CoJMC grad earns Fulbright to Turkey

CoJMC grad earns Fulbright to Turkey

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 7:00pm
Jeniffer Gotrik
Jeniffer Gotrik

Jennifer Gotrik, an August 2014 graduate of the College of Journalism & Mass Communications, has been awarded a Fulbright scholarship to spend the 2015-2016 academic year in Turkey. She will be an English Teaching assistant to Turkish university students.

Gotrik, a native of Gretna, will have the opportunity to fully immerse herself in the Turkish language and culture. She said she is excited to spend time among the people, understanding their unique history as a country. In addition to exploring the land, she hopes to develop a 20 hour-a-week after-school program for students who are interested in learning English outside of class.

Gotrik’s first interest in teaching came during her time at University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where she mentored freshman as apart of the William H. Thompson Scholars learning community. She then became a volunteer at Lincoln Literacy, which first exposed her to teaching English as a second language.

In addition to the ability to mentor, the travel opportunities are what initially attracted Gotrik to the Fulbright scholarship.  She previously spent a semester in Malaysia and has participated in CoJMC trips to India, Indonesia and the Dominic Republic.  She also did a month-long internship with professor Sriyani Tidball in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

“Without my initial study abroad experiences I would have never considered a Fulbright,” said Gotrik. “It is all thanks to the J-School.”

Gotrik’s latest excursion, an archeological dig with the University of Nebraska–Lincoln History department last summer, led her to apply for the Fulbright in Turkey.

“I’ve been to a lot of places but Turkey was unlike anywhere I’ve seen,” said Gotrik. “There is so much history to discover.”

She is excited to be an ambassador of the United States while she is in Turkey.

“I think that Americans are sometime seen in a certain light abroad,” said Gotrik. “I want to show the Turkish that there are people in the United States who are interested in expanding their horizons.”

The Fulbright award is especially meaningful to Gotrik, as this was her second application. Her previous application to teach young children in Malaysia did not reach the second round of judging.  She then took a year to discover where she wanted to be- teaching college students in Turkey.

“My first mentoring experience was with college students so I guess that being an English Teaching Assistant in a university will suit me well.”