2022-23 Fulbright: Celie Knudsen | New Nebraska

Celie Knudsen, a graduate student in English at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, has earned a Fulbright award to teach English in Spain.

A poet and teacher, Knudsen is originally from Ogallala. As an undergraduate at Nebraska, she participated in the William H. Thompson Scholars Learning Community, which supports first-generation students, and throughout her studies, she has taught and tutored writing and poetry at Southeast Community College, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and local high schools.

A creative writer since middle school, Knudsen brings her academic knowledge and love for the arts to support youth writers. She has participated in poetry slam events and, as a core teaching artist for the Nebraska Writers Collective, she helps run the largest youth poetry program in the state. Also interested in queer and feminist rhetorics and pedagogies, she studies the role of embodiment in the teaching of writing.

As she studied the Spanish language and read Spanish novels and poems for class, Knudsen said she was enthralled by the exploration of Spain’s unique cultural traditions, history and perspectives. She has brought this learning into her own classroom, such as creating discussions with her students about Picasso’s artworks.

During her previous study abroad experience in Bilbao, Spain, she had the opportunity to form strong bonds with her host family. She is eager to return to Spain as a teacher, exploring new regions and communities, and for the opportunity to see the country from a new vantage point—through the narratives and experiences of its youth writers. In Madrid, as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, she will assist in coordinating a university writing center.

Upon her return, Knudsen plans to earn a doctoral degree in composition and rhetoric. In the long-term, she aims to become a professor, conduct research on pedagogy, and continue to teach and mentor students from international backgrounds.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the US government and is designed to forge lasting connections between Americans and citizens of other countries; counter misunderstandings; and help people and nations work together toward common goals. Since its establishment in 1946, the program has provided more than 400,000 participants from more than 160 countries the opportunity to study; teach and conduct research; exchange ideas; and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

At Nebraska, the Office of National and International Fellowships advises and nominates undergraduate candidates for 30 supported scholarships and fellowships. To learn more, students and campus community members may contact Courtney Santos, director of national and international fellowships, at courtney.santos@unl.edu.

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