Oberlin News Center

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Oberlin News Center

Jennifer Manna

Harald (Hank) Miller ‘17, a Russian major, has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Russia. The graduating senior will begin his fellowship in September.

After studying abroad in Saint Petersburg in 2016 and falling in love with the city, Miller knew he’d like to return. The assistantship not only provides him the opportunity to “sharpen his language skills” in a beloved country, but it also offers him a chance to push himself in a new direction. “The Fulbright represented an interesting challenge for me—teaching English.”

While this will be Miller’s first experience teaching English as a second language, the graduating senior has experience with teaching the Russian language. He’s instructed both a winter term Russian 101 class and has worked as a Russian language tutor while in college.

Miller expects that the fellowship will help him build his language skills while abroad. “I hope to emerge from this experience with a great command of Russian,” he says. “What I learn will be invaluable in my graduate school studies and subsequent career.”

In addition to working as an assistant teacher while abroad, Miller hopes to encourage students to become further involved in language studies by spearheading language-based extracurricular activities. He also plans to bring to his students the sense of intellectual curiosity and open-mindedness that he feels is fostered at Oberlin.

Miller also intends to travel in his free time. While studying abroad in 2016, he visited Moscow and Novgorod, but he expects to see even more of the country. “I'd like to do as much traveling within Russia as time permits,” he says.

Following the fellowship, Miller will apply to graduate programs in Russian literature. He’s currently writing his honors thesis on Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire.