied in Bilbao, Spain in 2018 and will return there to teach and volunteer.

Johnson is a member of the University Honors Program, a policy subcommittee chair for the Government Liaison Committee, a volunteer for Launch Leadership, president of the University Student Government, an appointee for the Council on Inclusive Excellence and Diversity, and the acting secretary for the Mortar Board Senior Honorary Society. Johnson has also been involved with community-based organizations, such as Lincoln Literacy, a local non-profit organization where she taught citizenship classes to refugee and migrant members of the community. She plans to attend law school.

Miranda Kuzela

Miranda Kuzela

Kuzela graduated from Papillion-La Vista South in Omaha and is majoring in Russian, political science, Spanish, and global studies with minors in human rights and humanitarian affairs and national security studies. She has received a Fulbright award to teach English in Russia. She previously earned the Gilman award to study in Kazakhstan; the Critical Language Award to study Russian in Vladimir, Russia; and the Boren Scholarship to study Russian in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

"[The Fulbright] allows me to combine my love for language learning and teaching with my interest in intercultural understanding," she said. "I really want to hone these skills through this experience and apply them to my future desired career in the Foreign Service."

In preparation for her teaching, Miranda has volunteered as an English tutor at Lincoln Literacy, a local non-profit organization that provides free English language training to immigrants and refugees. She has also been a teaching assistant for Russian courses at Nebraska and a Russian tutor.

In Russia, Miranda plans to host a weekly or biweekly film club where she will screen films that showcase American culture. After each movie, she will hold discussions so that her host community will better understand American life and culture in a visual and interactive way.

Michaela Luckey

Luckey, a 2018 alumna who majored in English—with concentrations in Editing and Publishing and Creative Writing—with a business minor, has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Spain. Originally from York, Nebraska, and graduating from York Community High School, she is now an Editorial Associate at the University of Chicago Press.

Working at the Writing Center, especially with international students, made her think about pursuing English teaching and solidified her interest in language learning and ultimately in pursuing a TEFL certificate. Applying for the Fulbright became much more of a reality after Jenna Brende, a fellow English major, received one to study at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands.

She applied to Spain to become fluent in the Spanish language and find a program that specifically fits her skill set. The IE program in Madrid was looking for teachers who could work in their Writing Center—the perfect opportunity.

When she returns to the United States, she is interested in finding work as a TEFL teacher within the Chicago community in order to further position herself as a strong candidate for a Master's of Education program. She then wants to seek work as a bilingual secondary education public school teacher in Illinois.

Maddie Maschka

Maddie Maschka

Maschka received a Fulbright award to teach English in Spain. She graduated from Lincoln Southwest High School and is majoring in biological sciences with minors in humanities and medicine, mathematics, sociology, and psychology. She is also a member of the University Honors Program. She hopes to develop her knowledge and awareness of Spanish culture, enhance and refine her Spanish language skills, and make genuine connections with individuals from different backgrounds from her own. She applied for this fellowship to prepare for a future in global health.

In 2017, Maschka traveled to Uswaa, Tanzania, and learned how to adjust to a lifestyle in Africa. This medical mission trip offered sustainable and productive support, providing student scholarship funds for education. She learned much about the Chaga tribal culture and started to pick up Swahili. The next summer, she studied abroad in Barranquilla, Colombia where she studied public health, the Spanish language, and Colombian culture. She gained first-hand exposure to local communities and methods of distributing health care by visiting government and privately funded organizations, as well as supplemental facilities and programs.

Dana Moze-Kadavy

Moze-Kadavy, from Cortland, NE, is a graduate of Norris High School. Last spring, she graduated from Nebraska with a major in global studies and minors in German and political science. She has been awarded a Fulbright to teach English in Malaysia.

Having lived in India for a year on a Boren Scholarship to learn Hindi, she is looking forward to continuing her work in Asia and further engaging with its diversity of people, language, and culture. Dana has been teaching ESL through Southeast Community College for the past year and building relationships with students and co -teachers. She prepares vocabulary lists, organizes class material, leads discussions, and assists her co-teacher. As a language student herself, she understands how important it is to connect language learning to areas of interest and daily life. Many of her SCC students are refugee mothers, and she works to make sure that they are building a vocabulary they can use every day.

She wants to be a Fulbright ETA in Malaysia to give students living in a rural community access to resources that were not available to her growing up in rural Nebraska. She wants to teach English that is relevant to their daily lives. Outside of the classroom, she wants to offer weekly afterschool geography classes focused on the United States. Each week, the group would pick a different state or city in the U.S. and show pictures of the landscape, regional food, activities, and jobs people do.

Rose Wehrman

Rose Wehrman

Rose Wehrman from Kenesaw High School in Kenesaw, Nebraska has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching award to go to Bulgaria. She will be graduating this May with a major in English and with minors in criminology and criminal justice, psychology, and business. She is also a member of the University Honors Program.

Rose chose Bulgaria because of its local identity and its mosaic of Western and Eastern influences. This combination creates a unique environment to study education, as it allows strong, diverse classroom identities to interact with one another. She is also interested in how Bulgaria preserves it history and heritage. Rose studied abroad previously in Morocco and spent some time in Europe. She applied to Bulgaria in order to gain diverse teaching experience before beginning a career in education policy. It was important for her to actually teach before she went to law school. While in Bulgaria, Rose hopes to volunteer with the Bulgarian Trust for Social Achievement, which works to decrease achievement gaps among minority groups, like the Roma. This project is grounded in her believe that everyone has a right to education.