Tag: Fulbright Fellowship

Douangvilay, Finzel, Salvia heading to South Korea, Greenland, Germany as Fulbright Fellows

Having already completed all of her necessary credits to graduate, Nalee Douangvilay spent spring term working with Opera Theatre of St. Louis. While driving back to campus in early June for commencement exercises, thoughts turned to what she would do with her life. That’s when a special email arrived on her phone.

Nalee Douangvilay
Nalee Douangvilay ’18

The message informed Douangvilay she had been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship, getting promoted from alternate status to recipient.

“It was really unexpected, very exciting, very weird, but good kind of timing,” said Douangvilay, who graduated with honors in June with a bachelor’s degree in English.

Douangvilay, along with fellow 2018 graduate Augusta Finzel and 2017 Lawrence graduate Emilio Salvia, are the three latest recipients of Fulbright awards. They join William Gill and Elena Hudacek who were awarded Fulbright grants earlier this year. The five Fulbright winners matches 2014 for the most in a single year in Lawrence history.

Beginning later this summer, Douangvilay, Salvia and Finzel will spend the following 10 months abroad as English language teaching assistants and cultural ambassadors, courtesy of the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Douangvilay’s Fulbright will take her to South Korea. Leaving in July, she will spend six weeks in orientation before beginning her teaching assignment.

“Korea is one of those places that really has a lot of duality to it,” said Douangvilay, whose only previous time abroad was in the fall of 2016 at Lawrence’s London Center. “It’s very modern in some ways. At the same time, there is a lot of really traditional aspects to Korea that are still practiced. I’m looking forward to seeing what it’s like to be in that kind of world.”

After some independent study — which included watching Korean reality shows online — Douangvilay thinks she’ll arrive with just enough Korean language skills “to sort of get by.”

“It’s going to be challenging living in a country where I’m not fluent in the language,” said Douangvilay, who will live with a host family. “When I was in London, that was a safety net because I could communicate with everyone. This will be a really great learning experience and even if it’s hard, I think it’s good to challenge yourself in that way.”

A cultural outreach aspect is part of the Fulbright grant, and Douangvilay, who was very active in the theatre department at Lawrence, is looking forward to continuing those interests in Korea.

“I would really like to be involved in theatre in some way while I’m there,” said Douangvilay, who was working in costume construction at Opera Theatre of St. Louis. “I know a lot of schools have theatre programs and would definitely like to be a part of that.”

Associate Professor of English Karen Hoffmann and Douangvilay’s academic advisor, hailed her as “an exceptionally creative and intellectually curious individual.”

“Given the breadth of her interests and talents, ranging from physics, current events,and literary studies to costume design and playwrighting, Nalee stands out as an ideal student of the liberal arts,” said Hoffmann. “With her commitment to international collaboration, she will make a superb Fulbright Scholar.”

Augusta Finzel
Augusta Finzel ’18

Like Douangvilay, Finzel was originally named a Fulbright alternate. Her initial country of choice, Russia, was put on hold, but when her application was considered for Greenland, she was approved.

“I was shocked, honestly,” said Finzel, who graduated with honors in June with majors in biology and Russian studies. “It felt like they were just stringing me along for a really long time as an alternate. Then they told me they sent my application to Greenland. I thought, well that’d be cool, but I wasn’t expecting anything. It was such a fast turn-around that I barely got to process what being in Greenland would be like before I heard news I was going there.”

Although Greenland was not her first choice, Finzel is still thrilled to be heading somewhere central to one of her primary interests – climate change. She has been assigned to the capital city of Nuuk.

“I’m really excited. Greenland has never really been on my radar,” said Finzel. “I’m interested in melting permafrost in the Arctic and other climate change problems. Greenland works really well with those interests because so much of it is inside the Arctic Circle. It’s right at the heart of many of these problems.

“I’m looking forward to seeing something very different from what I’m used to,” she added. “I think I’ll learn a lot and gain a lot of insight into a culture I’ve never really thought about before. I’ve always liked learning different languages and I have no issue with the idea of learning either Danish or Greenlandic just for fun. I think that would be really interesting.”

Finzel also hopes to explore the connection between climate change and its effects on the local population.

“I’m hoping I can interact with the community, maybe join one of their environmental groups. I’ll want to figure out a way to interact.”

One of Finzel’s academic advisors, Professor of Biology Bart De Stasio, said her Fulbright grant will provide a unique and valuable experience for her.

“Augusta has a deep interest in examining how climate change might affect ecosystems in northern locations and her time in Greenland will allow her to see first-hand how conditions are changing,” said De Stasio. “She also has a love of studying language and culture, as evidenced by her double majors in biology and Russian Studies. She is an excellent observer and has keen listening skills, both of which will allow her to excel as she assists English language learners during her Fulbright Fellowship.”

Emilio Salvia
Emilio Salvia ’17

Salvia, the 2017 Lawrence graduate, will be heading to Harsewinkel, Germany, a town of 25,000 in the northwest part of the country, where he will teach at a ‘gesamtschule” — a comprehensive school.

A 2015 study abroad program in Germany he participated persuaded Salvia to pursue the Fulbright grant originally.

“I knew of the Fulbright program, but it was my experience in Berlin that truly motivated me to apply for the fellowship,” said Salvia, who graduated last year with a major in both German and biology. “I enjoyed the opportunity to learn about and connect with German culture firsthand and was very interested in Germany’s dynamic role in both European and global politics. Given my interest in international affairs and German culture, I knew that Fulbright was a good fit.”

A native of Elmhurst, Ill., Salvia has career aspirations of working in public service or higher education and sees the Fulbright as a springboard toward those goals.

“I’m confident my Fulbright experience will enhance my worldview and will provide both unique challenges and opportunities while allowing me to explore my interests,” said Salvia, who leaves for Harsewinkel in early September. “During my stay in Germany, I hope to continue my studies at a university, conduct research and gain insights into another culture’s work environment. My Fulbright year will help prime me for a career in government, international affairs or academia, all of which are major interests of mine.”

As a Lawrence student, Salvia worked as a tutor with exchange students from Japan and served on several university committees with faculty. He sees the Fulbright as an extension of those experiences.

“The opportunity to work on the various committees offered me unique insights into how teachers make decisions that best suit students, insights I hope to apply in Germany.”

As for his cultural outreach, Salvia hopes to pursue his interests in environmental education, sustainable agriculture or volunteer with refugees.

Professor of German Brent Peterson, one of Salvia’s advisors, called him “both an exceptional and typical multi-interested Lawrence student.”

“Emilio’s story is the kind that could never be planned, but his is exactly the growth experience that only a liberal arts education can provide,” said Peterson. “German was his third major, but he revealed himself to be a careful reader and insightful interpreter of German texts. He wrote an excellent paper that provided a significant insight on the topic of integration by looking at the issue of shame in migrant narratives. It’s not what we normally expect from STEM majors, but Emilio is both an exceptional biology student and multi-interested, with a real gift in German. There is no telling where the Fulbright year in Germany might lead him, but I am certain it will be a life experience that could open up undreamed of possibilities in the sciences or in something else entirely.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

Lawrence University Psychologist Awarded Fulbright Research Fellowship to Canada

Lawrence University Professor of Psychology Terry Gottfried has been awarded a $25,000 Fulbright Fellowship. Beginning in January 2014, Gottfried will spend five months as the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Brain, Language and Music at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Terry Gottfried

During his fellowship appointment, Gottfried will continue his ongoing research into the relation between music and speech processing. Working in collaboration with McGill researcher Linda Polka, Gottfried will examine the influence of linguistic and musical experience on listeners segmentation of the speech stream into words.

“We speak without clear pauses between words, so listeners must rely on other rhythmic information such as pitch and syllable duration to determine where one word ends and the next one begins,” explained Gottfried, who joined the Lawrence faculty in 1986. “This segmentation of the speech stream by rhythm and pitch is done differently in different languages, so we’re interested in investigating the role musical expertise has on learning how to process speech in a second language.”

“We are delighted that Professor Gottfried has received this wonderful, prestigious award,” said David Burrows, provost and dean of the faculty. “The work that he will do as part of the fellowship will be of great benefit to society. We are very proud to have one of our fine teacher-scholars honored by the Fulbright program. The award is a great testament to the high quality of Lawrence’s faculty.”

Role of Music in Language Perception

A specialist in second language acquisition, Gottfried has previously conducted research that found non-Mandarin-speaking musicians have an advantage over non-musicians in their perception of lexical tonal contrasts in Mandarin Chinese. Other studies suggest musicians acquire some of the speaking and perceiving skills necessary for second language learning more readily than non-musicians.

“My work with Dr. Polka will examine the extent to which musical training and ability may affect speech segmentation patterns,” said Gottfried. “Montreal is an ideal place to conduct this research given the ready availability of French-English monolingual and bilingual listeners, with and without musical expertise.”

He hopes to complete his study in time to present results at the fall 2014 meeting of the Acoustical Society of America.

“This Fulbright Fellowship is a wonderful opportunity to conduct research with a colleague I know as well as collaborate with other researchers interested in the brain mechanisms involved in music and language perception,” said Gottfried. “This will be important as I continue to teach courses in the psychology of music and language at Lawrence.”

This is the second time Gottfried has been recognized by the Fulbright Scholar Program. He was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 2001 for a teaching and research position in the English department at Aarhus University in Denmark, where he taught a seminar on the psychology of language for English language students. He also conducted research comparing Danish and American English listeners’ perception of American English vowels.

Gottfried earned both a bachelor’s degree in French and psychology and a doctoral degree in experimental psychology at the University of Minnesota.

Established in 1946 and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Fulbright Scholar Program is the federal government’s flagship program in international educational exchange. It provides grants in a variety of disciplines for teaching and research positions in more than 150 countries.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

Senior Thomas Matusiak Awarded Prestigious Fulbright Fellowship to Colombia

A senior honors project will have added significance for Thomas Matusiak beyond his graduation in June after being awarded a prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Program Scholarship to Colombia.

Matusiak will spend the 2013-14 academic year as an English teacher and unofficial goodwill ambassador at a still-to-be-determined university in Colombia courtesy of the United States’ Fulbright Program.

Thomas Matusiak ’13

The flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Government, the Fulbright Program is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and those of other countries. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.

When applying for the Fulbright, Colombia was Matusiak’s destination of first choice, in part because of research he has been conducting on a genre of Colombian cinema.

“I’ve been working on an honors project entitled ‘No Future: Youth and Disenchantment in Colombian Cinema’ so that was a natural choice,” said Matusiak, a linguistics and Spanish major from Mequon.

His research focuses on a series of films representative of what he calls “cinema of disenchantment.”  Although they’re not true documentaries, the films are shot on location, using non-professional actors and often offer gritty, brutal depictions of city life and urban violence.

“These are non-commercial films that are trying to make a statement about society,” Matusiak explained. “These types of movies began to emerge in Latin American cinema in the 1990s, starting in Colombia.

“As my research progressed, I was looking for an opportunity to go to Colombia and have time to think and write about these movies in context,” added Matusiak, who has previously studied abroad in Spain and Poland, but will be making his first trip to Colombia. “The Fulbright scholarship will be a great opportunity to do just that.”

It also will allow him to pursue one of his passions.

“I’m interested in teaching, especially teaching language, so this award is almost perfect since I’ll be able to do both,” said Matusiak, who has been a tutor in Lawrence’s Center for Teaching and Learning for the past three years, including the past two as head tutor. “I believe in teaching language through culture and using film is a perfect way to give students a visual idea of what culture is like.”

Matusiak, who already had been accepted into Princeton University’s Spanish doctoral program before he received word of his Fulbright award, will now put his graduate studies on hold for year.

“I’m excited and looking forward to spending time in Colombia,” he said.

Professor of Spanish Gustavo Fares described Matusiak as “one of the brightest and most dedicated Spanish majors” Lawrence has had.

“Being awarded the prestigious Fulbright grant is an honor that not only will help him with his research in Latin America, but it is only the beginning of a brilliant academic career,” said Fares.

Since its establishment in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided approximately 300,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in government, science, the arts, business, philanthropy, education, and athletics. Forty Fulbright alumni from 11 countries have been awarded the Nobel Prize, and 75 alumni have received Pulitzer Prizes.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

Lawrence University French Professor Awarded Fulbright Fellowship to Senegal

Lawrence University Associate Professor of French Lifongo Vetinde has been named a recipient of a 2012-13 Fulbright Teaching and Research Fellowship. Beginning in October, Vetinde will spend 10 months teaching at the Université Gaston Berger in Saint-Louis, Senegal, West Africa.

Associate Professor of French Lifongo Vetinde

During his fellowship appointment, Vetinde will teach two courses, one on American literature by minority authors focusing on the works’ relevance to socio-political discussions of American society, particularly issues of identity and race relations. While the first course is a modified version of the course “Expressions of Ethnicity” he teaches in the Ethnic Studies program at Lawrence, the second course, specifically designed by Vetinde for his fellowship, will serve as a comparative study of the works of such American writers as W.E.B. Dubois, Alice Walker and Maya Angelou with those of Saint-Louisian writers such as Abdoulaye Sadji, Malick Fall and Abdel Aziz Mayoro Diop.

Vetinde also will devote the second half of his fellowship appointment to expanding his scholarship on Francophone African literature and cinema, focusing on the literature about the city of Saint-Louis produced by French colonial writers in the mid-19th century as well as the writings of the Saint-Louis educated native elite from the early decades of the 20th century onwards.

“I want to investigate how these writers explored the relationship between the French colonialists and the Senegalese nationals,” said Vetinde, a native of Cameroon who moved to the United States when he was 29. “These are neglected but very important works of literature of Saint-Louis, a city that is the quintessential crossroads of cultures, ethnicities, races, religions and languages. I want to study the role creative fiction played in the emergence of Senegal’s national identity.”

A member of the Lawrence faculty since 1996, Vetinde has directed Lawrence’s Francophone Seminar, a 10-week study-abroad program in Dakar, Senegal, four times, most recently in 2010.

“We are extremely pleased and proud that Professor Vetinde has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship,” said David Burrows, Lawrence provost and dean of the faculty. “As life in the 21st century has become increasingly globalized, education must emphasize the richness of cultures and countries other than one’s own and Fulbright Fellowships are a powerful way for intercultural education to occur. Professor Vetinde is a wonderful teacher and scholar and we’re happy that he is able to be part of that education.”

The fellowship, worth approximately $55,000, will cover Vetinde’s travel and living expenses while in Senegal as well as provide a teaching stipend and research support.

“Beside the principal objective of promoting international cultural understanding between the United States and Senegal, this fellowship provides an opportunity for me to give back what I’ve learned here to my native continent,” said Vetinde, who earned a master’s degree in French and a Ph.D. in romance languages with emphasis on Francophone African literature at the University of Oregon after earning the equivalent of a master’s degree in Cameroon.

Established in 1946 and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Fulbright Scholar Program is the federal government’s flagship program in international educational exchange. It provides grants in a variety of disciplines for teaching and research positions in more than 120 countries.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges by Forbes, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries.  Follow us on Facebook.

Anthropologist Carla Daughtry Awarded Fulbright Fellowship

Lawrence University cultural anthropologist Carla N. Daughtry has been named a recipient of a 2010 Fulbright Senior Scholar Award.

Daughtry will spend the 2010-11 academic year at the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) at American University in Cairo, Egypt.

During her nine-month fellowship appointment, which begins in mid-August, Daughtry will teach courses on American perspectives on race, ethnicity, diaspora and globalization. She also will support student and faculty research activities through CASAR.

Carla-Daughtry_web
Carla Daughtry

“This is a wonderful opportunity to re-immerse myself in Cairo and Egyptian culture and enhance my own teaching and scholarship,” said Daughtry, who previously spent a year at American University in Cairo as an undergraduate student in the late 1980s. “My Fulbright year in Cairo will strengthen ties between Lawrence University and Egypt, where Lawrence students have enrolled for a term or year abroad at American University in Cairo. My experiences also should help deepen the richness of Arabic and Middle Eastern studies for students here at Lawrence.”

This is the second time Daughtry has been recognized by the Fulbright Scholars Program. While in graduate school at the University of Michigan, she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 1992 that also took her to Egypt, where she studied Arabic at Cairo’s Center for Arabic Studies Abroad.

She also spent two years (1998-2000) in Cairo as a research fellow at American University working with displaced Sudanese refugees who fled Sudan’s civil war as part of her doctoral dissertation field work.

Daughtry , who joined the Lawrence faculty in 2000, focuses her scholarship on Middle East and North Africa cultures, transnational and urban refugee communities and ethnic and gender issues.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in international relations at Mount Holyoke College, Daughtry earned two master’s degrees — one in Middle East and North African Studies and one in cultural anthropology — and her doctorate in cultural anthropology at the University of Michigan.

Established in 1946 and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Fulbright Scholar Program is the federal government’s flagship program in international educational exchange. It provides grants in a variety of disciplines for teaching and research positions in more than 120 countries.

Sara Wallsworth Named Fulbright Scholar, Will Teach English in Germany

Before graduating from high school, Sara Wallsworth twice traveled to Stuttgart, Germany to visit relatives serving there in the U.S. Air Force.

But for the Lawrence University senior from Waukesha, it was the things she didn’t experience on those visits more than what she did that actually sparked her interest in all things German.

Sara-Wallsworth_web
Sara Wallsworth

“Living on the military base, my cousins really weren’t exposed to the German culture and it made me think how interesting it would be to learn the language, experience the culture and come back at some point by myself,” said Wallwsorth, a German and linguistics major at Lawrence.

Beginning this fall, Wallsworth will realize that opportunity after being named a 2010 Fulbright Scholar. She was awarded a fellowship for a nine-month appointment to teach English in Germany. She is the 14th Lawrence student since 2001 named a Fulbright Scholar.

Wallsworth will spend September through June 2010 as an English language assistant in Baden-Wüttemberg, a southwest state bordering France and Switzerland at either a middle or secondary school still to be determined.

Wallsworth serves as both a writing tutor and an ELS (English as a Second Language) tutor in Lawrence’s Center for Teaching and Learning. She also assists as a tutor in both her German and linguistics courses.

It was during a 16-week study abroad program in Freiburg, Germany in the fall of 2008 that convinced her to apply for the Fulbright Fellowship.

“I fell in love with Germany and wanted to figure out a way to go back,” said Wallsworth of her time in Freiburg. “I thought a Fulbright appointment would be great way to bridge my life from Lawrence to the next step in my education.”

While serving as an unofficial ambassador for her home country, Wallsworth is approaching her upcoming appointment as a personal growth opportunity.

“This is going to allow me to get a better grasp of the language, but I’m also looking forward to living independently in a different country and immersing myself in a different culture,” said Wallsworth. “It’s about living and traveling in Europe and experiencing that lifestyle. I certainly want to gain a more international perspective on the world while I’m there.”

Created by Congress in 1946 to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges, the Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s premier scholarship program. Since its founding, it has supported opportunities for nearly 300,000 American students, scholars and other professionals in more than 150 countries.

Forty Fulbright alumni have earned Nobel Prizes while others have gone on to become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, CEOs, university presidents, professors and teachers.

Third Lawrence University Student Awarded Fulbright Fellowship to Teach Abroad

APPLETON, WIS. — Ever since returning from a 2006 study-abroad program in Vienna, Lawrence University senior Katie Gladych has been thinking about how she could return to Austria. The Austrian-American Educational Commission provided the answer.

Gladych became the third Lawrence student this spring to be named a 2008-09 Fulbright Scholar to teach English abroad. She was awarded a $15,400 fellowship for an assistant teaching position at a preparatory school in Vienna beginning Oct. 1 following a week of orientation. Gladych could be assigned students anywhere from fifth through 12th grade.

A German and government major from Evanston, Ill., Gladych made her first trip to Europe in the fall of 2006, spending four months on the Institute for the International Education of Students program in Vienna.

“That was such a wonderful experience, it really motivated me to look for opportunities to go back,” said Gladych, who will also facilitate cultural exchanges while on her fellowship.

Earlier this spring, Gladych spent 10 days in Berlin, exploring the German city’s rich history and architecture through daily walking tours as part of a class. Vienna’s own rich history was a siren call when she applied for the Fulbright Fellowship.

“I didn’t have the time to fully explore everything I wanted to when I was there the first time,” said Gladych, who started out as a music major at Lawrence. “I really wanted to go back to learn more about the city and its people. Plus, Vienna has such a great music history, I’m excited about exploring some possible singing opportunities while I’m there.”

Gladych, who serves as a German tutor in the Center for Teaching and Learning and has participated in Lawrence’s Model U.N. and mock trial team programs, says she’s excited about the opportunities the fellowship will offer.

“I’m looking forward to increasing my knowledge of Austrian society,” said Gladych, the fourth German major in the past three years to be awarded a Fulbright Fellowship. “Being totally immersed in German will certainly help my fluency. And I hope to meet a lot of interesting people.”

While her career ambitions are still fluid, Gladych says she might explore the possibility of pursuing a master’s degree in German or political science at the University of Vienna while on her fellowship or investigate internship opportunities with the United Nations office in Vienna.

Created by Congress in 1946 to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges, the Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s premier scholarship program. Since its founding, it has supported opportunities for nearly 280,000 American students, scholars and other professionals in more than 155 countries. Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, CEOs, university presidents, professors and teachers. Thirty-six Fulbright alumni have earned Nobel Prizes.

Lawrence University Molecular Biologist Awarded Fulbright Fellowship

APPLETON, WIS. — A Lawrence University molecular biologist has been awarded a $25,000 grant by the Fulbright Scholar Program to conduct research at the Karolinska Institutet outside Stockholm, Sweden.

Elizabeth De Stasio, associate professor of biology and Raymond H. Herzog Professor in Science at Lawrence, conducts research on muscle function, deftly manipulating pieces of DNA in C. elegans — tiny worms about as long as the thickness of a dime. She will spend six months beginning next January investigating the role a protein called DAF-19 plays in regulating the function of various genes that in turn affect nerve function and maintenance.

The loss of connections between nerves — synapses — is believed to be a contributing factor in cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease. De Stasio’s research at the Karolinska Institutet will focus on the effects of mutant DAF-19 on synaptic protein expression. The study will determine if C. elegans could be successfully used as a model system for studying Alzheimer’s disease-like decline.

“While a great deal has been learned from studying Alzheimer’s disease in humans, much of the evidence is necessarily correlative in nature,” said De Stasio, who conducted research in Uppsula, Sweden as a graduate student. “Only by also using model organisms for research can causation be determined fully.

“It was recently discovered that, just like human Alzheimer’s patients, DAF-19 mutant animals that reach advanced stages of adulthood also have strongly reduced levels of synaptic proteins. It remains to be seen whether these worms have problems similar to those of Alzheimer’s patients. One goal of my fellowship research will be to determine whether animals missing the DAF-19 protein have age-related defects in learning and memory relative to normal animals.”

A 1983 summa cum laude graduate of Lawrence, De Stasio has previously collaborated with 2002 Nobel Prize winner H. Robert Horvitz on research into the ways nerves and muscles communicate.

She joined the Lawrence biology department in 1992 under the auspices of a $700,000 grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to establish the college’s first program in molecular biology. A recipient of Lawrence’s Outstanding Young Teacher award in 1996, she earned her Ph.D. from Brown University.

De Stasio was awarded her Fulbright Fellowship through the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), which administers the Fulbright Scholar Program for U.S. faculty and professionals. She was selected from research proposals submitted in disciplines ranging from the sciences to the fine arts.

Established in 1946, the Fulbright Scholar Program provides grants for teaching and research positions in more than 120 countries worldwide. Fulbright grants are generally awarded for six-month periods.

Lawrence University’s Hane Awarded Fulbright Grant to Teach English in Germany

Ben Hane knows with virtual certainty what he will be doing five months from now. He just isn’t sure where he will be doing it.

The Lawrence University senior from East Dundee, Ill., has been named a 2006-07 Fulbright Scholar by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. The fellowship will provide Hane a 10-month opportunity to teach English at the high school and vocational school level somewhere in Germany beginning this September.

“Being a teaching assistant abroad will be great experience,” said Hane, who is expected to graduate in June with a major in both German and history. “I will have an opportunity to live in Germany for close to a year, improving my language skills all the time and getting to know the culture even more.”

While Hane knows he will be heading to Germany, the exact location and school are still to be determined. He indicated a preference to teach in the state of Saxony in the former East Germany, or somewhere in Hesse or Lower Saxony, but the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. State Department, which oversees the Fulbright programs, can assign him to a school anywhere in the country.

“As someone who hopes to pursue teaching as a career, the Fulbright fellowship will provide an incredible classroom experience teaching middle and high school-aged students,” said Hane.

“Having previously worked with several exchange students here at Lawrence, I can honestly say that I really enjoy helping people learn English and understand American culture. As a language assistant in Germany, I’m looking forward to working again with foreign students and hopefully learning much from them as well.”

No stranger to Europe, Hane spent the 2004 Fall Term on the Institute for the International Education of Students study-abroad program in Freiburg, Germany. In addition, he was one of seven students who spent last month’s spring break recess in Berlin, touring the city as part of the German department course “Berlin: Experiencing a Great City.”

The Fulbright Program was created by Congress in 1946 to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges. Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright, who sponsored the legislation, saw it as a step toward building an alternative to armed conflict.

Since its founding, the Fulbright Program has become the U.S. government’s premier scholarship program. It has supported more than 265,000 American students, artists and other professionals opportunities for study, research and international competence in more than 150 countries. Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, CEOs, university presidents, professors and teachers. Thirty-five Fulbright recipients have gone on to earn Nobel Prizes.

Reinterpreting the Past: Lawrence University’s Courtney Doucette Heading to Russia as Fulbright Scholar

Courtney Doucette got bit by the history bug as a fourth grader and has never been able to shake the infection. Twelve years later, the Lawrence University senior is still more interested in nurturing her long-term curiosity than she is in finding a cure.

To that end, Doucette soon will embark on a 10-month study of Russian history at the European University in St. Petersburg, Russia, courtesy of a $23,000 grant from the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Doucette was recently selected as a 2004-05 Fulbright Scholar from among more than 5,000 applicants. This is the second straight year and the third time in the past four years that a Lawrence student has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship.

Beginning in late August, Doucette will undertake research at European University on the impact of political regimes on the way we understand the past. She also will work outside of academia to explore the way ordinary citizens regard history after the “official” view of the past is significantly changed.

“Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russians have had to question what really happened in their country while the Communist regime was in power,” said Doucette, a history and Russian double major from Racine. “There is now strong evidence suggesting events of the Soviet era played out differently than the Party claimed. The new political regime’s power is partly based on its ability to disprove the Communist Party’s view of history, so there is a need to radically reinterpret and rewrite history in Russia.”

During a semi-nomadic childhood — Doucette’s family moved 13 times while she was growing up and she lived with a Japanese family for a year in Okinawa as a participant in the Rotary Youth Exchange Program — she constantly tried to make sense of her ever-changing world the way a historian would.

“I learned to ask questions about the history of my surroundings,” said Doucette, a founding member and former president of Lawrence’s Russian and East European Club.

While in Russia, Doucette intends to explore the impact the Soviet regime had on the content of Russian history books and the ways the post-Soviet regime has rewritten these texts. In addition, and outside the formality of the European University, Doucette will examine ways personal experiences and oral histories challenge the officially sanctioned interpretations of the past.

In addressing the second question, Doucette plans to observe what today’s youngest generation of Russians are learning about their history through observation sessions at primary and secondary schools. She also plans to become involved with Memorial, a non-profit organization in St. Petersburg that chronicles the experiences of victims of Stalinism.

“Part of my interest in Russian history and culture stems from my interest in the process of writing history,” said Doucette, who previously spent time in Russia while on an off-campus study program in Krasnodar in 2001. “Contemporary Russia provides an ideal context for me to investigate this process. As a Fulbright Scholar, I’ll be able to improve my Russian skills, gain valuable experience with Russian archival sources and form connections with professional Russian scholars.

“Living in Russia is going to provide great opportunities to explore fundamental questions about how academics and non-academics make sense of the past,” Doucette added.

Following her year abroad, Doucette plans to return to the States to pursue graduate studies in Russian history with the hope of eventually teaching Russian history at the collegiate level.

“My future goals are clearly a product of my past and of the way my past has shaped my method of making sense of the world,” said Doucette.

The Fulbright Program was created by Congress in 1946 to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges. Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright, who sponsored the legislation, saw it as a step toward building an alternative to armed conflict.

Since its inception, the Fulbright Program has become the U.S. government’s premier scholarship program. It has supported more than 260,000 American students, artists and other professionals opportunities for study, research and international competence in more than 150 countries.