|May 06, 2005
Christin Kjelland, a Plymouth, Minn., native and a student at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, has been named recipient of a 2005-2006 Fulbright scholarship for teaching and research in South Korea.
Kjelland, a 2001 graduate of Robbinsdale Armstrong High School in Plymouth, is the daughter of Joe and Ann Marie Kjelland of Plymouth. She is a senior majoring in international relations and environmental studies.
Fulbright fellowships are among the nation's most prestigious awards for postgraduate study. Kjelland is the 11th Knox student to receive a Fulbright Fellowship in 12 years.
Kjelland has received an assistantship to teach English in a secondary school in South Korea. She will teach English to junior high and high school students and assist other teachers for 20 hours per week in addition to conducting a research project. The Fulbright also includes a home stay with a Korean family.
"I'm looking forward to being totally immersed in the culture," she said. "I think being in a school and having a home stay will allow for a level of immersion that I might not get if I were doing the more research-intensive type of Fulbright fellowship."
For the research component, Kjelland will interview students at the school about their opinions and perceptions of United States policy toward Korea.
"I'm particularly interested in how this younger generation feels, at least in part because of how their opinions will affect US-Korean relations in the future," she said. "I want to know if they feel unhappy about the United States' presence there. I want to be able to look at U.S. foreign policy from outside the Western perspective."
Kjelland says her experience serving for three years as a nanny in Plymouth will help her relate to the Korean students.
"I think I'll have a grasp of what kids of that age deal with and how to relate to them," she said. "I'm interested in this age group because I think it's an important age. It's when you start becoming who you are and exchanging ideas."
Kjelland brings to the position teaching and research experience gained at Knox as a tutor, assistant teacher, and participant in two off-campus study programs. She has been an teaching assistant for Professor Louisa Sue Hulett, Professor of Political Science, and tutored fellow students in Knox's Center for Teaching and Learning. She has also worked as research assistant for Owen Muelder, director of the Underground Railroad Freedom Center at Knox College, and been a member of the Forensics Team. As a junior, Kjelland studied in Washington, D.C., and in the Czech Republic.
Kjelland will graduate from Knox in June and begin the program in July with six weeks of intensive language instruction and teaching orientation in Chunchon, South Korea. After the orientation, Kjelland will be assigned to a secondary school in Korea, the exact location of which has yet to be determined.
"Christin has received one of the most distinguished awards a graduating college senior can receive," said Lawrence Breitborde, Dean of the College and Fulbright campus advisor. "Through Knox's off-campus study programs, and her tutoring and assistant teaching, Christin has gained cultural and research experiences that will serve her well in her dual roles, as an educator and as a representative of our best scholars and international diplomats."
After completing the 13-month program, Kjelland will return to the United States to deliver educational talks about her experience. She hopes to attend graduate school and work in the Civil Service or in environmental foreign policy.
Fulbright grants are funded by the U.S. State Department, with additional support from participating countries and educational institutions. Fellowships are awarded to outstanding college graduates and other young scholars, graduate students, and higher education faculty.
The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 to increase mutual understanding between the United States and other countries.
Founded in 1837, Knox is a national liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, with students from 46 states and 41 nations. Knox's Old Main is a National Historic Landmark and the only building remaining from the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates.