Tag: Fulbright Scholar

Katie Uram ’16 receives Fulbright Award for research in China

A senior honors thesis has helped Katherine Uram earn a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award to China for anthropology research.

Head shot of Katie Uram
Katie Uram ’16

She is the 16th Lawrence student since 2010 to receive a Fulbright Student Program award, which is administered by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Beginning later this year, Uram, a 2016 Lawrence University graduate, will spend 10 months at China’s Guizhou Normal University, continuing research she started as a student that became her Senior Experience, “Evolving Patterns: Conflicting Perceptions of Cultural Preservation and the State of Batik’s Cultural Inheritance Among Women Artisans in Guizhou, China.”

Her Fulbright project will focus on Miao women and the preservation of their batik handicrafts in a rapidly changing cultural climate of modern China. Batik is a Chinese traditional folk handicraft for fabric printing and dyeing.

“Throughout my Fulbright project, I will be talking to these artisans about how they view their cultural identity, how their perceptions intertwine with their craft-making and how they see the future of their craft,” said Uram, a native of Naperville, Ill.

With a long-standing interest in different cultures, Uram began studying Chinese in high school. Her senior year, her family hosted an exchange student from Shanghai.

“Katie was a one-of-a-kind Lawrence student and I have no doubt she will be a one-on-a-kind Fulbright scholar.”
Carla Daughtry, associate professor of anthropology

“It was awesome when I went to China after high school for the first time to see her, visit her family and share the Chinese culture with the people,” said Uram. She has since made three more trips to China, one on a study-abroad program as a Lawrence junior and two more in 2015, one for summer research and a second as part of Lawrence’s Sustainable China Program trip in December.

Carla Daughtry, associate professor of anthropology, who served as advisor on her Senior Experience project, said Uram’s “interdisciplinary knowledge of China, stellar language skills and in-country experience and connections” made Uram a natural for a Fulbright proposal.

“Katie was a one-of-a-kind Lawrence student and I have no doubt she will be a one-on-a-kind Fulbright scholar, forging strong bi-national relations between the United States and China, and making valuable contributions to Chinese and East Asian Studies and anthropological understandings of the complex effects of globalization on ethnic Chinese handicrafts,” said Daughtry.

While Daughtry may not have had any doubts about Uram’s Fulbright prospects, the news caught Uram a bit off-guard.

“I was sitting in the car with my brother when I got an email notification on my phone,” said Uram, who is still hoping to receive a Critical Language Enhancement Award she applied for through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program for additional language study in China. “I was, of course, overjoyed and then terrified and super excited all at the same time.”

Uram is among more than 1,900 Fulbright program recipients who will conduct research, teach English or provide expertise abroad during the 2017-2018 academic year. Fulbright awards are based on academic and professional achievement as well as record of service and leadership potential in their respective fields.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The program operates in more than 160 countries worldwide.

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.

Geologist Marcia Bjornerud named Fellow of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters

Lawrence University geologist Marcia Bjornerud has been named a Fellow of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters for 2016. She is the first Lawrence faculty member to be accorded that honor.

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Marcia Bjornerud

Established in 1981, the Fellows program represents the highest level of recognition conferred by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters. Drawn from a pool of statewide nominees, Fellows are elected for their extraordinary levels of accomplishment in their fields as well as lifelong commitments to intellectual discourse and public service.

One of 11 new Fellows named to the Academy in perpetuity, Bjornerud will be publicly recognized Sunday, April 17 at an awards ceremony in the Pyle Center on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus.

Bjornerud, the Walter Schober Professor of Environmental Studies and Professor of Geology at Lawrence, joined the faculty in 1995. Her scholarship focuses on the physics of earthquakes and mountain-building. She combines field-based studies of bedrock geology with quantitative models of rock mechanics. She has conducted research in high arctic Norway (Svalbard) and Canada (Ellesmere Island) as well as mainland Norway, Scotland, New Zealand and the Lake Superior region.

“Marcia Bjornerud is an outstanding member of the Lawrence faculty and a great contributor to the quality of life in Wisconsin,” said Provost David Burrows. “Her election recognizes an important connection between academic research and scholarship and the scientific understanding of Wisconsin’s environment. The election to the Academy is richly deserved and is a symbol of the collaboration between Lawrence and the citizens of Wisconsin.”

Linda Ware, president of the Wisconsin Academy Board of Directors, said the Fellows program is a way to “honor the genuine treasures we have in this state—extraordinary people who show us the best of Wisconsin.”

“Every two years, we scan the state to find its most outstanding and creative people,” said Ware. “As part of our increasingly statewide reach for interdisciplinary excellence, we’re proud to recognize these brilliant and focused citizens who inspire people in Wisconsin and beyond.”

“[Marcia’s] election to the Academy is richly deserved and is a symbol of the collaboration between Lawrence and the citizens of Wisconsin.”
         — Provost David Burrows

The founding director of Lawrence’s program in environmental studies, Bjornerud was named a Fellow of the Geological Society of America in 2003 and twice was named a Fulbright Senior Scholar, first in Norway (2000-2001) and then New Zealand (2009). She was named Outstanding Educator in 2011 by the Association of Women Geoscientists and was recognized with Lawrence’s Excellence in Scholarship or Creative Activity Award in 2007.

She is the author of the 2005 book, “Reading the Rocks: The Autobiography of the Earth,” and is a regular contributing writer to the New Yorker’s science and technology blog.

In 2012, Bjornerud was lead author on a pro bono report for the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission on the geology of the Gogebic Range. The report was designed to serve as a free public document to provide baseline information about the potential effects of an open pit mine on the waters of the Bad River and the wild rice stands in the Kakagon Sloughs.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in geophysics from the University of Minnesota and master’s and doctoral degrees in structural geology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. 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.

Junior Katie Blackburn Awarded Fulbright-Hays Scholarship for Field Studies Program in China

Just about the time most Lawrence University students head for home this summer, Katie Blackburn will be returning to school — in China — as both a student and a teacher.

Blackburn, a junior from Brookfield, will spend much of her summer in China as the recipient of a Fulbright-Hays Scholarship for the 2013 Associated Colleges in China (ACC) Summer Field Studies Program.

Katie Blackburn ’14

Administered by the U.S. Department of Education, the Fulbright-Hays Group Program Abroad seeks to strengthen foreign language expertise through advanced overseas study and research opportunities and by providing experiences and resources that enabling educators to strengthen their international teaching.

Beginning June 14, Blackburn will spend seven weeks in China, including the first three at Beijing’s Minzu University, taking classes focused on Chinese language and the country’s educational system since the 1978 reformation.

Following her classroom work, Blackburn will spend two weeks working with third- and fourth-grade students in rural Henan and Hunan provinces at academic-based day camps.

“I’m told this will be very rural China,” said Blackburn, who is majoring in linguistics and Chinese language and literature. “We may be the only Americans these students will ever see in their lives, so we want to make sure we leave a positive impression.  Part of the mission of the Fulbright-Hays program is to serve as informal cultural ambassadors.”

Blackburn said she was encouraged to teach subject matter she was personally interested at the day camps. Among the topics she plans to cover with her students are knot tying, constellations, and as an ice-breaking activity, American camp games she played herself when she was younger.

The program also includes a week-long academic conference Blackburn will attend in Fujian province before returning for a week in Beijing.

“I’m looking forward to gaining a better understanding of the Chinese education system as a whole, especially the rural system, which I’m sure differs greatly from the urban education environment,” said Blackburn.  “I hope to improve my Chinese language skills as well. As China increasingly becomes a global power, especially economically, I think it will be all the more important to be able to communicate in their language.”

Ruth Lunt, associate dean of the faculty, associate professor of German and one of Blackburn’s academic advisors, said Blackburn is “passionate” about all things Chinese.

“The Field Studies program will give Katie the opportunity to immerse herself further in the language and culture,” said Lunt.

The scholarship will send Blackburn to China for the second time in less than year. She spent the 2012 fall term in Beijing on the ACC study-abroad program.

“It’s such a completely different world than anything I had ever been exposed to,” Blackburn said of her first experience in China. “You walk down the street in Beijing as a tall, white American girl and everyone notices you. And they really notice you if you can speak their language.”

After studying Spanish in middle school and French in high school, she decided to tackle Chinese as a Lawrence freshman.

“It just seemed like a good challenge,” said Blackburn, who had to pass an interview conducted entirely in Chinese and write a paper in Chinese to qualify for the Fulbright-Hays Scholarship.  “I was looking for something more out of the ordinary. Chinese is so completely different than Western languages.”

After completing her senior year next year, Blackburn plans to pursue her teacher certification in Chinese and English as a Second Language with the hope of eventually teaching at the high school level.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to go back to China and get an in-depth look at how their education system operates,” said Blackburn.  “I can master the language, but this scholarship will provide insights I would never get from sitting in a classroom.”

The Fulbright-Hays Scholarship covers Blackburn’s round-trip transportation, lodging, tuition, books and some meals. The Department of Education awarded 12 Fulbright-Hays Scholarships to China this year.

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 Mary Kate Smith Awarded Fulbright Fellowship to Germany

It seems at a young age Mary Kate Smith already was destined to be a teacher. Volunteering as a fourth grader on weekends to help her teacher with a class for pre-kindergarten students, it was clear what path her career would follow.

Sixteen years later, Smith’s passion for teaching burns as bright as ever. She soon will put her passion into practice in Germany as the recipient of a Fulbright U.S. Student Program Scholarship. Beginning in August, Smith will spend the 2013-14 academic year as a teaching assistant at either a German middle or high school in a city still to be determined.

Mary Kate Smith ’13

Smith is the second Lawrence student this spring to be awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and 16th since 2008.

“Teaching has been my main focus for as long as I can remember,” said Smith, a senior double degree candidate with majors in German, instrumental music education and violin performance from Charlottesville, Va.  “I’ve always thought about teaching math or German or music. I’ve just always wanted to teach.”

She completed her student-teaching certification last fall in the Whitefish Bay school district, teaching orchestra at both the high school and middle school level. She also spent four years teaching in the Lawrence Academy of Music’s String Project and gives private violin lessons.

“I’ve had lots of tutoring job as well,” said Smith, who first began learning German as a five-year old from an au pair from Germany who lived with her family for a year. Six years at a Waldorf School, where basic German was part of the curriculum, further exposed her to the language.

Her Fulbright Scholarship will take her to Germany for the fourth time. She first visited in 2007, spending a year in Berlin after graduating from high school as a participant in the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program. She returned in 2010 as part of Lawrence’s “Berlin: Experiencing a Great City” course and spent the fall of 2011 on the IES Berlin off-campus study program.

Quintessential Lawrence student

“As a German, violin performance and music education triple major, Mary Kate is the quintessential Lawrence student,” said Brent Peterson, professor of German and Smith’s academic advisor. “Her love of German culture, particularly those parts of it connected to Berlin, has made her an enthusiastic German student, aided by her spectacular language abilities and her exceptional skills as a reader of literary and other cultural texts. She is a great credit to Lawrence and will be a terrific representative of American culture in the tradition of the Fulbright awards.”

Smith says her current “rough plan” is to get a few years of classroom experience before going to graduate school with the ultimate goal of teaching at the university level.

“One of the challenges I’m facing is deciding if I want to set up life here or in Germany,” said Smith, a five-year member of the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra and a founding member of Lawrence’s student chapter of the American String Teachers Association.

“It’s an absolute honor and privilege to receive a Fulbright Scholarship,” Smith added. “I’m excited about this incredible opportunity to learn and grow and I’ll do my best to live up to the what the Fulbright represents.”

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.

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.

Christina Blomberg Awarded Fulbright Scholarship for Teaching Assistantship in Turkey

After spending a year in Vienna, Austria on a study-abroad program, Lawrence University senior Christina Blomberg returned home with more than just a love of Viennese culture. She also discovered a desire to explore other cultures she experienced in the city, especially that of Turkey, which has a large immigrant presence in the Austrian capital.

Blomberg, a psychology major from Fleetwood, Pa., soon will immerse herself in Turkish culture after being awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarship to Turkey. Beginning in September, she will spend 10 months as an English teaching assistant, with her specific destination still to be determined by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Christina-Blomberg2_web
Christina Blomberg

Blomberg is the second Lawrence student awarded a Fulbright scholarship this spring, joining Sara Wallsworth who earlier was awarded a scholarship to teach in Germany. She is among more than 1,500 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2010-2011 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

Since 2001, 15 Lawrence students have been awarded Fulbright Scholarships.

“I applied for my scholarship in Turkey in part because it’s very different from the Western, Germanic background that I’m most familiar with,” said Blomberg, who will graduate June 13 with a minor in German and music. “I’m looking forward to personally challenging myself by living in a culture way outside my comfort zone.”

Blomberg will arrive in Turkey with considerable teaching experience. She spent four summers (2005-08) teaching German to 8-18 year olds at the Concordia College Language Villages program in Minnesota, taught English to elementary students during her year in Vienna and held a nine-hour-a-week internship last fall at Appleton’s Johnston Montessori School, where she taught botany classes for 4th-6th graders. In Turkey, Blomberg will be teaching in a university setting.

While awaiting word of her ultimate destination, she is keeping an open mind.

“I’d love to wind up in a bigger city, but I’m confident I’ll have a wonderful experience in a smaller town with a slower lifestyle, too. I’m open to embracing whatever this fellowship offers,” said Blomberg, a member of the campus organization Greenfire who hopes to investigate some of the environmental challenges facing Turkish citizens on a daily basis during her time abroad.

“And as a lover of improvised music, I’m also excited about exploring Turkey’s rich music culture,” added Blomberg, who plays the tenor saxophone in an eight-member student jazz combo and the Improvisational Group at Lawrence University (IGLU).

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people 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 over 155 countries worldwide.

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. Forty Fulbright alumni have been awarded the Nobel Prize and 75 alumni have received Pulitzer Prizes.

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.

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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.

Fulbright Fellowship Supports Lawrence University’s Mandy Halpin Exploration of Arabic Language, Moroccan Social Justice

Mandy Halpin’s burgeoning interest in Arabic language and human rights issues is about to get some up-close and personal attention.

Halpin, who graduated in June with a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in religious studies, was one of 1,125 American students who were recently awarded grants by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board to study and conduct research in 140 countries throughout the world beginning this fall. She was selected as a 2003-2004 Fulbright Scholar from among more than 5,000 applicants.

In September, Halpin leaves for Morocco, where she will spend the next 10 months. The first five weeks of her stay will be spent living with a host family in Fez, where she will study Arabic at the Arabic Language Institute. In mid-October, she will move to the capital city of Rabat to begin working with Moroccan-based non-governmental organizations involved with human rights issues in the country. The Fulbright award will provide Halpin with round-trip transportation to Morocco, health insurance and a monthly stipend to cover her living expenses.

Already active in social justice and human rights issues — she’s worked extensively with the Lawrence campus chapter of Amnesty International — Halpin discovered an interest in Islam and the Arab world while completing her religious studies major at Lawrence.

With a Muslim majority, a predominantly Arabic-speaking population, an expansive history of cross-cultural interactions and a government that has shown increased sensitivity to human rights issues, Morocco provided a near-perfect destination for Halpin to pursue her interests.

“Morocco is a place where I can experience a rich Islamic culture, learn Arabic while communicating in French and explore questions of social justice and human rights,” said Halpin, who is fluent in French, which is spoken widely in Morocco. “King Mohammed VI has shown sympathy to human rights and social justice issues in recent years, establishing the Consultative Council on Human Rights. Through the cooperation of several Moroccan organizations, the National Charter on Human Rights was established in 1997. Recent parliamentary elections, in which women played an unprecedented role, have also demonstrated the primacy of such concerns.

“As a student of world religions, the whole intricate web of faith, justice and society intrigues me and I’m looking forward to exploring those connections in Morocco,” added Halpin, who lives in Boscobel. “Moroccans are striving to change their societies. I am interested in seeing how groups navigate the waters of social justice in the context of Morocco. How are they doing it and what do they want to see happen?”

To that end, Halpin intends to contact a variety of Moroccan organizations involved with social justice initiatives, among them the Moroccan Organization for Human Rights, the Moroccan Association for Human Rights, the Moroccan League for the Defense of Human Rights as well as two organizations that focus on women’s rights issues — the Democratic Association of Moroccan Women and the Union for Women’s Action.

“While I’m in Rabat, I plan to interview the local leaders of some of these organizations and observe their work whenever possible,” said Halpin. “I want to learn about the their strategies, the challenges they face and the historical, cultural and political facets influencing the problems at hand.”

Following her year abroad, Halpin plans to return to the United States to continue her Arabic studies as well as speak, write and work with nonprofit organizations here on the topics of Islamic civilizations and life in the Muslim world. Her long-range plans include pursuit of a Ph.D. in North African and Middle Eastern studies.

“I’ve studied Morocco and other post-colonial nations, Islam and Arabic literature in translation,” Halpin said. “But living in a post-colonial North African nation with a Muslim, Arabic-speaking majority will entail an entirely new set of experiences for me. I hope to come away with a much deeper understanding of Moroccan culture, the Arabic language and social justice.”

The Fulbright Program was created by Congress in 1946 to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges. Former 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, enabling more than 250,000 American students, artists and other professionals to benefit from unique resources in every corner of the world and gain international competence.