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Miller receives Fulbright

miller190
2009-04-13

SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Wofford senior Jessica Miller has received a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship for Germany, making her the third Wofford student to receive the distinguished in the past two years. Miller, from Spartanburg, S.C., will not know where she’ll be placed until the summer, but she’ll be there from October until next July. She will be assisting an English teacher in a German school, most likely a high school.

“I'm certainly excited, and a bit surprised, to have been selected for this honor,” says Miller. “During my study abroad experience in the spring of my junior year, I developed a love of the German language and an appreciation for the culture, and I'm absolutely thrilled to have the chance to go back. With Fulbright, I will spend 10 months as a teacher's assistant in an English class, organizing activities for the students and helping them improve their English proficiency in and out of the classroom.”

One of her mentors is equally as excited.

“I am so thrilled for Jessica,” says Dr. Kirsten Krick-Aigner, associate professor of foreign language. “Fulbright scholarships are awarded to highly gifted students and scholars who have the potential to bridge cultural gaps and foster world peace through cooperation and professional relationships.”

“Jessica worked very hard on her application and began the process early on. She edited her proposal and personal statement throughout the summer and early fall so that it would be as perfect as possible. With the additional support of her peers, her professors who wrote supportive letters of recommendation, and the comments of the on-campus interview committee, Jessica was able to turn in an excellent application.”

Her achievement is another feather in Wofford’s cap, as Claudia Winkler and John Wood received Fulbright grants last year. It’s extremely rare to see three students from one college get Fulbrights in such a short time.

“Jessica Miller is an outstanding student and young person and has brought high honor to herself, her family, and Wofford and we congratulate her,” adds David Wood, senior vice president of academic affairs and dean of the college. “The Fulbright Committee recognized the enormous potential she possesses for providing leadership in an increasingly complex and interdependent world.

“Jessica has taken full advantage of the opportunities at Wofford to prepare herself to benefit from the Fulbright experience, including attending the Goethe Institute program in Germany, spending a semester studying abroad in Berlin, traveling with the Cornbread and Sushi class, and involving herself in a myriad of campus programs and activities. We are indeed proud of her.”

Krick-Aigner recalls Miller taking to German as a freshman student.

“Jessica has improved her German by leaps and bounds since her first year and has received one of the highest scores of any German major on the Oral Proficiency Interview in German, which is administered by the national ACTFL organization,” says Krick-Aigner. “She came back from her semester in Berlin, Germany, with an increased interest in German culture. She hopes to merge her many talents and interests in German culture, journalism and creative writing into her future studies and career. I am thrilled and proud to be able to teach and mentor students such as Jessica.”

Miller intends to use the Fulbright Grant as a springboard to further studies and hopefully warmer climes.

“After my time with Fulbright, I will pursue a Master's in German and possibly journalism at Bowling Green State University,” she says. “This program will actually send me back to Europe to study at the University of Austria for a year before I return to the states to complete my final year at BGSU in Ohio. Needless to say, I'm stocking up on heavy sweaters and winter boots in preparation. After that, I will probably enter a doctoral program and get my Ph.D. in German or journalism -- hopefully somewhere in the sunny South!”