Knox College senior Julia Sievert has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright fellowship for international study. The Seattle, Washington, native will teach English in Germany.
An environmental studies major, Sievert has two minors: one in German and the other in studio art with a focus on ceramics. She is president of the Knox Outdoor Recreation Club and a member of German Club and Friends of Green Oaks. She also attends and plays in the bell choir at Trinity Lutheran Church in Galesburg.
As part of her Fulbright experience, she plans to immerse herself in her new community. One way to do that, Sievert said, will be to share her love of crafts. She spent time last year in Freiburg, Germany, an area known for ceramics.
"I like to feel connected to the people that I'm around," Sievert said. "(Environmental studies is) really about human interaction with the environment. To me, that also means feeling connected to nature, to your community."
"At Knox, I did the Green Oaks Term, where we live in an intentional community and talk about being part of a community," she added.
Green Oaks Term is a residential, off-campus program at Knox College's Green Oaks Biological Field Station, a 704-acre research and recreation area about 20 miles east of the Knox campus. Through Green Oaks Term, a small group of students become immersed in a 10-week, interdisciplinary academic curriculum while living together in Schurr Hall and sharing cooking, cleaning, and stewardship duties at the field station.
Sievert said that applying for a Fulbright fellowship in Germany made sense because she studies the language and lived there last year while attending the University of Flensburg and working as an intern at Ökostation Freiburg (Ecostation Freiburg). The ecostation is an environmental education center.
"I'd like to continue to improve my German-language skills and spend more time with the people, develop my understanding of the country to a deeper degree," she said.
Sievert praised Knox faculty members for helping with her academic development and with the Fulbright application process. She singled out Assistant Professor Sonja Klocke and Visiting Assistant Professor Todd Heidt, both in the Department of Modern Languages, and biology Professor Stuart Allison, with whom Sievert is working on a senior research project about the ecological renovation of buildings.
"Everyone's been very supportive at Knox. They want you to succeed."
Knox College has a long history with the prestigious Fulbright awards program. In the past 10 years, more than two dozen Knox students, faculty members, and alumni have been selected as Fulbright recipients. In 2012, four Knox students received Fulbright fellowships.
The Fulbright program is the leading international educational exchange sponsored by the U.S. government. Recipients are chosen on the basis of academic merit and leadership potential.